September 24th, 2011
06:07 PM ET

Obama's west coast swing: Priceless

Seven fundraisers, a visit to three politically important west coast states and a possible meeting between rock superstar Lady Gaga and the leader of the free world. Cost: Priceless? Perhaps, but for President Obama’s west coast swing beginning Sunday, he’ll raise an astonishing $8 million dollars – minimum – for his re-election war chest.

Against the backdrop of falling approval numbers and another looming government shutdown, the president heads out of Washington, DC, to raise some serious money for his campaign and continue the drumbeat for Congress to approve his jobs bill.

A democratic campaign official shared some details with CNN about the president’s trip. The first stop to another Washington- Washington state that is. His whirlwind money-making tour begins with a bang at the suburban Seattle home of former Microsoft chief operating officer Jon Shirley. It’s brunch for 100 people. The price tag: $35,800 per couple, translating into a cool $1,750,000.

From there the president travels to a more grassroots-style event. The historic Paramount Theater in Seattle is the setting for a reception for an expected 800 supporters. A Democratic official tells CNN that tickets here start at $100, but on the Obama re-election committee website this week, general admission required a $1000 donation, VIP seats costs $2500 and for $7500 a photo with the president. Minimum take here- $80,000 for the cheap seats.

From Seattle, the president heads to California for some serious fundraising. First stop – Silicon Valley. A reception at the home of Symantec chairman John Thompson at the price of $2500 a person for the 300 lucky attendees totaling about $750,000.

But the main event is a Facebook dinner. Cheryl Sandberg, Facebook's chief operating officer, is hosting an intimate dinner for approximately 70 guests at her Atherton, CA home. The cost of admission– $35,800 a person. The take here –$2,506,000. A good haul for day one.

Taking a break from fundraising, on Monday the president returns to his day job and holds a social media town hall focused on jobs. He will partner with social media network giant LinkedIn to answer questions on his jobs bill and hear directly from people looking for work or trying to move up the career ladder.

San Diego is the next stop for a light lunch and some heavy duty fundraising. La Jolla and the home of wealthy businessman Mason Phelps and his wife Elizabeth are the venue. One hundred fifty are expected to attend, each paying $5000. The bottom line–$750,000 for lunch.

Monday ends with a fundraising trip to Los Angeles. The first event is at the House of Blues in West Hollywood, emceed by Jesse Tyler Ferguson from the popular show Modern Family. For the price of a $250 ticket, one thousand people will watch performances by B.O.B and Weho Gay Men’s Chorus. Simultaneously the president will raise a minimum of $250,000.

But it’s the dinner at ultra chic Fig and Olive in LA that will top off the California coffers. One hundred twenty people will cough up $17,900 a piece for this face to face with the president. That’s a cool $2 million and change.

It’s also here in LA where the president may meet or at least cross paths with rock superstar Lady Gaga. Gaga this week tweeted to her millions of followers that she plans to meet with President Obama to discuss "how to stop bullying" after a 14 year old fan took his own life. The White House has not answered our inquiries about Gaga.

Mr. Obama ends his whirlwind west coast tour in the all important 2012 swing state of Colorado. From the backdrop of Denver’s Abraham Lincoln High School, President Obama will once again call on Congress to pass his American Jobs Act.

‬So that’s how President Obama plans to raise a minimum of $8 million. Not bad for 3 days’ work


Topics: fundraiser • President Obama • The News

soundoff (30 Responses)
  1. Frank

    "Gonna change the way Washington does business: Huh?

    September 24, 2011 at 8:18 pm |
  2. Cherie

    Really? Every time I see that GAG ME lady i want to throw up. Sure meet Mr Wonderfully nothing. They have a lot in common. Pathetic

    September 24, 2011 at 8:21 pm |
  3. lps

    At a time when unemployment is high and poverty levels are high I find this vulgar.

    September 24, 2011 at 8:34 pm |
    • WKNDTHG

      Get over it...

      September 26, 2011 at 7:28 am |
  4. mikle

    Not bad for 3 days work. People cannot make 8$ for any day. They just no jobs. I vote for him, but not anymore. Where is YES WE CAN, WHERE is change, Where is debt cut in 1/2 in firs term he promise. and where is jobs. ?????

