Obama Plans Coast-to-Coast Dash for Democrats

Posted August 12, 2010 at 5:04pm

President Barack Obama swings into full campaign mode next week, crisscrossing the country for a string of fundraisers aimed at boosting Democrats before the November elections.

Obama will kick off the week with a Monday fundraiser for Wisconsin gubernatorial candidate Tom Barrett before heading to Los Angeles that night for a Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee event hosted by John Wells, the NBC executive producer of “ER” and “The West Wing.” Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and DCCC Chairman Chris Van Hollen (Md.) are expected at the event, which includes a cocktail reception priced at $2,500 a head, followed by a $30,400-per-person dinner.

The DCCC has been making an appeal to grass-roots groups in the lead-up to the Southern California event: The organization e-mailed supporters Thursday with a letter from Pelosi urging them to enter a contest to win a free trip to Los Angeles and attend the affair as her guests.

“More than ever, grassroots Democrats like you know your power,” Pelosi said in the e-mail. “Republicans are claiming they have the momentum, but you and I know better. We will never stop fighting to move America forward.”

On Tuesday, Obama will head to Seattle to host a fundraising luncheon for Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.). Washington voters head to the polls that day and will select a Republican nominee to run against Murray in November; businessman Paul Akers, former Washington Redskins player Clint Didier and former state Sen. Dino Rossi are competing for the GOP nod.

From there, the president will headline fundraisers in two more states Wednesday: in Ohio for Gov. Ted Strickland and in Florida for a state Democratic Party event with Senate candidate Kendrick Meek. Two other Florida lawmakers — Sen. Bill Nelson and Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, vice chairwoman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee — are also expected to attend.

Obama will also get in some vacation time this month: The first family will spend this weekend vacationing along Florida’s Gulf Coast, and next Thursday the Obamas head to Martha’s Vineyard for 10 days.