- The Washington Times - Friday, June 19, 2009

Aiming to shore up his party’s congressional majority in 2010, President Obama raised $3 million for Democratic groups responsible for House and Senate elections Thursday by highlighting his own accomplishments but insisting he’s not done with the “marathon.”

Mr. Obama told a swanky fundraiser in the ballroom of the Mandarin Oriental hotel in Washington that Democrats should be proud of some of the legislation passed since he took office in January, but not satisfied.

“We’ve come a long way. … [T]his is when it gets hard,” he said to the joint fundraiser of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC). “It’s like running that marathon and you hit the wall and you’re going to say, ‘My feet hurt and my knees are buckling.’ It’s going to take time.”

The dinner attendees donated between $5,000 and $30,400 each, and the total sum was to be split between the two committees.

The Republican National Committee was quick to point out what it labeled a hypocritical action by the Obama administration, with RNC Chairman Michael S. Steele blasting the committees for banning lobbyist cash for one night only.

Mr. Obama’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee don’t accept donations from lobbyists. The DCCC and DSCC don’t have such a ban, but did not allow lobbyists at Thursday’s event. They, however, have planned a “policy” event Friday where lobbyists could attend and contribute.

Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. earlier Thursday thanked a smaller group of donors at the Mandarin as they ate a sea bass lunch, saying the Obama agenda would not be possible if it wasn’t for their work helping increase the Democratic ranks in Congress.

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