Nervous Dems get cash boost–and pep talk–from Obama
November 25th, 2013
07:19 AM ET
11 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. billmelater1

    Hey all you democrats up for election in 2014. Make sure you have Obama come out for you and tell the people how great Obamacare is. I'm sure it will help you in the election. Have him come out often.

    November 25, 2013 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  2. hkirwin

    Obama is a joke. He is seen as a clown by the entire world.

    November 25, 2013 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  3. lauradet

    Heck, all Obama has to say is $24 billion taken out of the economy by the Do-Nothing GOP, then show how only one republican won an election in November and the morale of the democrats will elevate.

    November 25, 2013 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  4. Dan

    The Dems are terrified and rightly so. They followed a bad leader and are now going to pay a huge price for it

    November 25, 2013 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  5. Joe B

    Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. It's not a pep talk, it's more lying from the Criminal in-cheif.

    November 25, 2013 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  6. lancelinton

    "Don't run. Here is more money."

    November 25, 2013 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  7. Rudy NYC

    Joe B

    Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. It's not a pep talk, it's more lying from the Criminal in-cheif.
    --------------------
    Congratulations. You've cracked the code. Lies. You've figured out why not only was Barack Obama elected in 2008, but also why he was re-elected in 2012. The American people know who the real liars are, and who they'd rather put their trust in.

    Why is the entire right wing still in campaign mode against Barack Obama, anyway? That game should have ended a year ago.

    November 25, 2013 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  8. Abbey

    Once again this president cares more about fund raising. As for dealing with Americans who need jobs, so what? Shame on you voters who gave this clown another term.

    November 25, 2013 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  9. Abbey

    So the Democrats are dragging dollar bills around.....again.

    November 25, 2013 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  10. Data Driven

    @billmelater1,

    Hey all you democrats up for election in 2014. Make sure you have Obama come out for you and tell the people how great Obamacare is. I'm sure it will help you in the election. Have him come out often."

    It's a little early to be counting the chickens, at least until all the hens have laid their eggs. Don't forget who the Dems' opponents are: Republicans. Recall that Republicans are not popular.

    November 25, 2013 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  11. jpmichigan

    The American people HAVE THE POWER, power of the voting booth. It doesn't matter how much money or how much spin and double talk Democrats (OBAMA) provide it will not help those who lost their healthcare due to the regulation and mandates placed by Democrats . Stupid does as stupid is, to thing money and gab takes care of all things. Not very Presidential, more like an community organizer. Believe in what I say and do even if it hurts you and cost you in the long run, for you see it doesn't effect me , no how , no way.

    November 25, 2013 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  12. iski

    I heard the luncheon also will have signed photos of obama doing business on the 18th hole and upgrades on your obama phones. I guess the screen savers have a smiley obama face, now that is change you can hope for and something for 16 k meal.

    Most of us will be checking the dumpster for his crumbs and just maybe the old obama phones.

    November 25, 2013 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  13. SFRich

    Looks like the masses have been busy watching the FOX weekend news and drinking the GOP tea.

    November 25, 2013 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  14. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Rudy wrote
    Why is the entire right wing still in campaign mode against Barack Obama, anyway?
    -------------------------------------------------
    That's the only mode they've been in since he took office Rudy.
    I believe that seeing how they were not able to make him a one-term President they've shifted gears and are trying their best to shoot holes into his every effort, no matter what it is.
    They believe that if the President's numbers continue to tank that by extension the voters will reject the Democratic Party as a whole come election day 2014.
    Nothing could be further from the truth.
    The President's numbers may be low NOW, but regardless they will ALWAYS be higher than any Republican in Congress.

    November 25, 2013 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  15. Donna

    So while Obamacare is falling flat on its face and failing miserably and millions of Americans are losing their healthcare benefits thanks to Obama, the Democrats and the lies they told every American, the Campaigner-in-Chief is jetting arounbd the country on our dime to raise cash for the Democrats so they can try to unbury themselves from the mountain of lies they told about Obamacare. Bad news guys, there isn't enough money in print to accomplish THAT mission!

    No wonder Obama's numbers are dropping like a rock. Even his adoring press can't hide the miserable failure he and his signature "achievement" is. And even worse, they all know the disaster will GROW as tens of millions more lose their healthcare plan because of Obamacare. Not to worry though. They will be able to replace them with plans that cost 2-3 times as much. Such a deal!

