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Obama set to rake in millions, despite criticism of fundraising during tumult

President Barack Obama

SEATTLEĀ  — Republicans and some political pundits have taken sharp aim at President Barack Obama for maintaining his fundraising schedule amid a period of global unrest.

Not among those complaining? Democrats who stand to benefit from the millions of dollars in campaign cash Obama will help pull in this week during a three-day West Coast swing, bringing him into the homes of entertainment and real estate bigwigs in Seattle, the Silicon Valley and Los Angeles.

Based on descriptions of Obama’s fundraisers from Democratic officials, Obama could raise north of $6 million during the trip, which comes at the same time as an Israeli ground invasion into Gaza and international outcry over the downing of a jetliner over Ukraine.

That figure is based on estimates of attendance at Obama’s five fundraisers, using the highest in a range of possible ticket prices. The total sum could be far less.

Obama’s latest fundraising swing, along with a pair of fundraising stops last Thursday, have come under scrutiny from Republicans who say it sends the wrong message for the president to be engaged in starkly political activities during times of crisis.

“I don’t understand this president,” Sen. John McCain said on Fox Sunday. “The crisis on the border and he did the fundraisers, the fundraisers in New York while there are major major conflicts, not to mention the loss of American lives reported. I do not understand it.”

Obama first learned of the Malaysia Air crash during a phone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the White House Thursday, deciding afterward to stick to his pre-planned schedule that including the fundraising events in New York.

White House officials maintain it was the right decision for Obama to stick to his plans that day, which also included a stop for hamburgers in Delaware. They say the President can undertake the tasks necessary of the commander-in-chief wherever he goes using secure equipment and a retinue of staff.

Indeed, during his trip last Thursday Obama phoned world leaders from the road and convened a meeting of his national security team, huddled back at the White House.

The same resources are available during Obama’s swing down the West Coast, which includes only one public event at a college campus in Los Angeles on Thursday.

Josh Earnest, Obama’s press secretary, said Monday Obama would return to Washington “if it becomes clear that there’s a need for him to come back to the White House in order to fulfill those functions” of being president.

“Right now it’s not apparent that that’s the case,” he said.

The White House did nix an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live, saying they had looked at taping with the comedian this week but “elected not to do it at this time.”

Obama’s first stop in the Pacific Northwest will bring the President to the home of developer Bruce Blume and his wife Ann. That gathering will benefit the Democratic National Committee.

Later he’ll headline an event hosted by Jim Sinegal, a co-founder of wholesale giant Costco, that benefits the Senate Majority PAC. It’s just the second time the President’s headlined a fundraiser for the major outside group supporting Democratic Senate incumbents and candidates running this year.

Obama will pass the hat around this week for House Democrats at an event outside San Francisco, and again for the DNC at the homes of “Scandal” creator Shonda Rhimes and Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino in Los Angeles.

Here in Seattle, residents say they’re more concerned about the wildfires raging in the interior of Washington State than the crisis in Gaza or the plane in Ukraine. Fueled by a dry, hot summer, fires are spanning almost 250,000 acres and driving hundreds of people from their homes.

Nearly 650 residents of Pateros, situated on the Columbia River in northern Washington, were evacuated over the weekend when flames began spilling down hillsides, eventually burning most of the town’s homes to the ground.

Obama wasn’t scheduled to publicly acknowledge the natural disaster during his stop in the Pacific Northwest Tuesday.

15 comments

  • Robbie

    Of course Republicans are upset! Obama pee’s twice in one night. Sarah Palin weighs in..he should wear depends like me. Republicans want to stick our noses into the worlds problems but the American people are against it. We’ve got enough problems right here so let’s work in our own back yard for a while.

    • Tracey

      robbie you are right. We have enough problems here in the USA. We need yo clean up our own country. Some people on here always talking about certain neighborhoods in the city of Richmond but do not want to help solve the problems. Yet, you want our president to solve problems in other countries. We have problems right here. If you want to fight…..fight to help these young kids out here. But no, you dont want to do that but sit behind the computer and complain all day. If you want to fight and solve the world’s problems then you can take your a$$ over there and fight. Once again, well said Robbie.

    • Clayton Bigsby

      Allowing a flood of illegals is really fixing the country, but what do I care it’s just money that will be taken away from the current bottom feeders that are too stupid to realize it.

      • Kevin

        Too stupid, I’m sure you’re talking about yourself. Illegals been coming over way before President Obama came along. Go somewhere with that bullshyt you talking.

  • athynz

    And if this was Bush the media would be all over him – recall the outcry over him taking 6 minutes during 9/11? But somehow it’s okay for Obama to continue his fundraisers. His priority is with lining his own pockets not with the American people.

    • Robbie

      It’s not the 6 minutes that bother me as much as the numerous security briefings he received warning of an impending attack from the air. He chose to ignore them. Now we could say Obama ignored the warnings regarding Benghazi and he did. Four people died needlessly. The security briefings Bush ignored cost 3,000 lives.

      • athynz

        You mean the security briefings that were alluded to by this guy? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kurt_Eichenwald This guy who violated journalistic ethics by paying a male prostitute for information? Yeah I’m gonna consider the source here. Not to say Bush wasn’t a typical slimy politician – because he was a pretty shady character – but he at least cared more for the American people than our current leader. Bush did not authorize a drone strike against American citizens abroad without due process after all.

      • athynz

        Really? So it was Bush who extended the scope of the Patriot Act to allow the NSA to spy on any American at will? It was Bush who created executive orders to release 5 terrorists in exchange for a traitor to our country while a loyal US Marine is STILL in a Mexican jail? It was Bush who authorized unmanned drone strikes against Americans abroad without due process of law and no regard for collateral damage? Bush may or may not have started the drive but Obama sure did nothing to reverse the course because he’s been to busy with fundraisers, lavish vacations on the taxpayer dime, golfing trips, and the above as well as shoving Obamacare down our throats.

    • Robbie

      Upsetting to Republicans that even though they spent a billion dollars on Mittens Romney, he still got his butt spanked by ole Barry. They can spend 2 billion next time and if they run another rich, out of touch white man born with a silver spoon in his mouth, Hillary Clinton will be the next President. God help us then.

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