President Barack Obama is ramping up his fundraising efforts for Democrats in the coming days, headlining events that will raise millions of dollars for the 2010 election contests, including a series of $30,400-a-person dinners and cheaper, less exclusive receptions.
And on Tuesday, I've learned, Obama meets in Washington with a small group of elite donors and fundraisers who were at the top of the big-money network for his 2008 presidential campaign.
"Whether it's through a first-of-its-kind, 50-state grassroots field effort in Organizing for America or the $50 million Vote2010 commitment, the president and the DNC under his leadership have made a full, and in many ways unprecedented, effort to helping Democrats win this fall," said Hari Sevugan, a Democratic National Committee spokesman. "There are many long-planned events that are part of that effort."
On the fundraising front:
Obama on Tuesday
will motorcade to Washington's Mandarin Oriental Hotel for a reunion with selected members of his 2008 presidential Finance Committee at an event for the Democratic National Committee. A person I talked to familiar with the event said the invitees included Obama 2008 presidential campaign bundlers who produced the most campaign cash. This type of dinner could well be a precursor to Obama organizing his re-election campaign next year.
A bundler is a person who uses his or her personal contacts to raise money for a candidate. Individuals are limited on what they can give to a federal candidate -- someone running for the White House, Senate or House -- so a bundler is valuable because there is no limit on how much that person can raise from other people for a campaign.
This event is not a formal fundraiser; major donors have been invited to the dinner to rally the troops.
A Democratic Party official explained, "The president will stop by a gathering of some of our strongest Democratic supporters and long-time friends." The president is not expected to deliver any remarks. The Obama White House usually allows a pool reporter to cover fundraising events only when the president speaks.
Obama on Wednesday
will head to Manhattan for two dinners to benefit the Democratic National Committee that could raise as much as $3 million. One dinner will be hosted at the home of Vogue Editor Anna Wintour. Before that, Obama hits the Grill Room at the Four Seasons Hotel. I'm told the two events should draw about 100 people; contribution, $30,400 per person.
As a practical matter, not everyone pays the full price at these intimate dinners, so the actual haul is sometimes less. Some mega-donors have already contributed earlier in the election cycle and will be "comped;" others are ripe prospects who get to go because there is a realistic possibility they will open their checkbooks at a later date.
Since Obama will be in New York on Wednesday, he will also tape ABC's "The View," to be broadcast on Thursday.
On Aug. 2, Obama
will hit Atlanta for a DNC fundraising lunch at the Hyatt, with a sliding price tag between $1,000 and $30,400. Obama will also speak at the Disabled American Veterans convention in Atlanta that day.
On Aug. 5, Obama
will travel to Chicago -- where he was last at home over Memorial Day weekend -- for three fundraisers. He will also tour a Ford plant on the city's South Side.
Obama is the draw at a fundraiser for Illinois Democratic Senate candidate Alexi Giannoulias at the Palmer House Hotel; tickets range from $1,000 to $2,400 for VIP seating at the reception.
Later, Obama heads to the home of developer Neil Bluhm, a member of the Obama Presidential Campaign Finance Committee -- for a DNC dinner for 50 people, at $30,400 per person. Chicago's Cultural Center downtown is the venue for a $250-a-ticket reception, also for the DNC.
On Aug. 9, Obama
travels to Texas for fundraisers. One of them is at the Four Seasons in Austin, with a sliding ticket prices from $5,000 to $30,400, to benefit the DNC. Obama also swings by Dallas for an event to bolster the war chest of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.
Click here to follow Lynn Sweet on Twitter