WASHINGTON--Obama 2012 campaign manager Jim Messina hits Chicago on Wednesday for meetings with major, mega Democratic donors, as the re-election drive starts to re-assemble the finance team that made Barack Obama's 2008 presidential bid viable.
Obama's 2012 re-election campaign will be based in Chicago and will formally kick-off in March or April.
I have exclusive details of Messina's Chicago schedule:
*Media mogul and mega donor Fred Eychaner will be meeting with Messina. Last September, Obama handed Eychaner a plum appointment, making him a trustee
of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
Obama at that same time also tapped business mogul Penny Pritzker for the same board Pritzker was the Finance Chair for Obama's 2008 campaign. She told me through a spokesman she will not be the 2012 finance chair, instead taking an "advisory" role in the re-elect.
*Neil Bluhm, a member of the 2008 Obama National Finance Committee, will host Messina meetings.
*Messina will also huddle with Democratic donor Laura Ricketts--one of the Chicago Cubs owners.
The next day, Messina heads to New York to start wooing big donors there. He also travels to Los Angeles and San Francisco on this first pre-official launch swing.
Job one, even before headquarter space is rented: get the donors jazzed up about raising almost $1 billion for 2012.