Nervous Dems get cash boost–and pep talk–from Obama
November 25th, 2013
07:19 AM ET
8 months ago

Nervous Dems get cash boost–and pep talk–from Obama

Updated 10:34 a.m. ET, 11/25/2013

Seattle (CNN) – Congressional Democrats, many downright scared of the political fallout from the botched rollout of Obamacare, are getting a boost this week as the President completes a month-long fundraising sprint a year ahead of 2014's midterm elections.

Obama–who has jetted to New York, Boston, Miami, Dallas and Philadelphia in the past several weeks to help add millions of dollars to Democrats' campaign coffers–is spending three days on the West Coast convincing donors his falling popularity and the faulty implementation of his signature legislation don't mean all is lost for the Democratic Party next year.

His stops in the Seattle and San Francisco areas, each near the respective homes of tech giants Microsoft and Apple, come a week ahead of his administration's deadline for getting the troubled HealthCare.gov back running for most users. The website's initial failures caused widespread consternation among Democratic lawmakers, many of whom vocally pushed for the Affordable Care Act ahead of its passage in 2010.

In the liberal Pacific Northwest, Obama also faces questions about spying by the National Security Agency and his environmental record. Protesters met him at his first event loudly opposing the proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline, which his administration has yet to approve.

"It's understandable I think that sometimes people feel disturbed or concerned about whether or not we can continue to make progress," Obama told donors at one event in Medina, the wealthy Seattle enclave.

"One thing that I always try to emphasize is that if you look at American history, there have been frequent occasions in which it looked like we had insolvable problems–either economic, political, security–and as long as there were those who stayed steady and clear-eyed and persistent, eventually we came up with an answer," he continued. "Eventually we were able to work through these challenges and come out better on the other end."

It's Obamacare, however, that's proving to be the most worrisome for Democrats in Congress, many of whom are expressing open concern about the failed rollout of the health website. The digital snafu also served to highlight the number of Americans whose health insurance plans were being canceled under the new law. In 2010, many Democratic lawmakers echoed the President's vow that if Americans liked their health care plans, they could keep them–a pledge the President has since had to apologize for.

It's an all-but-certain campaign trail issue for Democrats facing tight races, and while the party's leaders say their candidates will be able run successfully on the issue, many Democrats seem less certain. Earlier this month, nearly 40 vulnerable House Democrats voted against the President to allow health plans that don't comply with Obamacare's standards to continue into 2014.

Speaking Sunday, a White House spokesman said the President remained "very confident" that Democrats could win control of the House in 2014.

"The President thinks there's good reason for that–specifically, Democrats have laid out a very clear agenda for what they hope to achieve in the next Congress," Deputy Press Secretary Josh Earnest told reporters aboard Air Force One.

In Seattle, the President attended a pair of events that benefited Democrats–the first, at the home of retailing mogul Tom Campion, raised money for the Democratic National Committee; the second, hosted by former Microsoft executive Jon Shirley, brought in money for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Washington State's Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee, as well as House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelsoi, both attended the later event.

When he heads south to California, the President will attend a set of receptions in San Francisco and Los Angeles, including one hosted by Magic Johnson that benefits the DCCC and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.

The standard prices for Obama's receptions were between $16,000 and $32,000, though an event in San Francisco had tickets available for as little as $500.

He'll also make remarks on immigration at the Betty Ong Chinese Recreation Center in San Francisco Monday, and talk economic matters during a stop at DreamWorks animation in Los Angeles on Tuesday. DreamWorks' top executive Jeffrey Katzenberg was a top fundraising "bundler" for Obama during his election campaigns, and contributed millions to the pro-Obama super PAC Priorities USA during the 2012 contest.

Earnest, speaking Sunday, said Obama's fundraising efforts were the best way for the President to ensure a favorable outcome for Democrats next year.

"In an off-year–in the year before an election like this, I think the most tangible way that an incumbent President of either party, frankly, can benefit his party's prospects in congressional races is to try to help them raise money," Earnest said, adding he anticipated Obama would maintain his fundraising efforts for Democrats next year.


Filed under: 2014 • California • DCCC • Fundraising • Obamacare • President Obama • Washington
soundoff (69 Responses)
  1. Tigas

    Why do your job and lead the country as the President of the United States, when you can live life like a celebrity and go around fundraising? Seems like the only thing he is decent at.

    November 25, 2013 07:42 am at 7:42 am |
  2. Fair is Fair

    Good. The more this chump is out campaigning, the less damage he can do in DC.

    November 25, 2013 07:53 am at 7:53 am |
  3. king

    well Obama i hate to say this but you might have to allow the dems to run away from you, this election just because you dont have to run anymore. if they want to destroy your healthcare and go back to allowing big insurance to commence dragging the American people, well let them give in to the repubs demand, because this is what the gullible of America wants. its too bad a lot of average joe will be hurt that is not gullible by repubs and their superior propaganda machine. you did something to help Americans and history will remember you like that, but the American people has turned against you even though you've taken a depression and turned our economy in one of the most successful in history. everything you do to help this country, the repubs with their superior propaganda machines seems to destroy it.

