Obama 50th birthday bash set for August 3
Updated 7:23 p.m. Eastern Time
President Obama is slated to celebrate his 50th birthday with a major fundraiser at Chicago's historic Aragon Ballroom on August 3. A campaign official told CBS News that the campaign is moving forward with the event, though the White House says it could be cancelled if a deal is not reached on raising the debt limit by the August 2 deadline.
As of now, however, the event is "not on hold," the official told CBS News.
Tickets to the fundraiser, slated to take the day before the president's August 4 birthday, are reportedly going for between $50 each to $35,800 for a pair. According to the Chicago Sun-Times, it will feature a star-studded VIP "birthday concert" -- possibly featuring Jennifer Hudson -- as well as dinner with the president.
The campaign official disputed that characterization, however, saying the event will feature a hometown crowd and local performers and will be "no different then any other fundraiser."
According to the Sun-Times, the event is scheduled to be "multi-tiered": There will be a 4 p.m. concert for which $50 tickets are available but limited; for $1,000, a donor gets "premium" seating with a "hosted bar," and for $10,000 contributors get "preferred seating" to the concert, along with souvenir photos with the president. There are also General Admission tickets for $200, according to the Sun-Times.
Assuming the event goes forward, Mr. Obama will not be the first sitting president to celebrate his 50th with a fundraiser: in 1996, then-President Bill Clinton held a gala at New York's Radio City Musical Hall that raked in $10 million for the Democratic National Committee. (Clinton's birthday cake for the event bore the shape of an enormous American flag, and was so big that daughter Chelsea had to help him blow out the candles.)
The Obama campaign has already demonstrated its 2012 fundraising capabilities: Earlier this week, the president's re-election campaign announced earning $86 million from April to June alone - more money than any presidential candidate has ever brought in during that timeframe. Mitt Romney, the putative Republican frontrunner, brought in $18.5 million during the same period.
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