    November 25, 2013 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  16. Silence DoGood

    @billmelater1, "Make sure you have Obama come out for you and tell the people how great Obamacare is."

    ....and to be fair, make sure to send tin-foil hat Tea Party folks and say the first thing that pops into their mind about holding government hostage, telling women what to do with their bodies, birth certificates, death panels, who is allowed to marry whom, where the poor can stick their hopes and dreams, what religion everyone should be, etc.

    November 25, 2013 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  17. Gurgyl

    @ria,abbey, where we're you when Koch, Sheldon Adelson pouted six billion dollars for Mittens election
    Poor mittens did not even get 106 electoral votes.

    November 25, 2013 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  18. Rudy NYC

    Dan

    Who's cash? . . . Allready knew Obama had no LEADERSHIP Skills in comparison to Romney.
    -----------------------–
    The rank and file of the right wing have no clue what "community organiizng" actually entails. It's about being a community leader, and organizing people toward some goal. Even Mitt Romney acknowledged that he was "beaten badly by Obama' ground game" in post-election interview.

    Obama has the leadership skills. The problem is that Romney lacks the diplomatic skills. Mitt Romney is a salesman, not a statesman. Remember is embarassing world tour in the summer of 2012. He was the laughingstock of London.

    November 25, 2013 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  19. We Don't Care If You Like Your Democrat Senator/Rep, We are Giving Then THE BOOT in 2014!!

    Sorry, these lies and Obamacare fraud are not something money can fix. Obama and the Demorcats lied and conned ALL of the American people. Had they worked for a private company, they would be arrested, charged and convicted of numerous crimes.

    Unfortunately, all we can do is throw them out of office so that we may start to fix allof the damage they have done to America and to our healthcare system with their insanity.

    November 25, 2013 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  20. Rudy NYC

    Abbey

    Once again this president cares more about fund raising. As for dealing with Americans who need jobs, so what? Shame on you voters who gave this clown another term.
    ----------------------–
    Seriously? Say "we need jobs" to the Congress that is not session, having sent all of the members home for a Thanksgiving vacation. Republicans ran on "jobs, jobs, jobs" in 2010. They promised jobs, and delivered a sucker punch to the voters. The right came out swing for the fences on every social issue, except jobs. Jobs. Right wing policies do not create jobs, they destroy them.

    November 25, 2013 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  21. Gunderson

    Alford E. Newman say, WHAT ME WORRY. With Obama you go right past the 1930's back to Stone Age. Progressive's say, do I have deal for you. Your own Rock Pit. Ain't it wonderful.

    November 25, 2013 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  22. Cal

    GOP approval rate in Congress is 9%. I would rather have Obama's numbers any day. CNN needs to tell the rest of the story. By the way have you seen John Boehner's numbers they are at 23%. Come on CNN tell the whole truth.

    November 25, 2013 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  23. Hector Slagg

    So,
    Why are people still running against Obama? Well, maybe it is because the Web Site looks just like Obama, or maybe it is because millions have lost their Health Care Policies, or, maybe it is because millions have lost their jobs, or maybe it is because, millions are on Food Stamps, or millions are losing their mortgages, or.............

    November 25, 2013 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  24. truth hurts but reality bites

    OK, here's a few questions for all of the lefties on this board.

    Just how many Americans that had their healthcare insurance cancelled because of Obamacare (and the lies of Obama) will turn around and vote for Democrats in 2014?

    Just how many Americans that lost their doctor and hospital because of Obamacare (and the lies of Obama) will turn around and vote for Democrats in 2014?

    Just how many Americans that had their healthcare insurance cost skyrocket because of Obamacare (and the lies of Obama) will turn around and vote for Democrats in 2014?

    Do the Democrats and Obama TRULY BELIEVE that the American people are THAT stupid?

    November 25, 2013 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  25. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Democrats have got to do something about this tendency towards being nervous Nellies.
    If there is ONE, and only ONE good thing that can be said about the Rethugs is that they stick together and seldom let their opponent see them sweat.
    And it makes no difference to them which side of the coin they're on either.
    Like the song says "whether I'm right, or whether I'm wrong...I've got to be me" . That's the Rethugs song.
    The Dems could learn from them.
    Circle the wagons Lefties; learn how to weather a storm without running screaming into the night.

    November 25, 2013 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
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