President Obama is not very popular at the moment in much of America, where most voters disapprove of the job he is doing in the White House. But he remains very well liked in California, where on Monday he raked in more than $3 million in campaign contributions at three fundraisers.
The president’s first stop was in La Jolla, one of San Diego’s most affluent communities, where he made an appearance at a $5,000 a person event at the estate of two well-heeled backers.
“This is going to be a tough election,” he told the 150 supporters who attended the event, “because the economy is tough and people are frustrated.” He said that the voters are going to choose between two competing visions, his and whichever Republican emerges as the GOP’s standard bearer.
The Republican vision, he maintained “says we will pull back and abandon our commitment to the aged and vulnerable.” His, he said, “is a big, ambitious, bold, optimistic vision of America where we are investing in the future, in our people.”
From La Jolla, Obama moved up the road to Los Angeles, where he dropped by a $250 a ticket fundraiser – much more for a photo opportunity with the president – at the House of Blues in West Hollywood.
The event afforded the president the opportunity to reaffirm his solidarity with the gay community. His remarks were preceded by a musical selection by the West Hollywood Gay Men’s Chorus and an introduction by actor Jesse Tyler Ferguson, who plays a gay character on “Modern Family.”
Speaking to roughly 800 Obama supporters who crowded into the night club, Ferguson praised the president for repeal of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law, which, the actor said, “is the signature civil rights accomplishment of our time.”
Obama followed up by telling the crowd, “What this election is about is everyone gets a fair share.”
The president capped off his night at a fundraising dinner at a restaurant on famed Melrose Place. Obama’s 120 dinner companions paid $17,900 per person, with proceeds going to the president’s “victory fund.”
Introduced by Jeffrey Katzenberg, CEO of DreamWorks, Obama urged the gathering of Hollywood stars and executives, “Don’t get tired on me now.”
The Obama reelection team says the White House incumbent is on pace to reach 1 million donors by October 1, reaching that target in half the time it took in 2008.
It also expects that its third-quarter fundraising, which ends October 15, will approach $55 million, including the sum the president raised Monday in California.