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Obama to head to California to raise campaign cash for Democrats

March 15, 2013|By Kathleen Hennessey
  • President Obama speaks Friday at the Argonne National Laboratory in Argonne, Ill.
President Obama speaks Friday at the Argonne National Laboratory in Argonne,… (Jewel Samad / AFP/Getty…)

WASHINGTON – After a hiatus from the campaign trail, President Obama will travel to California next month to start reaping cash for Democratic congressional candidates.

Obama is due to attend two days of fund-raisers in the Bay Area in early April to benefit House and Senate candidates, according to Democratic officials and an invitation.

The details of Obama’s trip come at a somewhat awkward time for the president, who spent much of the week meeting with Republican lawmakers at the Capitol where he aimed to persuade them that he is focusing on legislating, not winning races. Obama repeatedly told lawmakers that he’s run his last race and said he is dedicated to finding a way to pass his immigration, gun control and economic plans with the help of Republicans in Congress.

Still, the president is expected to be active in his party’s attempt try to pick up seats, and possibly win control of the House, in the 2014 midterm elections. The president is committed to attending a total of 14 fund-raisers this year for Democratic committees, including 10 fund-raisers outside Washington.

The presidential assist is not unusual; past presidents have raised money for their party. Still, the White House has been walking a fine line between trying to mend relations with Republicans while also supporting Democrats’ dream of taking back control of the House.

Democrats need to pick up 17 seats to take back control – a sizable feat. The task is made even harder by recent redistricting, which whittled down the number of swing districts.

Obama’s trip will include fund-raisers in San Francisco on April 3 to benefit the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee – a $5,000-per-person cocktail reception at the home of Kat Taylor and Tom Steyer, a former hedge fund manager, and a $32,500-per-person dinner hosted by philanthropists Ann and Gordon Getty. House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, who represents San Francisco, is also slated to attend the events, according to the invitation.

Obama will also attend fund-raisers in the Bay Area on April 4 to benefit the Democratic National Committee.

kathleen.hennessey@latimes.com

Twitter: @khennessey

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