Obama returns to Chicago to resume fundraising

By Ken Thomas

Associated Press

Published: Wednesday, Aug. 3 2011 5:25 p.m. MDT

Republicans have called Obama the "campaigner-in-chief," and ripped his birthday fundraisers at a time of high unemployment and recent promises by Obama to reinvigorate a debate in Congress over how to boost the economy.

"He's tried all week now to play this spin that now the White House is pivoting to jobs, which they've tried many times before, and the first job the Obama is interested in saving is his own," said Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus.

Obama last traveled outside the Washington region on June 30 for a fundraiser in Philadelphia. He is planning a jobs-oriented bus tour of the Midwest from Aug. 15-17 and expected to take a vacation later in the month. As a result, the campaign was expected to hold smaller gatherings headlined by Obama "surrogates," or high-profile supporters such as governors and lawmakers, during the summer.

Obama has experienced a summer lag in fundraising before. During his first presidential campaign, Obama raised about $21 million in the summer of 2007, compared with about $33 million in the spring of that year.

But now in the White House, Obama canceled two fundraisers in Southern California and events in Northern California, Seattle, New York and Washington, D.C., campaign officials said. Vice President Joe Biden skipped fundraisers in Atlanta, Nashville, Tenn., and Dallas, while White House chief of staff Bill Daley canceled an event in the nation's capital.

Only a few will be rescheduled. Obama's fundraiser in New York at the home of film mogul Harvey Weinstein is expected to be held later this month, while Biden's events are being rescheduled for the fall.

Julie Pace can be reached at http://twitter.com/jpaceDC

Ken Thomas can be reached at http://twitter.com/AP_Ken_Thomas

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