Obama returns to Chicago to boost Dems in 2014

May 29, 2013

AP/File
File: President Barack Obama.

President Barack Obama is returning home to Chicago to help fellow Democrats who want to take back some House seats in 2014.

The midterm elections may be 18 months away--but the president’s party is gearing up for a fight.

And after the beating Democrats took in 2010, who could blame them?

They’ll need to pick up 17 seats to regain the majority in the House. That may not sound like too tall an order--but when you consider Democrats lost nearly quadruple that in the last midterm, it’s no small potatoes either.

But the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s chairman, Congressman Steve Israel, says it’s doable--with a little help, from a lot of friends.

“We had four days last year where we raised over $1 million dollars online in average donations of about $30. You know how many $30 donations it takes to get to a million? A lot!” Israel explained.

It doesn’t hurt to have some heavy hitters in the dugout either. 

President Obama is, after all, the most successful fundraiser in history.

But Chairman Israel looks to another Chicago politician for guidance...literally.

“I have his picture hanging in my office at the DCCC. He taught me almost everything I need to know--with a few less curse words,” Israel explained.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel aggressively spearheaded victories in both chambers as chairman of DCCC during the 2006 midterm elections.

Israel said the mayor’s photo serves as more than a personal reminder of his predecessor.

“When people come into talk to me, whether it’s candidates or colleagues, and they think I’m giving them a tough time, I point to that picture and say, ‘Look, it could be a heck of a lot worse,’” said Israel.

The chairman will get a face-to-face reminder Wednesday night when he joins the mayor, the president and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi at a fundraiser in Chicago.