President Barack Obama makes a two-city, five-stop re-election fundraising blitz on Friday, jetting to his hometown of Chicago for a pair of events and then on to Atlanta for three more, including one featuring R&B star Cee Lo Green and another at the home of actor and director Tyler Perry.
The five fundraisers in one day are a record for Obama and bring to 108 the number of fundraisers the president has attended since formally launching his drive for a second term. First lady Michelle Obama's Friday schedule includes a Democratic National Committee fundraising event in Minneapolis.
Friday's mad dash for cash is likely to fuel Republican charges that the president is more focused on campaigning than governing—a charge White House press secretary Jay Carney tried to blunt on Thursday.
"I still maintain that the president is still spending the vast preponderance of his time on his official duties, as is everyone who works here. There is a campaign, of course, and it is active and doing the things that it does in preparation for the time when there is a general election nominee for the other party and there's a debate to be had more directly," Carney told reporters at his Thursday briefing. "But as a share of his time, it is still fairly minimal.
"But I've been very clear, and others have been very clear, that that percentage will increase as the year progresses, and especially once there is a Republican nominee," the spokesman said.
The Obama campaign has acknowledged that the drawn-out fight for the Republican nominee has made it harder to get Democrats motivated for a general election that doesn't quite feel real yet and has taken to warning the president's supporters that he could very well lose in November unless they pitch in.
And Republican strategist Karl Rove, who engineered George W. Bush's 2000 and 2004 victories, recently wrote that he thinks Obama suffers from an "enthusiasm gap" this time around.
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