Obama back to normal schedule - including fundraising

resident Barack Obama announces a new fuel efficiency standards for cars and light trucks, July 29, 2011, at the Washington Convention Center in Washington.
AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais

CHICAGO -- With the bruising battle over reducing the deficit and raising the debt limit behind him, for now, President Obama is back to a normal schedule - including fundraising.

He'll be home in Chicago this evening to attend two re-election campaign fund-raising events pegged to his birthday tomorrow.

There are worse ways to hit the big FIVE OH than by getting millions of dollars hurled at you to help you win a 2nd term as president.

Some 1,500 supporters paying $50 each will help make it a happy birthday for Mr. Obama at the Aragon Ballroom, an historic setting on Chicago's north side. Their contributions will also buy them performances by Jennifer Hudson, Herbie Hancock and the Chicago-founded rock group "OK Go."

The rally event is followed by a dinner for 100 well-heeled supporters able to contribute the annual legal maximum of $35,800 per person to the Obama Victory Fund. The Obama Campaign gets $5,000 -- split between primary and general election campaign treasuries. The remaining $30K goes to the Democratic National Committee.

Tonight's two events end more than a month's dry spell of fundraisers by Mr. Obama. He had some on his schedule, but scrubbed them on the grounds it would be unseemly to engage in partisan fund-raising while the U.S. appeared to be headed for the first time in its history toward a default of its financial debt.

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But during the first three months of his re-election drive, April - June 2011, the Obama Victory Fund took in an impressive $86.7 million. That is more than 4.5 times the $18 million raised during the same period by Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney and 20 times as much as the contributions received by the other major GOP hopefuls.

The Obama total is split between the campaign and the DNC: $47 million for Obama for America and $34 million for the DNC. The fundraising drive during that three month period included 31 campaign events by Mr. Obama.

Tonight's events bring Mr. Obama's political fundraising event total for the year to 37 events in 9 states plus Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia.

At the same point in his re-election campaign, President George W. Bush had done only 11 fundraisers but they raised and impressive $39.5 million.

It's still more than a year before the 2008 General Election Campaign and President Obama is unopposed in the primaries, but he's raising money aggressively for that stretch of the campaign.

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    Mark Knoller is a CBS News White House correspondent.