President Barack Obama, with a full plate of domestic and foreign policy issues before him, is on a three-day fundraising trip that includes stops at the Seattle home of former Microsoft executive Jon Shirley and Magic Johnson’s Los Angeles house.
Obama left Washington yesterday after the U.S. and other world powers announced an agreement to limit Iran’s nuclear program, and as his administration seeks to recover from the troubled rollout of his health-care law.
The seven fundraisers will benefit Democratic candidates in the 2014 elections, as the party tries to maintain a majority in the U.S. Senate and make gains in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives. At most of the events, donors will pay $16,200 to $32,400 to attend.
Obama also is scheduled to speak about immigration policy today at the Betty Ong Chinese Recreation Center in San Francisco and the following day about the economy at the DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. facility in Glendale, California, according to the White House.
Obama’s first fundraiser, at the North Seattle home of youth clothing executive Thomas Campion, benefitted the Democratic National Committee, according to an invitation.
Obama then joined House minority leader Nancy Pelosi of California for a Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee dinner hosted by Shirley, a former Microsoft Corp. president and chief operating officer, who raised money for Obama’s re-election last year.
In his public remarks, Obama made no mention of the deal struck with Iran and the U.S. along with other world powers to halt Iran’s nuclear progress in exchange for the easing of some sanctions. Instead, the president focused on his battles with the Republican-controlled House.
“The biggest barrier, impediment we have right now is a Congress and in particular a House of Representatives that is not focused on getting the job done for the American people but is a lot more focused on trying to position themselves for the next election or defeating my agenda,” Obama told donors.
After spending the night in Seattle, the president heads to San Francisco for more DNC fundraisers. The first is an event at the SFJazz Center and then a 20-person technology roundtable at the home of Salesforce.com Inc. founder Marc Benioff. The SFJazz Center event, with tickets starting at $500 per person, is the least expensive of the trip for contributors.
Obama’s West Coast trip concludes in Los Angeles. He’ll make stops on behalf of congressional and Senate Democrats at former National Basketball Association start Johnson’s house in Los Angeles and at the home of media executive Haim Saban in Beverly Hills, according to invitations. Saban is chairman of Spanish-language channel Univision Communications Inc. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid also is scheduled to attend the event at Johnson’s house.
Tomorrow, Obama will speak at the DreamWorks facility. Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Katzenberg is a top donor. He’ll also appear at a Los Angeles fundraiser for the DNC at the home of television producer Marta Kauffman, according to an invitation.