The Washington Post

Obama is packing in a lot — of fundraisers — while on the road

President Obama is in Texas on Wednesday to attend a series of fundraisers and speak about the economy, but the escalating crisis along the U.S.-Mexico border has thrust immigration back into the spotlight. (Jeff Simon/The Washington Post)

DENVER -- President Obama is packing a lot into a short trip. A lot of fundraisers.

Obama plans to headline a Democratic Senate Campaign Committee fundraiser here Wednesday afternoon. After he will head to Dallas, where he will raise money for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and then fly to Austin, where he will appear at two events to benefit the Democratic National Committee.  That's four fundraisers in a little more than 24 hours.

Obama’s trip has been dominated by the tide of Central American children who have traveled unaccompanied to the Texas border. The administration asked Congress Tuesday for $3.7 billion to help deal with the influx, which it has deemed a humanitarian emergency, and speed deportations. Obama will discuss the issue with Texas Gov. Rick Perry ( R) and other faith and community leaders in Dallas. Obama had dinner Tuesday with a Colorado woman who wrote him a letter and will deliver remarks about the economy here Wednesday and in Austin Thursday.

Most of Obama’s events were added in the past day or so -- around the fundraisers, which were announced weeks ago. Obama has cemented himself as the fundraiser-in-chief, attending at least 74 fundraisers or events for the DNC, DSCC and DCCC in the past year, according to a Post tally that includes this trip. Obama has also shared data his presidential campaign collected with the committees.

Obama’s last big fundraising blitz was in November, where he attended nine fundraisers in three days in California and Washington state. California has been a reliable source of cash for Democrats; about a quarter of the events Obama has attended have taken place in the state.

President Barack Obama speaks to a crowd gathered for a town hall meeting at Minnehaha Park in Minneapolis June 26, 2014. (Craig Lassig/EPA)

But this is Obama’s most robust fundraising trip so far in 2014, a trend that is almost all but certain to continue until the midterm elections in November as Democrats try to hold onto control of the Senate and keep seats in the House.

“President Obama has been a huge help for us and will continue to be one of the reasons we’ve outraised Republicans by more than $20 million in this cycle,” DCCC chairman Steve Israel said in a statement. As of June 20 the DCCC raised $38 million this year.

Obama’s event here in Denver will benefit Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.), who is in the midst of a tough re-election fight in a swing state that may or may not welcome Obama’s stop on the fundraising circuit.

Neither Udall nor Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) will attend the fundraiser or Obama’s speech in Cheesman Park. Obama and Hickenlooper met for beers and played pool Tuesday night.

A spokesman for Hickenlooper said the governor committed months ago to attending a veteran’s event in Colorado Springs. A Udall spokesman told the Denver Post that the Senator isn’t going to the event but would “welcome” the chance to appear with Obama.

At least one of Obama’s fundraisers has a decidedly Hollywood twist. It will be held at the Austin home of director Robert Rodriguez of “Spy Kids” fame. Actresses Jessica Alba and Rosario Dawson are expected to attend, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

Katie Zezima is a national political correspondent covering the 2016 presidential election. She previously served as a White House correspondent for The Post.



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Katie Zezima · July 9, 2014

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