Chicago Sun-Times
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Bon Jovi, Meryl Streep, Al Gore, Yo Yo Ma, Caroline Kennedy: Big name headliners, shrewd packaging lure major Obama donors

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BARTLETT, N.H. -- Under pressure to raise millions of dollars in the coming weeks, Barack Obama's campaign is raising the bar for entree into his elite fund-raising world while heavily scheduling big political names and celebrities to help him raise campaign cash fast.

Membership on Obama's privileged National Finance Committee was once open to those who raised a minimum of $250,000; now it's $300,000 for entree. The "asks" for joint Obama/Democratic National Committee high roller events are getting higher.

On Wednesday in Los Angeles, VIP receptions with Michelle Obama went for $25,000. On Friday in New Jersey, rocker Jon Bon Jovi and his wife Dorothea hosted a dinner where the tab was $30,800 a person. On Sunday, classical music greats Leon Fleisher, Yo Yo Ma and Itzhak Perlman perform at a Maryland fund-raiser for Obama.

On Sept. 20 in Connecticut, brunch with Caroline Kennedy and Meryl Streep is a "tiered" event, with tickets from $10,000 down to $1,000. Kennedy, who co-chaired Obama's vice presidential task force, is making a series of fund-raising stops for Obama in the coming weeks. Former Vice President Al Gore and Paul Tewes, Obama's man at the Democratic National Committee, will headline a Sept. 25, $28,500 a person event in London.

Meanwhile, Illinois high-end fund-raisers have been asked to raise at least $1 million a week for the next eight weeks as the November election looms and early voting starts in many states in October. Vice presidential contender Joe Biden is in Chicago for a $5,000-per-person dinner Tuesday. Hillary Rodham Clinton hits Chicago next Sunday in a unity event overseen by Penny Pritzker, Obama's National Finance Chair and her brother, J.B. Pritzker, who advised Clinton in her presidential bid.

In order to squeeze money out of donors, Obama's marketeers have created different kinds of events for niche contributors, including packaging together Obama foreign policy advisers Susan Rice, Richard Danzig and Greg Craig for briefings.

An Obama "policy lecture series" -- a way to stroke donors is to make them feel they are real insiders -- features Obama top adviser Valerie Jarrett on Monday in New York. She will give what is billed as an "insider's view" of the campaign. The series is $10,000; one event goes for $2,500.

There is a "political and policy briefing and dinner with campaign leadership" on Sept. 10 in Chicago featuring the Obama All-Stars for those who raise or donate $10,000: campaign manager David Plouffe, senior adviser Peter Rouse, economic adviser Jason Furman, national field director Jon Carson, chief of staff Jim Messina, national finance director Julianna Smoot and economic adviser Austan Goolsbee.

Obama's success with small donors continues. His advisers said he raised $10 million online in the day last week between Sarah Palin's speech and John McCain's keynote at the GOP convention.

And despite McCain's taking some $84 million in public funding for his general election campaign, he still can headline events for the Republican National Committee.

9 Comments

Ahhhh Obama idols.

He wants to be a Star Just like them.

Plus he is sucking up to the wealthy for their money, and Free advertisement.

He will use anyone for money, from the poorest to the wealthiest.

We know he will not bite the wealthy hands who feed him. He will just screw the bitter ones.

That is the Obama way.

So they've got both Al Gores on board, huh. Shrewd indeed.

I am thinking that Obmama should bring Dennis Hof of the Bunny Ranch on board as an advisor.

Why is big media blind deaf & dumb when it comes to the Palin love affair with Brad Hanson? It seems like if the shoe was on the other foot, or if one of Obama's kids boyfriends had My Space posts boasting of stereotypical typecast trash talk, the election would be over. But big media ignores these stories..is it because big oil is advertising so much lately, and Palin is so Drill Baby Drill!

IT'S WINNING TIME!
BARACK OBAMA AND JOE BIDEN ARE THE ONLY CHOICE
TO JUMP START THE ECONOMY!
WE DON'T NEED A THIRD TERM OF GEORGE BUSH, MCCAIN
SHOULDN'T HAVE VOTED 90% OF THE TIME FOR BUSH
IN THE SENATE!
AND WE CERTAINLY DON'T NEED AN UNKNOWN VP
SELECTION TO SPEAK FOR THE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE
BECAUSE HE IS TO CLOSE TO THE CURRENT PRESIDENT!
THE ONLY THING PALIN RESEMBLES TO HILLARY CLINTON
IS A CHROMOSOME!

What a shame that so many millions upon millions upon millions of dollars on both sides are spent
trying to elect people that are going to help the economy, raise up the poor, help aids children in Africa, etc., etc.. What a total waste of probably close to $1 billion dollars! Yet sadly how many celebrities, news reporters, candidates scream about that. Sad isn't it?

Barack Obama continues to show his executive organization and management skills beginning in the early days of the primary through to today's announcement on the record making private sector fund raising plans of the campaign. This is change we can believe in!

I note intense desperation and complete departure from reality in the lib postings. The "she has no experience to be VP" rantings are hollow in the face of their light weight, little if any real experience, most liberal ever, democrat candidate for president. Their attack on the Palin family falls short with a large number of their own constituency plopping out,in huge numbers, illegitimate, drug dependent, dropout bound, welfare supported, no father in sight, neighborhood destroying, kids. The "spend the money to help Africa and help the poor" bunch overlooks the huge amounts of money that spirals down the drain every year in failed programs to bail out AIDS infested Africa or those so lazy that they failed in the land of opportunity, persistent poor. And the liberal clueless who say "they'll jump start the economy" while failing to account for the crippling taxes they propose and their "we will not drill" bank breaking, economy sinking philosophy. Not to worry, Obama has no chance as the polls are now showing an enormous McCain/Palin surge.

This guy has no business running for president.

Hilrious all your one side, brain washed articles.

Maybe Barry can chage his under wear after he loses in November. Big time. What exactly is he goin gto change - because he has never said wha the will change.

Can tell ONE qualification that makes him qualifed - other than age he has none - VERY SCARY in these times.

"The credentials-challenged Sarah Palin knocked her speech out of the arena." - CAN you PLEASE TELL me why NObama's credential are better?

Barry Obama has NEVER been a Senator. He's been running for President. Sarah Palin has had 24,000 people working under her. She has MORE experience than Barry NObama. Nobama has done a HUGE dis-service to the Illinois people - were sick of Obama, Blago, Madigan, Madigan, Daley, Jackson etc.

ALL The Slum Times does is support NObama.
Lets be quite clear - NObama is part of the Chicago political machine, given his Senate seat, given his nomination - never won the primary - they forced clinton out, an admited coke head - read his book, Bill Ayers buddy, Reverened Wrights buddy, Tony Rezkos buddy, A slimmy corporate lawyer.

Then he picks totall, 100% Washington insider Joe Biden. Look! Grumpy Old man no one likes!!!!!!

The SunTimes Emperor has no clothes!!!!

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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 September 6, 2008 11:08 AM.

Michelle Obama on cover of More; headlined Beverly Hills fund raiser last Wednesday was the previous entry in this blog.

When it comes to defending Palin's right to run for vice president, where are the feminists? is the next entry in this blog.

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