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Obama returning to California for campaign cash

June 06, 2012|By Kathleen Hennessey and Michael A. Memoli
  • President Obama boards Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland en route to California to attend campaign events.
President Obama boards Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland… (Jewel Samad / AFP/Getty…)

President Obama has set out on another West Coast swing, primarily to raise money in California. The president will pick up checks in San Francisco and Los Angeles, packing in four fundraisers and at least $2.5 million in a single day.

The headliner of the day is undoubtedly the LGBT gala in Los Angeles, a West Coast answer to a similar party held in New York a few weeks ago. Obama is expected to get a warm embrace from the L.A. crowd still riding high on the president's endorsement of gay marriage last month.

Darren Criss, of "Glee" fame, will perform at the event, filling in for singer Pink, who backed out for health reasons. Ellen DeGeneres is slated to speak. Tickets for the event start at $1,250 per person.

Obama's latest California stop follows a familiar pattern. Obama is not holding any free public events or conducting any "official" business in the state. 

He'll save that for the swing state next door. After more fundraisers in Los Angeles on Thursday morning, Obama will head to Nevada for a speech on the economy in Las Vegas.

Polling shows public campaigning in California would be squandering precious time and resources. A USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll of registered voters conducted in mid-May found Obama leading Mitt Romney 56% to 37%.

Obama is on something of a fundraising tear this month. On Monday in New York, he raised about $4 million from three events with former President Bill Clinton. Last Friday, the sites were Chicago and Minneapolis. 

He was last in Los Angeles on May 10 for a fundraiser hosted by George Clooney.

michael.memoli@latimes.com

kathleen.hennessey@latimes.com

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