Obama to donors: 'Feel a sense of urgency' about midterms
May 8th, 2014
12:48 PM ET
4 months ago

Obama to donors: 'Feel a sense of urgency' about midterms

Los Angeles (CNN) - Faced with difficult odds in November's midterm elections, President Obama's trying to fire up the base, and energize major donors to the Democratic party as he makes a major fundraising swing along the West Coast.

"My main message to all of you is feel a sense of urgency about this election. This is my last campaign, and I'm going to put everything I've got into it, but I need you to feel that this is just as important, because we can't afford to wait until 2016," the President said at a fundraiser in Los Angeles Wednesday night for both the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.

With the midterm contests starting to get overshadowed a bit by the next race for the White House, Obama asked that this November's elections not be overlooked.

"A lot of people here are already excited about 2016. You guys were excited about 2008. You got geared up for 2012. I am grateful. But I need some partners. I've got to have a Democratic Senate. And when you think about everything I was able to accomplish with Nancy Pelosi at the helm in the House, all the issues that you care about that we were able to advance when she was the leader, I think you've got a big stake in making sure that we've got a Democratic House as well," the President said.

And the President suggested that this year's contests are arguably as important as what happens in 2016.

"Nothing is going to happen magically, by the way, that changes in 2016 if we still have the same kind of voting patterns and the same dysfunction that we've got right now in Congress. We'll be stymied all over again.

Obama spoke at the home of Walt Disney Studios chairman Alan Horn and his wife Cindy. Among approximately 90 people attending, according to a pool report, were Barbra Streisand, Jeffrey Katzenberg, and James Brolin, as well as House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado, chairman of the DSCC.

Tickets for the event ranged from $10,000 to $32,400 per person.

Thursday the President headlines an event in at the Beverly Hilton Hotel for the Democratic National Committee before departing the Los Angeles area and heading to San Diego to serve as the main attraction at another fundraiser for the DCCC.

Later in the day, Obama flies north to San Jose, where he headlines two more events for the DNC.

Complete Coverage: 2014 Midterm Elections

The Democrats currently hold a 55-45 majority in the Senate (including two independents who caucus with the party). But the party's defending 21 of the 36 seats in play, with half of those Democratic-held seats in red or purple states.

In the House, Democrats need to pick up 17 GOP-held seats to win back control of the chamber, a feat political handicappers say is unlikely considering the shrinking number of competitive congressional districts.

The smaller and older electorate that usually turns out during midterm contests traditionally favors Republicans over Democrats. And thanks to Obama's low poll numbers – which are hovering just above all-time lows - and the unpopularity of the president's federal health care law, many in the GOP are increasing optimistic about their chances come November.

Key races to watch in 2014

While there are a number of congressional Democrats facing challenging re-elections this year who aren't screaming for Obama to stump with them, they do look to the President to bring in the bucks. Because when it comes to fundraising, Obama remains the party's top rainmaker.


Filed under: 2014 • 2016 • DCCC • DSCC • Fundraising • President Obama
soundoff (34 Responses)
  1. tom l

    rs,
    You now have Tom Steyer who has pledged 100 million, you have Bloomberg who has pledged 50 million, you have George Soros (and moveon.org). Why are you so blind to that?

    May 8, 2014 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  2. smith

    @rs-Tom Steyer is giving 100 million to Dems for the mid-terms and to vote against the Keystone project.

    May 8, 2014 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  3. Silence DoGood

    @tom l
    rs,
    You now have Tom Steyer who has pledged 100 million, you have Bloomberg who has pledged 50 million, you have George Soros (and moveon.org). Why are you so blind to that?
    -------------
    The big difference is purpose and transparency.

    A liberal rich contributor will donate to a cause: "I am giving $_____ to gun-control, environment, etc." You may not agree but it is altruistic.

    The Koch's donate for their own benefit secretly. They give money through a group to an organization to a Tea Party knock off to enhance corporate freedom to make more money for the Koch's!!!

    May 8, 2014 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  4. rs

    smith

    @rs-Tom Steyer is giving 100 million to Dems for the mid-terms and to vote against the Keystone project.
    ___________________
    One man, one cause. The Kochs fund literally a dozen or more "freedom" organizations with all sorts of function- antigay, anti-birth control, anti-union, etc., AND their names are not directly tied to the groups or their causes.

    May 8, 2014 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  5. Abbey

    Shameless these Democrats are. They want to bury the middle class for good.

    May 8, 2014 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  6. tom l

    Silence DoGood

    @tom l
    rs,
    You now have Tom Steyer who has pledged 100 million, you have Bloomberg who has pledged 50 million, you have George Soros (and moveon.org). Why are you so blind to that?
    -----
    The big difference is purpose and transparency.

    A liberal rich contributor will donate to a cause: "I am giving $_____ to gun-control, environment, etc." You may not agree but it is altruistic.

    The Koch's donate for their own benefit secretly. They give money through a group to an organization to a Tea Party knock off to enhance corporate freedom to make more money for the Koch's!!!
    ========

    So, in other words, they're on my side and I believe in the same causes so THOSE are altruistic and transparent but the evil Koch's are only doing it for themselves? Dude, come on. At some point you will realize that your side is no better and is just as bought and paid for.

    A perfect example is you think this Steyer dude is doing for helping the environment yet you don't know that he made his money off of coal and has significant investments in alternative energy. So he is neither altruistic nor donating to a good cause. I will say that he is definitely transparent, though.

    May 8, 2014 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  7. tom l

    @Silence,

    What secret benefit did the Koch's get for donating 100 million to the New York Presbyterian hospital?

    May 8, 2014 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  8. Rudy NYC

    tom l

    rs,
    You now have Tom Steyer who has pledged 100 million, you have Bloomberg who has pledged 50 million, you have George Soros (and moveon.org). Why are you so blind to that?
    ==================================================
    The big difference is transparency, and how the money is being spent. You're comparing different types of groups, as far as the IRS is concerned. I do not see the people you mention, or the groups they donate to, endorse political candidates or donate to anyone's campaign. Why not? Because the groups cannot legally do so.

    The Koch's have fought and won the right to donate as much as they want in complete and utter secrecy. Basically, it is now legal to bribe elected officials, provided you go through the proper channels. They support groups that provide direct support to specific candidates. Do you remember that time Gov. Scott Walker was caught on the air talking to "Koch brother", and was pretty beholded to an imposter?

    May 8, 2014 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  9. Lynda/Minnesota

    Yes, Mr. President, I feel an urgency as well. If American voters don't vote against the wannabee congressional pig castrating; baseball uniform dressing; pig petter; and alligator wrestlers .... I too worry about what is happening in the U S of A.

    Not too many years ago these fools would have been laughed off their soapboxes and left to wallow in their own stupidity. We need to start pulling the soapboxes down from underneath them: the sooner the better.

    May 8, 2014 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
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