Obama heads to Chicago for first fundraisers for his 2012 campaign

LAS VEGAS - OCTOBER 22: U.S. President Barack Obama (L) and U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) appear at a campaign rally at Orr Middle School Park October 22, 2010 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Reid, who is seeking his fifth term, is in a tight race with Republican challenger Sharron Angle. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Barack Obama;Harry Reid Ethan Miller/Getty Images

President Barack Obama in Fairless Hills, Pa., Wednesday, April 6, 2011.
AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais
While pushing his plan to trim federal government deficits, President Obama seeks to ensure that deficits are a problem that won't burden his campaign for re-election or his political party.

In Chicago on Thursday night, Mr. Obama will have his hand out at three fundraising events to benefit the Obama Victory Fund, a joint account of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and of his campaign committee, Obama for America.

In the neighborhood of 2,500 supporters are expected at the three events and will pay between $100 and as much as $35,800 per person for the privilege.

Campaign and party officials bill the larger, five-figure contribution as the "maxout." With the signing of a single check, a big-money contributor can make the legal maximum contribution this year to the Obama campaign committee and the DNC.

It breaks down as follows:

  • $2,500 legal maximum for the Obama Campaign to use in the primaries;
  • $2,500 legal maximum for the Obama Campaign to use in the general election;
  • and $30,800 maximum individual contribution to a political party in a given year.

The fundraisers are being staged at two eateries in Mr. Obama's hometown: the N9NE Steakhouse and the MK Restaurant. It's topped by a fundraising rally of sorts at the Navy Pier on the lakefront.

Tonight's events are the first fundraisers Mr. Obama will have attended since filing documents with the Federal Election Commission on April 4th that make him an official candidate for president.

The first time around, the Obama campaign raised $774 million over two years - the most ever raised by a presidential campaign.

Political analysts suspect that in this cycle, the Obama campaign could be the first to raise a billion dollars on behalf of the president's re-election.

It's clear deficits are not an option in Mr. Obama's bid to serve a second term.

  • Mark Knoller On Twitter»

    Mark Knoller is a CBS News White House correspondent.

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