Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

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March 12, 2014

Obama, Clinton circles overlap in Dem fundraising

(Continued)

"But as a whole,"he added, "this is a party that is serious about making sure that America is growing and offering opportunity to everybody."

In re-entering the Democratic fundraising scene, Patricof wrote in a February email to contributors that he and his wife, Susan, had been "relatively quiet on the political front" following Clinton's loss to Obama in the 2008 Democratic primary.

"The most effective way that we all can be helpful to Hillary, and the Democratic Party in general, is to make sure that the Democratic National Committee is as strong as possible if Hillary should decide to run in 2016 and, for that matter, if any other good candidate appears on the scene if she decides not to be in the race," Patricof wrote in the email, first reported by Politico.

About 25 people paid up to $32,400 per person — the same as for the senatorial event — for a private session with Obama. White House press secretary Jay Carney said Obama's talk, unlike his remarks before the senatorial campaign donors, was not public because he did not make formal remarks.

The DNC has been trying to pare millions of dollars in debt accumulated during Obama's re-election campaign; through the end of January the DNC owed more than $15 million.

Obama also made a brief stop to browse the sweaters at a midtown Gap store to show support for the chain's decision to increase wages for U.S. employees to a minimum of $10 an hour by next year. Obama wants Congress to raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10, but lawmakers have resisted.

The president's cash-raising comes amid tensions with Russia over Ukraine and a fast-approaching health care sign-up deadline that have been preoccupying the White House. It also comes as Obama is struggling with tepid approval ratings. Recent Gallup and CNN/Opinion Research polls place his job approval at 45 percent and 43 percent respectively. Over the past year, Obama's approval ratings as measured by Gallup have fluctuated between a high of 51 percent last April and 39 percent in January.

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