Obama in Bay Area to give Democrats a push

President Obama, right, shakes hands with San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, left, after arriving in San Francisco, Thursday, Oct. 21, 2010, for fund raising events. Newsom is running for California Lt. Gov. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)
October 21, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
President Barack Obama is spending the night on the Peninsula. The presidential motorcade pulled into the Westin near SFO, around 9:30 p.m., at the end of an evening of fundraising for fellow Democrats facing tough competition at the polls next month.

Palo Alto was the last fundraising stop for the president on Thursday. It was a fundraiser that raised more than $1.5 million for the party, which is money and exposure the Democrats need.

Big-name California Democrats, like Gavin Newsom and Barbara Boxer, greeted the president at SFO just hours before he left a sold out crowd in Seattle with a message.

There Obama said, "You need to go right after this rally, fill out the ballot, and mail it in."

The Democrats need voters and dollars. The president is trying to bring in both during a whirlwind, four-day West Coast swing. In Atherton, the president spent less than an hour at a private fundraiser for attorney general candidate Kamala Harris. The host was former State Controller Steve Westley.

"We're delighted for the extraordinary support for the president and for Kamala Harris," said Westley.

The support wasn't everywhere. Not far from Westley's house, Tea Partiers, Republicans and Obama critics protested the president's visit.

"This guy is no friend to the American people. He is a tool of the Wall Street bankers," said protester Alli Perebikovsky.

Many in the anti-Obama crowd were women -- a group that swept the president into office two years ago. This year, the polls show the female vote is up for grabs.

"The big problem for Democrats this year is that while women say they're going to vote for Democrats, they're not giving them the same big margins that they have in the past," said ABC News Political Director Amy Walters.

That is why this last-minute campaign push is important for all parties. Democrats are responding with their wallets open. At the Palo Alto home of Google executive Marrisa Mayer; 50 people came for dinner for $30,400 a plate.

"We want Democratic candidates to win and there is a tremendous amount of Republican money out there," said Palo Alto resident Carol Winograd.

Friday will be another busy day for the president. He flies to Southern California for more events for the party and Barbara Boxer, then heads to Las Vegas for more fundraising.


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