Spike Lee hosts Obama fundraiser tonight

Director Spike Lee, left, and comedian/actor Chris Rock sit beside each other as they watch the New York Knicks face the Boston Celtics at Madison Square Garden in New York, Sunday, Dec. 25, 2011.
Kathy Willens
It'll be a three million dollar night in New York for President Obama as he makes a 5 and a half hour visit to the Big Apple to attend four fund-raising events for his re-election campaign.

Film Director Spike Lee is hosting one of the four events at his home. About 45 supporters will each pay $35,800 to attend. That amount includes the legal maximum of $2,500 for the Obama Campaign's primary and general election drives and $30,800 for the Democratic National Committee, the most an individual can legally contribute to the national party.

The first two events of the evening are being staged at Daniel, a posh French Restaurant on Manhattan's Upper East Side. Its six-course tasting menu runs $175. But supporters of the president's re-election will pay either $5,000 or $15,000 to attend one of the two events.

The round of campaign money events climaxes at the Apollo Theater, where some 1,400 Obama supporters will pay from $44 to $200 each to help him win a second term. The event includes performance by soul & gospel legend Al Green and R&B Grammy winner India Arie.

It's the first time Mr. Obama has done four fundraisers in a single evening. And it's part of the reason why he has raised far more money than any of the Republicans seeking to win his job.

The Obama campaign announced last week that it raised $68 million in the last three months of 2011, far more than any of the president's Republican rivals. Combined with re-election funds raised by the Democratic National Committee, it adds up to a warchest of more than $200 million so far.

GOP rival Mitt Romney took in $24 million during the same 4th quarter period, Ron Paul $13 million and Newt Gingrich $9 million.

Tonight's fundraisers bring to 77 the number of campaign money events Mr. Obama has done for his re-election campaign since filing with the Federal Election Commission last April as a candidate for another term.

In his 2008 bid for the White House, Candidate Obama raised three quarters of a billion dollars - an amount that proved impossible for his Republican rival John McCain to overcome.

  • Mark Knoller On Twitter»

    Mark Knoller is a CBS News White House correspondent.


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