President Obama made his way to San Francisco’s Bay Area on Friday to continue raising funds for the Democratic Party, despite the fact that many in his party have been distancing themselves from him. Democrats are projected to lose control to Republicans in the Senate this November.
Following a $32,000 dinner-fundraiser at the home of Gwyneth Paltrow — who said she fell into a daze of “speechlessness” at the sight of Obama’s “handsome” face — POTUS headed to the City by the Bay to complete one last round of fundraising (a staple of this presidency) at San Francisco’s W Hotel, according to the San Jose Mercury News.
The last time POTUS was in San Francisco was in July of this year. Despite his having shown the highest approval rating coming out of California, even the Golden State has been showing signs of growing disenchantment with the “leader of the free world.”
Obama’s visit comes at a critical juncture. His presidency has suffered tremendously from his mishandling of the Jihadist militant group ISIS (Islamic State), the worldwide Ebola crisis, security breaches within the Secret Service, and Russia’s strongarm tactics in Ukraine. Last month, his approval rating suffered an all-time low of 38%, notes the Mercury News.
Adding insult to injury, former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and former President Jimmy Carter have publicly lambasted Obama’s judgment on and handling of the situations in Iraq and Syria. Social media was ablaze with commentary on the matter:
Jimmy Carter: Obama blew it on ISIL… When Jimmy Carter implies you are weak, you might as well fold up your tent and go home. #tcot
— Brittany Pounders (@LibertyBritt) October 8, 2014
Yet, with all the criticism and missed leadership opportunities POTUS has faced, he is still able to fill a room, even when the price tag comes to a hefty $32,400. “People who have that kind of money will spend a lot to spend some time in the president’s presence,” said Robert Smith, a political science professor at San Francisco State University, to the Mercury News.
And with the many hats the president of the United States is expected to wear, the fundraising chapeau is the one Obama has broken in the most. “His role as party leader is limited to raising money. In the places in the country where there are contested races, he’s not of any help by going there to campaign,” Smith said.
Obama is scheduled to fly back to D.C. on Saturday. He will reportedly be holding a more exclusive fundraiser in San Francisco on that day, to which press will not be granted access.