    November 25, 2013 08:07 am at 8:07 am |
  4. Rick McDaniel

    Time for the real Americans to put the brakes on this dictator.

    November 25, 2013 08:19 am at 8:19 am |
  5. TONE

    I am really getting tired of the democratic party being weak i am having a very hard time figuring out whether to go out and vote, and if i do who to vote for definitely not Republicans come 2014 I may sit this one out.

    November 25, 2013 08:20 am at 8:20 am |
  6. TONE

    I will wait for the Presidential elections.

    November 25, 2013 08:21 am at 8:21 am |
  7. Norma Vessels

    All you Democrats who are faltering, losing faith .. you need to hold your head up. There is no shame in the problems of the Computer system for the new HealthCare law. It just needs fixing, and you need the faith to help, not hurt by showing doubt. Stand up, be proud of our President. He's on your side, and on our side, and he won't give up on us. Why should we give up on him. Go out there, be proud of who you are and what you stand for.

    November 25, 2013 08:26 am at 8:26 am |
  8. bassman

    I think we have found something Pres. Obama is good at. Giving speeches.

    November 25, 2013 08:27 am at 8:27 am |
  9. Greenspam

    Liar in chief does what he knows best – lying and taking people's money.

    November 25, 2013 08:29 am at 8:29 am |
  10. Government Waste Rules

    Obamacare was supposed to be the cornerstone of President Obama's legacy and it has been a complete failure.

    Voters will definitely remember the lies and the incompetence.

    November 25, 2013 08:35 am at 8:35 am |
  11. WhoPaysForIt

    Who pays for all his flying around? I saw the special on TV regarding Air Force One and that it cost about $1 million each time he goes on a trip with it (two planes, all the logistics, security, etc.).

    November 25, 2013 08:40 am at 8:40 am |
  12. George

    Ya, if you cannot do whats right for the American people buy off the politicians left that are stupid enough to stand by this socalist.

    November 25, 2013 08:42 am at 8:42 am |
  13. DorkInChief

    The Demonicrats are toast... Thanks Obama!!!!!!

    November 25, 2013 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
  14. ru serious

    Pres Obama's core competency is the campaign trail and getting elected.....but the actual governing thing has escaped him. Pretty speech maker, masterful sound bites but an empty suit. Seems to like being the president for some of the people but really dislikes the rest of us.

    November 25, 2013 08:54 am at 8:54 am |
  15. A True Conservative

    Yup – don't worry Dems....he's got your back....PERIOD!

    November 25, 2013 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  16. Syd

    Oh please, Bush invaded the wrong country and still won a re-election. The Dems will be fine. Especially when people in the states who "opt out" realize what a better deal those in states that set up exchanges got and get prices down while improving benefits.

    November 25, 2013 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  17. Joan

    These same critics said he was finished after the first presidential debate last fall. How soon people forget. This is just normal criticism and rhetoric from people who oppose everything he does. They talk and report about every little negative thing and rarely talk about the successes. He is smart, resilient and capable and will have the last laugh.

    November 25, 2013 09:05 am at 9:05 am |
  18. Stephen

    If liberals were to miraculously get control of all the branches of the US government, there very well could be an all-out revolt. And this is a classic example of buying support with obama throwing around money in exchange for their support.

    November 25, 2013 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  19. rs1201

    When one puts obamacare and the iran nuclear deal together...it very much looks like a death warrant for the democrats...

    November 25, 2013 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  20. Dan

    Who's cash? . . . Allready knew Obama had no LEADERSHIP Skills in comparison to Romney. . . . yet Obama was elected and re-elected. . . . now we have a 125 TRILLION Dollar UNFUNDED Liabilities, and growing. . . . 17 TRILLION Dollars National DEBT, and growing. . .. 7 TRILLION Dollars TRADE DEFICIT, and growing. . . a DEBTOR nation BORROWING to pay INTEREST Payments. . . . 1 of 6 Americans on Food Stamps, and growing. . . . more part-time jobs created than full-time jobs. . . . a President without LEADERSHIP Skills. . . . a DYSFUNCTIONAL Congress. . . and it continues with Obama care cost that will most likely skyrocket. . . .more taxes will be needed. . .

    November 25, 2013 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  21. rla

    He thinks his job is to fund raise and campaign- that's why leading from behind is so attractive to him.- It frees his up to distort

    November 25, 2013 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  22. rick

    When it comes time to reelect a President, vote with your head, not your wallet. Do the research before you vote. That goes for any politician. Maybe, just maybe, we will get lucky and get politicians who look out for us and not themselves.

    November 25, 2013 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  23. Brian

    If democrats buy his speeches, they will finally feel the betryal the rest of us felt being sold on his speeches encrusted with lies.

    November 25, 2013 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  24. dcrb

    And the destruction continues.

    November 25, 2013 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  25. poseidon

    Norma Vessels – you make me laugh! Thanks for the hilarity on this gloomy morning.

    November 25, 2013 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
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