    September 24, 2011 at 11:25 pm |
    • Trace

      @mikle

      You are lying...sorry...misrepresenting the truth here. You didn't vote for Obama. You are just trying to justify blaming this president, while ignoring the fact he has never had compromise from the other side of the aisle. So either you are dishonest or completely stupid...which is it?

      September 25, 2011 at 11:01 am |
    • Howard

      You speak the TRUTH Mikie ... unlike the brain washed, blindly devoted Obama bloggers on this page, who will defend and support Obama, no matter what he says or does.

      September 25, 2011 at 12:13 pm |
    • WKNDTHG

      Who was your english teacher? Oh, I forgot, you're a rethuglicon.

      September 26, 2011 at 7:29 am |
  5. estellebeasley

    When it comes to unemployment it’s been a tale of two recessions, with level of education playing an unprecedented role in whether you’ve been pink slipped or not. Getting a degree from "High Speed Universities" is the only solution

    September 25, 2011 at 12:43 am |
  6. Merle Morrigan

    Since when is Colorado a West Coast State?

    September 25, 2011 at 3:32 am |
  7. Liz Carter in Georgia

    Where have you been for the last 3 years? You claimed you voted for him, which I doubt, but 'Yes we can' Happened!! HE WON! 'Change'? He's made changes, and is making changes on governing and political issues everyday! DADT, Healthcare availability for more Americans, got OBL, set in place new, real initiatives enhancing better education for our children, just to list a few. That's change. Jobs? He's presented a jobs plan! Ask the loons you plan to vote for in 2012 why they won't pass it or present one!

    September 25, 2011 at 9:12 am |
    • Howard

      HERMAN CAIN FOR PRESIDENT IN 2012 !!!

      September 25, 2011 at 12:29 pm |
      • Juan

        You know damn well Herman Cain isn't going to be President of the United States. Quit being stupid.

        September 25, 2011 at 7:07 pm |
    • James

      As a retired person I can say the President hasn't done a thing for me except cost me more money which I don't have a whole lot of anymore–Thank you Mr. President–

      September 25, 2011 at 10:45 pm |
    • Homie D Clown

      Healthcare has ALWAYS been available for Americans... maybe not affordable, but definitely available. How many more handouts would you like?

      September 27, 2011 at 2:03 pm |
  8. Liz Carter in Georgia

    ...As far as Americas' debt problem, do you want the 'national checkbook' balanced on your head, the working or retired middleclass, and the working poor? That's what it appears your choice party of 2012 wants to do. The President is trying to balance the terrible pain that has already been thrusted upon us; which could be even moreso, by asking the wealthy to just pay their fair share! Your folk don't want them touched, yet they still won't hire people! The debt will be paid by us if the GOP has their way!

    September 25, 2011 at 9:39 am |
    • Trace

      @Liz,

      The problem have is with these Phoney Constituitional Hypocrits calling themselves the GOP / Tea Pee Pants party. How do you in one breath say, we will spend trillions of dollars chasing WMD's in Iraq, come up with nothing, spend more money rebuilding that country; and turn around and say, "WE REFUSE TO SPEND MONEY ON AMERICANS" What???

      All Republicans are phonies and the Tea Party Pee Pants people are intellectually inept.

      September 25, 2011 at 11:06 am |
  9. Victoria

    Republican candidates are not proposing plans, they are catering to the Tea Party more thean the american people. If they are correct in saying these tax breaks to the rich are job creators why have they not created jobs in the last 10 years then? These Republican favor Wal-mart & Exxon over average american people. At the debates the audience cheers execution letting the un-insured die when they are sick and BOO a soldier in Iraq beacuse he is gay!!!
    Not one candidate on the stage had the decency or the care for their fellow countrymen to say to the audience as a leader, do not cheer at anothers misfortune, help thy neighbor and never Boo in the face of an American soldier who is fighting to protect our freedom. It's not very presidential in a presidential debate. It showed a serious lack of leadership along with the disregard of human life and civil rights. While all this is going on, while the candidates spout off with incorrect facts and punch Barack Obama and themselves in the faces... Barack Obama has created 2.9 million jobs, saving our great auto industry and infastructure with the stimulous. He is introducing jobs plans, plans to get our war veterans back to work, and incentives for companies to hire more, introducing health care options, killing Osama Bin Laden, fixing immigration, bettering our educational system, bringing troops out of Iraq, repealing bad laws that do not favor our civil rights and introducing good spending cuts, tax and entitlement reform to close our deficit and save our entitlements that we earned. Its clear to me Barack is the candidate that has won all the debates so far and he was not even on the stage.

