CHARLOTTE, N.C.-- Major Democratic donors will experience a very different convention than rank-and-file delegates who will fill the Time Warner Cable arena on Tuesday and Wednesday night and the Bank of America stadium on Thursday. Besides getting credentials to the sessions they also have access to the best hotels and VIP finance lounges -- and finance staff who will provide concierge-type services for them.
While VIPs are discouraged from using limo services -- downtown will be crowded with lots of security -- there will be an Obama Victory Fund "Finance Fun Bus."
The best VIP perks go to those who donated at least $75,800 to the joint Obama campaign/Democratic National Committee fund-raising committee with more perks going to donors who have a track record of giving at least $122,400 from Feb., 2009 to June 1 or who raised $350,000 from Jan. 1, 2011 through June 1.
For those who raised between $500,000 to $1 million between Jan. 1, 2011 and June 1 for the committee the Chicago Sun-Times has learned the perk package includes:
■ A Monday "podium preview for a 'sneakpeak'" of the convention hall followed by a dessert reception at the FrontCourt club, a "fine-dining" restaurant at the arena.
"Attendees will have the opportunity to stand behind the official podium of the Democratic National Convention," according to a perk book published for the Obama Victory Fund "finance guest."
■ On Tuesday all the major donors and fund-raisers are invited to an "inside track" briefing with major Obama team honchos.
■ Former President Bill Clinton keynotes Wednesday night and the VIPS are invited to an after party with Clinton running from 11 p.m. to 2 p.m.
■ On Thursday, Mrs. Obama plus Obama senior staff preside over a 10 a.m. breakfast briefing at the Westin Hotel, one of the most exclusive events.
After Obama and Vice President Joe Biden accept the nomination, Biden will headline the "Victory Lane" after party at the NASCAR Hall of Fame.