WASHINGTON -- Democratic White House hopeful Sen. Barack Obama is on a fund-raising binge. He's under self-imposed pressure to show he can deliver because he beat his rivals in collecting money for the primary in the first quarter of the year and wants to show he can keep up the pace.
In a rare look at the inner workings of a campaign, the Sun-Times has learned that Obama's fund-raising team has booked him in at least 23 events across the country between May 22 and June 29 -- the end of the second quarter.
Between the late afternoon and evening on June 8 in Chicago, Obama will sprint through four events in Lincoln Park at the homes of Vicki and Bruce Heyman and Alicia and Tim Mullen, Carnivale and Union Station for a "Generation O" bash. (The funder at Park West was switched to Carnivale after complaints from organized labor.)
It may be a long time before he personally appears at funders in Chicago again because so many of the high-end givers and bundlers (people who tap into their networks to get checks) have maxed out.
Meanwhile, Michelle Obama is stepping up her fund-raising appearances. On Saturday night, a group of Boston chefs host a reception for her in Cambridge while her husband will have spent the day across the country in northern California. The senator will appear at a Piedmont, Calif., home where renowned Berkeley chef Alice Waters is catering a lunch for people writing $2,300 checks. One of the hosts is Christopher Edley, an alumnus of the Clinton White House, where he was a consultant to President Bill Clinton's advisory board on race.
Obama's campaign, in an appeal to Generation X, has dubbed its outreach to young professionals "Generation O.''
Obama returns to Southern California June 11 for another round of Hollywood fund-raising. Sony pictures chief Michael Lynton and his wife are hosting a lunch for Obama at their Brentwood home on a day when Obama scoops up money at a Newport Beach breakfast hosted by engineering mogul Michael Chegni, later hitting Pasadena for two receptions.
In trying to expand its reach, the Obama campaign also is creating "Obama University" to train aspiring fund-raisers. On June 8 at the Fairmont Chicago, Obama U will brief attendees on fund-raising and other political techniques.
Clinton Chicago funder
Meanwhile, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton is not conceding Illinois to Obama. She is poised to name Ald. Danny Solis (25th) to a major Illinois leadership role (he is the brother of Clinton campaign manager Patti Doyle Solis) and she returns to Chicago on June 25 for a dinner at the Palmer House. Big name hosts of the Clinton event include Bill Brandt and his wife, Patrice; Yusef Jackson, a son of the Rev. Jesse Jackson; media mogul Fred Eychaner; pals Kevin O'Keefe and Betsy Ebeling; lawyers Robert Clifford, Joe Power Jr. and Ted Tetzlaff, former Clinton White House official Lynn Cutler and two major donors to President Clinton, Rashid Chaudary and Kamran Khan.