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Obama Makes Fundraising Pitch for House Democrats

Making good on his pledge to do more to help House Democrats in their fall campaigns, President Barack Obama on Wednesday appealed directly to his base to donate money to “my great Democratic partners in the House” before a major reporting deadline next week.

In an e-mail to supporters of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, Obama hailed House Democrats for their accomplishments over the past year and a half and insisted they are poised to retain control of the House in November — that is, if they have the financial backing of their supporters.

“Tuesday marks a critical [Federal Election Commission] reporting deadline for my friends at the DCCC, the only Democratic political committee solely dedicated to protecting the House. I’m asking for your help to make their $1 million grassroots goal before midnight Tuesday to continue the work we’ve only just begun,” wrote the president.

Obama ran through a list of priority issues that passed in the House — the recovery act, health care reform, financial regulatory reform, clean energy legislation — and said that now is the time “to retain a Democratic House and continue America’s progress.”

Tensions over the president’s lack of involvement in House Democratic races reached a high last month, when White House spokesman Robert Gibbs publicly stated that there is “no doubt” that Democrats could lose the House in November. Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) later criticized Gibbs for making “politically inept” comments and DCCC Vice Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (Fla.) bashed Gibbs in a subsequent DCCC meeting, according to Democratic aides.

But Obama has since taken steps to show that House Democrats can count on his star power. In addition to writing Wednesday’s DCCC letter, he has headlined numerous fundraising events for House Democrats in recent weeks, including a high-ticket DCCC event in Los Angeles, which raised $1 million.

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