All you need to attend tonight's big fundraising event for the Obama Campaign, hosted by movie star George Clooney, is a check for $40,000 made out to the Obama Victory Fund.
It was originally thought the event would raise $6 million dollars for President Obama's re-election bid. But just yesterday, an Obama campaign official said $14 million was expected to be raised. That would make it the single biggest fund-raising event for Mr. Obama since he filed with the Federal Election Commission on April 4, 2011 as a candidate for re-election.
Actually, four individuals will be getting in without contributing $40,000. They are winners of the Obama Campaign fund-raising sweepstakes to win "An Evening with President Obama and George Clooney."
Anyone contributing as little as $3.00 to the Obama campaign over the last six weeks was eligible for the contest. Tonight's winners include Beth Topinka, a science teacher from Manalapan, New Jersey and Karen Blutcher, a mother of a five-year son from St. Augustine, Florida. Each of the two women gets to bring a guest as well. Their prize included airfare to Los Angeles and a hotel room for the night.
The Obama campaign has been using contests like this to stimulate modest contributions from grass roots supporters. Previous winners have won dinner with President and Mrs. Obama and a D.C. restaurant.
The Clooney event in Los Angeles caps a day of fund-raising for Mr. Obama that began in Seattle. The president attended a $17,900 per person event at a private home, and then was to appear before 1,800 supporters paying at least $1,000 each at the Paramount Theater in downtown. Dave Matthews was entertaining the crowd before Mr. Obama arrived.
Today's three events bring to 133 the number of fund-raisers Mr. Obama has done since filing for re-election 13 months ago. It's far more than any of his recent predecessors in their re-election bids.