The Democratic National Committee is reducing ticket prices for a high-dollar fundraiser in San Francisco next week that features President Obama, according to an email sent to donors Monday.
Obama is set to appear at a luncheon at the SFJAZZ Center on Nov. 25 to benefit the DNC, but whether it's a sign of donor fatigue or a general lack of interest, tickets have not been selling as expected.
"An exciting new update I would love to mention is that we have reduced the price for the general admission luncheon tickets to $500/person," Shefali Razdan Duggal, a member of the DNC's national finance committee, wrote in the email. "In addition, all current $1000 ticket holders will be upgraded to VIP (this includes premium seating near the stage and Presidential rope line access)."
Originally, entry-level tickets for the event started at $1,000, so the DNC is offering what amounts to a 50 percent discount.
The event will be one of a handful of Democratic fundraisers the president attends on his West Coast swing, but the tepid response so far could be an early indicator of waning interest in the president and his public appearances, which until now appeared to be surviving the problems he's been having with the rollout of his health care plan.
Obama has been a formidable fundraising force for Democrats in the 2014 midterm elections, logging events on behalf of the party and its House and Senate campaign arms. The president is slated to appear at 21 events on behalf of the DNC by month's end.
Republicans acknowledge the fundraising advantage a sitting president can provide. National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Greg Walden recently conceded that the president is a key reason Democrats have so far surpassed Republicans in raising campaign cash.
"That's hard to compete with," Walden said. "They've got the president, Mrs. Obama, the vice president, they have the whole infrastructure of the administration."
But the clunky rollout of the federal health care law, Obama's signature achievement, has considerably dampened public opinion of the president, virtually erasing the slight boost the White House enjoyed immediately after a Republican-driven government shutdown in October.