    September 25, 2011 at 10:25 am |
    • Homie D Clown

      Obeyme didn't get OBL; if he did, then where's the body? He also DIDN't create 2.9 million jobs, unless they were government jobs. He hasn't brought the troops home. His jobs plan is smoke & mirrors and The infrastructure is still crumbling, while Obeyme & Moochie go on numerous trips... and then Obeyme goes out to raise millions for his re-election?

      Keep kissing up to him and kissing your future down the crapper –

      September 27, 2011 at 2:01 pm |
    • Log Cabin John

      Victoria:

      Did your mother have any children that lived?

      September 27, 2011 at 3:40 pm |
      • squirk

        How did the sudden expulsion of effluvium that later decided to call himself Log Cabin John ever think he/she warranted any sort of consideration of his point of view? Wait, he didn't.

        September 27, 2011 at 10:37 pm |
    • squirk

      When either party talks about job creation-they need to stop giving folks the idea that any policy change they make will make a huge difference in jobs. People need to realize, most of the jobs lost are not coming back and companies often require fewer and fewer workers. Our education system needs to get our children up to speed on science, math and technology. Our schools, and parents also need to teach that the 'white picket fence' American Dream is now very difficult to reach and therefore, success needs to be measured in other ways that can bring a satisfying life. In other words we probably need to prepare our youth for a decline in a standard of living for the general populace.

      September 27, 2011 at 10:20 pm |
  10. Liz Carter in Georgia

    Right Howard! I'm sure YOU'LL vote for him...give us a break! My goodness. HEY CAIN! If I were you...I wouldn't wait on Howards' vote! If it came down to it...and the last two men standing were OBAMA and CAIN...which I wouldn't be so quick to disregard the probability of the GOPs' devious strategy...Howard would about face, turn against his partys' TRICK, and vote for OBAMA, PERIOD!

    September 25, 2011 at 1:56 pm |
  11. Liz Carter in Georgia

    @Trace; his first blog name was 'maikl', now it's 'mikle' so even if we overlooked the illiterate talking points, which one would you think it is?

    September 25, 2011 at 4:12 pm |
  12. buff said

    Ok he raises 8 million but how much does it cost us to send all the security and personnel to so many locations and who exactly is paying the freight? Mixing in a town hall meeting shouldn't make this a govt expense, this is all just campaigning. So just how much did it cost us for the President to raise 8 mil,.? 10 12 15 mil?????

    September 25, 2011 at 7:31 pm |
  13. James

    Pricey and priceless is right–Be glad when he is gone–

    September 25, 2011 at 10:41 pm |
  14. Liz Carter in Georgia

    Juan; you're so funny! LOL! Yep, they ALL know it! You know what the whole trick strategy is? It's just an attempt to pit 'one' against the 'other', LOL! You know kind of like how they fight dogs, cocks, even each other when it comes to the dollar? Except this time the GOP messed up 'good fashioned' and let the 'TEE-TEE POTTY' put a loud mouth, boisterous, barking, un-trained, disobedient dog in the pit, to fight a well-trained, obedient, disciplined, knowledgeable dog, hoping we didn't know the difference!

    September 26, 2011 at 10:29 am |
  15. Liz Carter in Georgia

    You're standing up name HOMIE! LOL! You're full of smoke and mirrors, lies, deceptions and tricks! Barnum and Bailey should keep you under the tent! And not let you out! GET REAL!

    September 27, 2011 at 5:04 pm |
  16. Liz Carter in Georgia

    @Trace, I agree with you..those hypocrites will just as soon see us all dead and gone before they'll ever consider spending our 'socialized collected' money on us! The Tee-Tee Potty is the GOPs' trick of the devil, period! They're hiding behind the T-Party in attempts to keep their 'Pontius Pilate' hands washed, but it's not working. The truth is, they're all one in the same! Even the earned entitlements to the layman American, any restructuring of America herself is a no-no, as long as OBAMA is PRESIDENT!

    September 27, 2011 at 5:45 pm |
  17. Justin

    KEEPING A REPUBLICAN OUT OF THE WHITE HOUSE... PRICELESS.

    September 28, 2011 at 4:32 pm |