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Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania – August 4 –
Obama should be happy. This statement makes a point. Obama’s picture doesn’t give me the impression that he is happy. The area around his mouth looks like the muscles there are tense. Many of his pictures show his eyes gazing upward. Some I have seen recently show his eyes looking down, way down.
President Obama’s campaign finance activities are in the summer doldrums.
"This is not an easy time to raise money," said former Rep. Martin Frost, D-Texas, who led the House Democrats' fundraising arm. "His personal presence at events is important and he was tied up, certainly during the month of July, with the debt ceiling issue."
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're 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.
Axelrod is in Los Angeles, Gibbs is in Boston, and Plouffe is in Florida.