By Roberta Rampton

CHICAGO, May 29 (Reuters) - President Barack Obama, whose agenda has been frustrated by Republicans in Washington, said on Wednesday he believed his party could reclaim control of the House of Representatives in the 2014 midterm elections but conceded it was an uphill struggle.

The party in power in the White House typically loses seats in the first midterm election after a presidential campaign, and many political analysts believe Democrats could lose seats in Congress in 2014.

But Obama, appearing at fundraisers for Democratic House candidates in his hometown of Chicago, said he believed 2014 could prove different.

"We've got a great chance to take back the House," he told more than 100 people gathered at a cocktail reception in an ornate ballroom at the Chicago Hilton, where ticket prices ranged from $1,000 per person to $5,000 per couple.

Obama, who was reelected in 2012, told donors that he is willing to work with Republicans on issues like creating jobs through national infrastructure programs, but said he has a hard time finding Republican lawmakers willing to compromise.

"We've got a politics that is stuck right now. And the reason it's stuck is because people spend more time thinking about the next election than they do thinking about the next generation," Obama said.

Obama said he is willing to work with Republicans, who currently control the House, but accused them of "obstructionism" and "an interest only in scoring political points or placating a base."

It was the fifth time since April that Obama has traveled to raise money for Democrats running for Congress in 2014.

In Chicago, about 70 people paid $10,000 per person or $32,400 per couple to attend dinner in the sculpture-filled apartment of Bettylu and Paul Saltzman, longtime Chicago Democratic activists and some of Obama's earliest political benefactors.

Obama told the group, which he described as "kind of an Obama cabal," that a Democratic-controlled House is key to achieving goals he views as his legacy, like curbing climate change and gun violence.

"My only interest is making sure that when I look back 20 years from now, I say, 'I accomplished everything that I could while I had this incredible privilege to advance the interests of the broadest number of Americans,'" he said.

But he admitted winning back the House won't be easy.

"This will be hard," he said, blaming "gerrymandering" or the redistricting process which many Democratic groups have said unfairly benefits Republicans.

First Lady Michelle Obama also spoke at two Democratic fundraisers on Wednesday in Manhattan.

"We need all of you to get engaged in every special election and every midterm election all across this country," she told donors who paid between $5,000 and $25,000 to attend a fundraiser in the Manhattan apartment of fashion designer Tory Burch.

"We need you to keep on writing those checks and, if you haven't maxed out, max out. Get your friends to max out," she said, referring to caps on donations set by U.S. election law.

At a Park Avenue gala with about 350 people who paid $1,250 to $32,400 to attend, the first lady was introduced by basketball player Jason Collins, who recently came out as the nation's first openly gay major professional sports player. (Additional reporting by Steve Holland in Washington; Editing by Paul Simao)

Also on HuffPost:

Loading Slideshow...
  • The Numbers

    The House has 233 Republicans and 200 Democrats. Each party should pick up one more seat when two vacancies are filled. Going into the election, the GOP edge was 242-193. Senate Democrats will have a caucus of 55, including two independents, Angus King of Maine and Bernie Sanders of Vermont. Republicans have 45. That's a pickup of two seats for Democrats. <em>(Text <a href="">via the Associated Press</a>)</em>

  • Women

    The House will have 79 women, including 60 Democrats. At the end of the last session, there were 50 Democratic women and 24 Republican women. The new Senate will have 20 women members, an increase of three. That consists of 16 Democrats and four Republicans. The last Senate had 12 Democratic women and five Republicans. (Text <a href="">via the Associated Press</a>)

  • Freshmen

    With two vacancies to be filled, the House has 82 freshmen; 47 Democrats and 35 Republicans. As of the end of the last session, 87 of 103 freshmen were Republicans. The Senate will include 14 new faces, with nine Democrats and the independent King. Five are women. New senators include Brian Schatz, who was sworn in on Dec. 27 to fill the seat of the late Hawaii Democrat Daniel Inouye. (Text <a href="">via the Associated Press</a>) <em>(Pictured at left: Incoming House freshmen of the 113th Congress pose for a group photo on the East steps of the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, Nov. 15, 2012. AP Photo/Susan Walsh)</em>

  • African Americans

    The House will have 40 African-Americans, all Democrats. The number of Democrats is unchanged, although two Republicans will be gone: Allen West, R-Fla., lost his re-election bid, and Tim Scott, R-S.C., was appointed to fill the Senate seat of Jim DeMint, R-S.C., who is retiring. Scott will be the first black lawmaker in the Senate since Roland Burris, who retired in 2010 after filling the Illinois Senate seat of Barack Obama for almost two years. (Text <a href="">via the Associated Press</a>) <em>(Pictured at left: Rep. Tim Scott, R-S.C., who was appointed by South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley to replace outgoing Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., walks out of the Republican policy luncheon on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2012. AP Photo/Susan Walsh)</em>

  • Hispanics

    The new House will have 33 Hispanics, with 25 Democrats and eight Republicans. That's up slightly from last year. The Senate will have three Hispanics: Democrat Robert Menendez of New Jersey, Republican Marco Rubio of Florida and Republican freshman Ted Cruz of Texas. (Text <a href="">via the Associated Press</a>) <em>(Pictured at left: Rep.-elect Joaquin Castro, D-Texas, speaks with members of the media after a news conference with newly elected Democratic House members on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2012. AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)</em>

  • Other Minorities

    The new House will have nine Asian Americans, all Democrats. There are two American Indians: Tom Cole, R-Okla., and Ben Lujan, D-N.M. (Text <a href="">via the Associated Press</a>) <em>(Pictured at left: Sen.-elect, current Rep. Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, and her husband, Leighton Oshima ride the Senate Subway on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2012. AP Photo/Harry Hamburg)</em>

  • Other Facts

    According to CQ Roll Call newspaper, the average age of House members in the 113th Congress is 57; the average age of senators is 62. It estimates that the House will include some 277 Protestants and Catholics, 22 Jews, two Muslims and two Buddhists. The Senate will have 80 Protestants and Catholics and 10 Jews. The House will have its first Hindu, Rep.Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii. Senate freshman Mazie Hirono, also of Hawaii, will be the Senate's only Buddhist and its first Asian American woman. Also for the first time, white men will be a minority among House Democrats. (Text <a href="">via the Associated Press</a>) <em>Pictured at left: Rep.-elect Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii is seen on stage during a news conference with newly elected Democratic House members, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2012. AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)</em>