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Obama heads off to $31,000-per-plate fundraiser


via Washington Post:

Less than 24 hours after delivering a major policy address on Libya, President Obama will shift to another role of a modern president: fundraiser-in-chief.

Obama will spend Tuesday night at two different fundraising events in Harlem. The first, at 6 p.m, is billed as a “small dinner and discussion,” with Obama at Red Rooster, a new restaurant run by Marcus Samuelsson, a chef who cooked at the state dinner Obama hosted for the prime minister of India in 2009. (Check out the restaurant’s menu.)

About 50 guests are expected, according to sources, and they will have donated to the Democratic National Committee $30,800, the yearly maximum. An hour later, Obama will attend a “thank you reception” for a larger group of past donors at the Studio Museum, an art center in Harlem. The reception is not a fundraiser, but the president is likely to encourage these donors to give when he ramps up his reelection effort.

Harlem is historically known as a center of black culture both in New York and nationally, but the events are not aimed principally at African Americans but major donors overall. Longtime Democratic donors say Obama needs to woo the big money elite of his party, some of whom have felt annoyed by his occasional bashing of big business as well as Obama’s limited outreach to donors over the past two years.

Obama held similar events in Washington this month, and the man he has tapped to be his campaign manager, Jim Messina, has been meeting Democratic donors across the country.

“It’s a different climate” than in 2008, said one longtime Democratic party donor. “The donor community has been disengaged from the White House.”

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