WASHINGTON (AFP) - President Barack Obama on Wednesday sets about mending deep political damage suffered in the debt showdown with Republicans, heading to his Chicago hometown for an eve-of-50th birthday fundraising blitz. Obama, stuck for weeks in dysfunctional Washington, will seek solace among Democratic supporters and has a first chance to put a political spin on a deal which averted a US debt default but was scored as a defeat for the White House. Aides also said that Obama would embark on a bus tour through unemployment-riddled midwestern states later this month which could prove crucial in his increasingly complicated bid for reelection next year. Obamas woes include record low approval ratings, new signs of economic stagnation, anxiety over a stock market slump, fears of widening global financial turmoil and a Congress hostile to his job creating plans. He must also address perceptions that his political brand and presidential heft were badly weakened by a debt deal which extended the US government borrowing limit only at a price of painful political concessions. The pact dashed Obamas hopes of cutting the huge US deficit partly by raising taxes on the wealthiest Americans and by closing loopholes exploited by corporations measures fiercely resisted opposition Republicans. But he bowed to Republican demands, powered by the ultra-conservative Tea Party movement, for sweeping spending cuts in exchange for raising the debt ceiling through 2012 by up to $2.4 trillion. As he licks his wounds from a defeat which has outraged parts of his liberal Democratic base, Obama is seeking to pivot to tackling 9.2 percent unemployment, which may decide his fate in next years presidential poll. While Washington has been absorbed in this debate about deficits, people across the country are asking, What can we do to help the father looking for work? Obama said Tuesday. Weve got to do everything in our power to grow this economy and put America back to work, he said, in a coordinated message echoed by other Democratic leaders. Enough talk about the debt. We have to talk about jobs, said the top House of Representatives Democrat, Nancy Pelosi. The number one job that we have as a Congress must be creating jobs for the American people, added Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid. But Obamas debt defeat appears to make it even less likely that austerity minded Republican lawmakers will pass his plans for ambitious infrastructure spending to create jobs or sign off on other jobs initiatives he is touting. Throughout the crisis marred two-and-a-half years since Obama took office in the teeth of an economic meltdown, the White House has repeatedly tried to pivot back to the theme of job creation to little success. The president, who turns 50 on Thursday, got little comfort from a new round of data from payrolls firm ADP Wednesday, showing private sector jobs growth had slowed to 114,000 positions in July, from 145,000 in June. Other recent figures showing growth stalling have challenged Obamas campaign argument that he has stabilized an economy once in deep crisis. His former top economic adviser Lawrence Summers warned in a Financial Times comment piece Wednesday that there was a one-in-three chance of a return to recession if more was not done to boost growth and spur demand. Obama was scheduled to hold three fundraising events in Chicago on Wednesday night, and his tone will be closely watched as he seeks to frame the debt deal to his own political advantage and position himself ahead of 2012. He will also launch a rare presidential bus tour between August 15 and 17 through rust belt economies which are also swing states in elections, a White House official said on condition of anonymity. The trip will concentrate on job creation and hard hit rural economies, the official said. Republicans, scenting blood from a weakened president facing all kinds of political headwinds ahead of his 2012 reelection race, were already on the attack over the fundraising swing early Wednesday. The party mocked the presidents repeated vows to tackle the unemployment crisis and charged he could hardly wait for the debt storm clouds to settle before throwing political punches. Tonight, Obama Gets Back To The Job He Really Loves: Fundraiser-In-Chief, said a sarcastic Republican National Committee press release.