Obama Returns to California

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    President Barack Obama exits Air Force One at the shuttle landing . facility at Kennedy Space Center April 15, 2010 in Cape Canaveral, Floridia. Obama is holding a summit to discuss the future of the space program.

    The last time it was to see Jay Leno. This time it's for Barbara Boxer.

    In his first visit to Southern California since May and his third since taking office, President Barack Obama is to speak Monday at fundraisers in Exposition Park benefiting the Democratic National Committee and Sen. Barbara Boxer's re-election campaign.

    Obama arrived at LAX aboard Air Force One around 5 p.m., and then headed to the California Science Center on a helicopter to speak at a reception.

    Obama was also scheduled to speak at a dinner at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. The visit comes on the heels of the state Democratic Party wrapping up its annual convention on Sunday in downtown Los Angeles.

    Tickets for the reception range from $250 to $2,500 per person. A ticket to the dinner is $17,600 per person, a figure arrived at by combining half the maximum $30,400 contribution to a national party committee combined with the maximum $2,400 donation to a candidate.

    A high-priced dinner with a president is a staple of both major political parties.

    This will be the first time Obama will come to California to campaign on behalf of Boxer, who has said she expects to face her toughest campaign since first being elected to the Senate in 1992.

    "Obama is appearing before these donors because Boxer is in trouble," said Joshua Trevino, communications director for the campaign of Assemblyman Chuck DeVore, one of three major candidates seeking the Republican nomination to oppose Boxer.

    "Multiple polls over the past year suggest that Boxer is one of the most vulnerable incumbents on the Democratic side so that's why they're bringing out the big guns. She is very key to their agenda and as such, they're going to defend her."

    Obama is scheduled to leave Los Angeles on Tuesday morning to return to Washington.