After last November’s election, there were plenty of grumbles emanating from Congressional Democrats about President Obama’s preferred attitude of Looking Out for Number One in his campaigning and fundraising activities. The Democrats’ in-house campaign committees were over the moon earlier this year when President Obama finally made specific commitments to direct some of his valuable time and moneymaking powers their way with a number of fundraising engagements leading up to the midterms. He’s already done a number of such events this year, and The Hill reports that the president will be the guest of honor at a series of at least eight fundraising events around the country over the next five weeks on behalf is his fellows in the legislative branch.
The fundraising push starts Friday in New York with events for House Democrats and the Democratic National Committee (DNC). The president will then head to Boston for another House Democratic fundraiser on Oct. 30, before traveling early next month to Miami and Philadelphia to raise money at two events for Senate Democrats.
Obama will then head to Seattle and San Francisco to raise money for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), the fundraising arm of House Democrats.
In late November, Obama will do a joint event for the DCCC and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee in Los Angeles. Obama is also expected to travel next month to Dallas, where he postponed an event because of the government shutdown earlier this month, for another fundraiser. …
Obama, who has fared much better than Congress in recent polls, is still popular with many candidates in both chambers, Democratic officials say. A senior Democratic official said he is “still a draw at events.”
“We continue to lean on the president for fundraising support,” the official said. “I mean, he’s the president.”
The hope, as ever, is that the president can avoid the usual fate of lame-duckery that has plagued modern two-term presidents in their final two years by keeping/strengthening the Senate and perhaps even adding enough House Democrats to make something like his immigration-reform plans even a remote feasibility. Evidently, Democrats are feeling pretty good about playing up the optics of the shutdown (whether or not that’s a thoroughly wise assessment), and it did seem to be kind to them in terms of fundraising. Via National Jounral:
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee raised $8.4 million in September, according to an aide with the group, a significant sum more than a year before next year’s election. The haul dwarfs the $5.3 million collected last month by the National Republican Congressional Committee, which was again out-raised by House Democrats despite holding the majority.
To date this year, the DCCC has raised $58.2 million and has $21.6 million on hand. The NRCC has $15.7 million cash on hand.
The run-up to the 16-day standoff, which began Oct. 1, had a big impact on the DCCC’s September finances. In the six days after Sen. Ted Cruz’s filibuster, it raised $2 million online on nearly 100,000 donations, according to a committee aide. In total last month, the group collected $3 million from 160,000 online donations, helping push it to the best off-year September fundraising haul in the DCCC’s history. …
The question now, however, is if all Democrats will even want him next to them. Of course, in the big blue cities and at high-dollar donor dinners, he’s golden, but Democrats are only getting more and more antsy and frustrated about the questions they’re going to be facing if the administration doesn’t get its act together on ObamaCare soon. Some of them are none too pleased with the White House’s handling of the rollout so far, and defending their support for the law in 2014 is shaping up to be quite the political headache:
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) is taking the strongest tack among Senate Democrats, writing legislation with Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) to delay for a year the individual mandate’s enforcement mechanism — a $95 fine for anyone who doesn’t enroll in health insurance by March 31. Manchin is even taking the full rollout and explanation of his legislation to an unusual venue for a Democrat: Bill O’Reilly’s show on Fox News on Wednesday night.
Manchin is searching for more co-sponsors — and if recent sentiment among his colleagues is any indication, he may find some.
Democrats facing difficult reelection campaigns in 2014 — Sens. Mark Pryor of Arkansas, Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, Kay Hagan of North Carolina and Mark Begich of Alaska — came out on Wednesday evening in support of extending the open enrollment period of the law, as first proposed by Sen. Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire, who is also up for reelection in 2014.
But, then again… taking time to fix the “glitches” is not going to solve their problems. Not by a long shot:
When they fix the website, their real problems will begin. They’re going to look back on the last few weeks as the good old days. When people hack their way through the thicket of difficulties and get to the real choices that Obamacare offers, particularly the 2.7 million young people they’re counting on to sign up and the young people say, ‘this is awfully expensive for something I don’t want,’ and recoil, that is the difficulties today are actually keeping people from seeing the bad choice they’re going to have to make once they get onto the site.