Increasingly Unpopular Obama Still Hot Fundraising Draw

Image: Increasingly Unpopular Obama Still Hot Fundraising Draw (Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images)

Thursday, 31 Jul 2014 09:45 AM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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President Barack Obama remains a top draw on the Democratic fundraising circuit, even as candidates from his own party shy away from him and complaints swirl about his frequent trips.

Democrats in the House and Senate, as well as party officials, are pushing for the president to appear at fundraisers throughout the next few months as the November general election approaches, Politico reported.

Obama is scheduled to take the main stage on Aug. 29, for a Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee event in Newport, Rhode Island, and another one for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee in Baltimore on Sept. 12, Politico reported, citing sources it didn't identify.

The fundraisers mean big bucks for Democrats in the House and Senate, who generally have an advantage over Republicans when it comes to bringing in campaign money. The Democratic National Committee had $7.75 million in cash-in-hand funds by the end of June, a Federal Election Commission disclosure report shows, according to Politico.

Obama has hit the road for 16 fundraisers for the DCCC this cycle alone, and even though Republicans are in control of the House, the DCCC has almost $51 million in cash-on-hand funds, compared to the National Republican Congressional Committee's $42.5 million, Politico said.

While the fundraisers are popular for Democrats, a recent Fox News poll shows that 57 percent of voters said that if they were running for office, they would not want Obama to campaign for them.

However, the number of Obama fundraisers keeps rising, reports The Washington Post,  which said the president has gone to 40 events this year alone, and has hosted almost 400 events during his time as president.

Obama is drawing criticism from the fundraising trips. When reports of the Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 started coming in from Ukraine, Obama was en route to New York, and instead of going back to Washington, he instead headed to his fundraisers, and contacted Secretary of State John Kerry for updates, the Post said.

"I don't understand this president," Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., complained to the Post. "This is what we used to call in the military — AWOL."

Other presidents have used their power by fundraising, but Obama squeezed in 321 events in his first term alone, compared to 173 for George W. Bush's first term, 167 for Bill Clinton, 137 for George H.W. Bush and just 80 for late Ronald Reagan, reports the Post.

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