Seeking support, Obama campaigns for struggling senators

 @ibtimes
on February 20 2010 4:49 PM

President Barack Obama, in need of securing votes in Congress to support his agenda in the coming years, came to the Western U.S. this week to help raise campaign funds for a pair of struggling Senators from his party.

Obama's trip to support the political fortunes of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada and a relative newcomer, Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado, came after several months of tough political defeats for the Democratic Party in various states around the country.

A surprise Republican victory in Massachusetts by Scott Brown was just the latest hit, which has temporarily sidetracked Obama's health care reform proposals, a key issue he vowed to address when he was elected in November of 2008.

Assuring victories for Reid and Bennet in November's Senate elections, are part of a wider plan that would allow Obama to mold the U.S. federal agenda in the remaining years of his four year term.

On Friday, Obama arrived in gambling and tourist destination Las Vegas to campaign for Reid, a key player in drafting what will be the final version of healthcare reform proposals.

The legislation proposes to expand the number of people in the U.S. who are covered by health insurance, funnel premiums more directly to 'actual care,' and promote wellness and preventive care.

At a gathering in a local high school, Obama credited Senator Reid with helping pass various bills last year.

All of this - from the tax cuts to the unemployment insurance to the jobs - that was only possible because of Harry's leadership, Obama said.

Obama made another stop a day earlier in Denver, Colorado to promote a man he called a rookie in national politics, Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado.

Bennet was an unelected appointee to the Senate last year when the previous Senator took a post in Obama's administration.

The President lauded Bennet for voting to pass tax cuts and new spending last year in legislation, known as the Recovery Act, meant to counter the effects of a withering recession. Obama was focused on how Bennet could help in the coming year.

 If I've got Michael Bennet's help, we are going to get health care reform passed in this country, Obama said at a reception for the Senator on Thursday night.

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