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Sweet column: Obama hits Harlem Thursday; first time in presidential run. Live at the Apollo. UPDATED.

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HIGHLAND PARK, ILL.—White House hopeful Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) headlines the famed Apollo Theater in Harlem Thursday for a fund-raiser four blocks west of President Clinton’s foundation offices in a community with one of the nation’s largest African American populations.

Conceding no ground to chief rival Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.), Obama has a series of New York fund-raising events on Thursday, with the most political drama playing out potentially at the 1,500-seat Apollo, “Where the stars are born and legends are made.” This will be Obama’s first Harlem visit in his presidential run.

UPDATE 7 p.m. Chicago time Copy of Apollo invite at the end of this post.

Obama has been wooing New York’s Democratic elite before and since declaring for president last February. New York City—especially Manhattan—is one of the biggest sources of Democratic cash in the nation. The Obama campaign has a fund-raising office on the fifth floor at 500 Park Ave. Michelle Obama hosted a womens event in Harlem last June.

The campaign is calling the low-dollar $50-per-person funder at the theater where Bessie Smith and Billie Holiday once performed “A Night at the Apollo.”

The divisions on the Apollo board may mirror divisions in the wealthy African-American community over Obama and Clinton.

One of the members of the Apollo Theater Foundation board, Nadja Fidelia, a managing director of Lehman Brothers, is an Obama bundler, raising between $50,000 and $100,000 for Obama. Other board members are in the Clinton camp, including entertainer Quincy Jones and former New York comptroller H. Carl McCall.

Harlem is also the home of the William J. Clinton Foundation, the base of operations for the former president who has been on the stump for his wife.

Harlem also plays an important role in Hillary Clinton’s political biography. Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.), the congressman whose district includes Harlem, was one of the first to push in public for Clinton, while first lady, to consider running for the Senate from New York.

Earlier this month, on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” host Tim Russert asked Obama about an interview where Rangel said "I don't think on-the-job training is going to be a great asset for the next president of the United States." Question: "That's what we would have to have with Obama?" Rangel: "Of course."

Obama replied, “Well, look, the only real training for the presidency is the presidency.”

Iowa and New Hampshire host the first two Democrat presidential contests on Jan. 3 and Jan. 8 and the African-American vote is very small in these states. In contrast, in the South Carolina primary, at the end of January, African-American Democrats could make-up the majority of primary voters.

The Obama campaign will often acknowledge low dollar fund-raisers, such as the Apollo event; it is secretive about high end fund-raising. On Thursday morning, Obama will collect checks ranging from $1,000 to $2,300 from people attending a 9 a.m. fund-raising breakfast at the Upper West Side home of Susan Waterfall of the investment firm Mougens Waterfall Vintiaois & Co. Obama has other fund-raisers throughout the day.

What's not known is whether Obama will use the Apollo stage to show off his own set of pipes. He's not done much singing in public but he has a voice; he sang at the 2006 Gridiron dinner.

this is a cut and paste of the invite for the Apollo event....


State Senator Eric Adams
Della Britton Baeza &
Mario Baeza
State Assemblyman Michael Benjamin
Judy Byrd Blaylock &
Ron Blaylock
Len Burnett
State Assemblyman Karim Camara
John W. Carr
Cordell Cleare
Frank Cooper
Aubria Corbitt & Keith Walton
Wendy Credle
Deborah Darrell
Peggy Cooper Davis &
Gordon Davis
Alice Dear
Angela Dews
Eugene J. Duffy
Nadja Fidelia
Councilwoman Helen Diane Foster
Juny Francois
Darrell Gay
John Gilstrap
Earl Graves
Tiffany Hall
State Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries
Tamara Hood
Jeh Johnson
Susan & Derek Johnson
Joyce S. Johnson

Tracey Kemble & Brian Mathis
Tonya Lewis Lee
Keith Lilly
Shola Lynch &Vincent Morgan
Karol Mason
Rhonda Medina
Cassandra & Lloyd Metz
Virginia Montague
Mike Muse
State Senator Kevin Parker
State Senator Bill Perkins &
Pam Perkins
Irwin Persaud
Michael Persaud
John Rhea

Sylvia Rhone
Marilyn & David W. Rivkin
State Senator John Sampson
Councilman James Sanders
Beatrice Sibblies
Fred Terrell
Maxim Thorne
Tamara Tunie
Gregory Generet
Councilman Al Vann
Naima Walker Fierce
Nadja Webb Cogsville
Michael Washington
Lana Woods
Brett Wright

Cordially invite you to join them for

A Night at the

Senator Barack Obama
Benefiting Obama for America

Thursday, November 29, 2007
Doors open at 7:30pm

At the Apollo Theatre
253 W. 125th Street, New York, NY
Tickets: $50 per person

R.S.V.P. information attached. For more information please contact:
Vinson Cunningham at (212) 763-4853 or

Obama for America does not accept contributions from currently registered federal lobbyists, registered foreign agents, political action committees, or minors under the age of 16. Contributions or gifts to Obama for America are not tax deductible. Federal law prohibits the acceptance of corporate contributions.

Paid for by Obama for America.

Obama at the Apollo ~ 11.29.07

***Please include this page with your contribution***
Yes, I would like 1 ticket at $50 per person.
Yes, I would like _______ tickets at $50 per person. My Guests include:

1. __________________________
2. __________________________
3. __________________________
4. __________________________
5. __________________________
6. __________________________

I’m not able to attend but would like to show my support for Sen. Obama by
contributing $_____.
Please make checks payable to:
Obama for America
505 Park Avenue, 5th Floor
New York, NY, 10022
Contribute now at
Fax your credit card information to: (646) 867-1735
Please bill my personal credit card:  Visa  MasterCard  AMEX  Discover
Amount: $_______________
Maximum contribution $4,600 per person*

Card Number: _______________________________________Exp: ___________________
Name as it appears on the card: _________________________________________________
Signature: __________________________________________________________________
By signing above, you authorize us to charge your card in the amount indicated. You also affirm that your contribution is
made from personal funds and not from funds otherwise prohibited by law.
Obama for America does not accept contributions from currently registered federal lobbyists, registered foreign agents,
political action committees, or minors under the age of 16.
Federal law requires us to use our best efforts to collect and report the name, mailing address, occupation and employer of individuals
whose contributions exceed $200 in an election cycle.
First & Last Name: __________________________________________________________ Referred By: _______________________________________________________________
Address: __________________________________________________________________ City/State/Zip: _____________________________________________________________
Employer: _____________________________ Occupation:__________________________
Work Phone:____________________________Work Fax: ___________________________
Home Phone:___________________________ Email: ______________________________
*An individual may contribute a maximum of $2,300 per election (the primary and general are separate elections). By submitting your contribution,
you agree that the first $2,300 is designated for the primary, and any additional amount up to $2,300 is designated for the general election.
Contributions or gifts to Obama for America are not tax deductible. Federal law prohibits the acceptance of corporate contributions.

Paid for by Obama for America.

1 Comment

Obama Baracks the Apollo!
I bet he won't get the hook! and the people in the audience will treat him as a legend!

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on November 26, 2007 12:15 AM.

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