California Calling: Obama Heads West for Campaign Coin
President Obama heads west today for yet another round of star-studded, high-dollar campaign fundraisers in California, the state that's been most generous to his re-election campaign.
Obama's trip will be his fourth to the Golden State this year - tying New York as his most visited state outside the greater Washington, D.C., area. The president was most recently in the San Jose, Calif., area two weeks ago.
The swing also comes as Obama faces criticism in some corners for the number of high-profile fundraisers with Hollywood and Wall Street elites he's held as many Americans are struggling economically. Obama held a trio of events Monday in New York City with Jon Bon Jovi and Bill Clinton, and he has planned events next week with Vogue editor Anna Wintour and actress Sarah Jessica Parker.
On his 24-hour visit Wednesday into Thursday, Obama will attend five events - two in San Francisco and three in Los Angeles - that will include more hobnobbing with the rich and famous. The largest event, an LGBT supporters gala at the Regent Beverly Wilshire, includes talk show host Ellen DeGeneres and "Glee" singer Darren Criss.
The events will raise at least $5.4 million combined for the Obama Victory Fund, according to figures provided by the Obama campaign.
President Obama's first stop is San Francisco and the Landmark at One Market, where he hosts a roundtable discussion closed to the press with 25 supporters who each paid $35,800 for face time, a campaign official said. He will then address a $5,000-per-plate luncheon at the Julia Morgan Ballroom with 250 fans.
In the afternoon, Obama heads to Los Angeles for two evening events aimed at the gay and lesbian community.
A crowd of 600 is expected for a glitzy LGBT Leadership Council Gala, for which tickets cost $1,250+ per person. The president will later have dinner at a private residence with 70 guests, who each paid $25,000 to attend, according to the campaign.
After an overnight in L.A., Obama will hold a $2,500-a-head fundraising breakfast Thursday morning at a private residence in View Park, Calif., with 300 supporters, officials said.
Proceeds from all events are expected to flow to the Obama Victory Fund, a joint fundraising committee of Obama for America, the Democratic National Committee and several state Democratic parties.
California remains the top state contributing to Obama's re-election effort, accounting for roughly 20 percent of all contributions so far, according to data compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics.