DCCC raffles trip to Obama Calif. fundraiser

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) is raffling a chance to attend President Obama's first second-term fundraiser next month in San Francisco, as House Democrats hope to parlay the president's popularity into midterm gains.

In an email Monday, the DCCC told supporters that donors would be automatically entered in a contest to receive a free flight; hotel room and invitation to one of the two receptions President Obama is holding in California.

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"Seriously, don't miss this chance," DCCC Executive Director Kelly Ward wrote in the email. "If you win, you'll get to meet the President and get a picture. It's a once-in-a-lifetime moment that you'll be showing your kids and grandkids."

According to the invitations obtained earlier this month by the Associated Press and Buzzfeed, Obama will attend both a small brunch limited to 30 people that will carry a $32,400 price tag, and a lunch later in the afternoon with differing prices for admission.

For that event, $1,000 will get donors in the door, while $5,000 will secure a photo and lunch. Couples can have a meal and attend the photo reception for $7,500, while $20,000 will buy entrance to the "co-chair clutch reception" for one guest.

The White House has confirmed that the president intends to hold at least 14 fundraisers for Democratic congressional candidates, with 10 of the events set for outside of Washington, D.C. Asked last month about how politically active the president would be in the upcoming year, White House press secretary Jay Carney joked that reporters needed simply to look at the number of fundraisers to gauge the president's interest in helping Democrats.

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Democrats would need to net 17 seats in next year's election to return the Speaker's gavel to Rep. Nancy Pelosi (Calif.). Congressional Republicans have complained in recent weeks that Obama is more interested in returning the lower chamber to Democratic control than work with them to reach a compromise on a budget deal -- a notion Obama disputed while meeting with lawmakers on Capitol Hill earlier this week.

"The President handled a variety of questions on a range of topics from the members and reinforced his strong desire, especially now that the election is over, to find bipartisan common ground on a range of legislative priorities," a White House official said of the president's meeting Wednesday with House Republicans.