Obama Dining With Supporters for $35,800 a Plate

Posted: Mar 19, 2012 3:22 PM

This afternoon in Washington D.C. President Obama is lunching with his wife and his most prominent supporters at the W Hotel for $35,800 a plate. They are the 1 percent.

The president this afternoon will host a private, roundtable discussion with 20 of his wealthiest supporters at the W Hotel in Washington, D.C.  Tickets to the event – Obama’s 109th of the election – were $35,800 apiece, a campaign official said.

Meanwhile, Michelle Obama will travel to New York City to host a colorful duo of fundraisers that include a bowling party at Chelsea Piers and cocktails with Hollywood stars.

In Michelle Obama's case, a picture is worth $5,000:

About 90 donors are expected for the reception, the campaign said, with tickets starting at $5,000 for a photo with Obama and a cocktail, $25,000 to mingle with her.

Although President Obama has been heavily campaigning and attending campaign fundraisers, his fundraising totals aren't piling up as quickly as expected. At this time in his 2008 campagin, Obama had raised significantly more money.

President Obama has many names, but this week, as he reaches 100 donor events since announcing for reelection last April, he’s the “fundraiser-in-chief.”

According to several counts, the Big 100 will come Thursday when he does four fundraisers enroute to collecting and spending $750 million to $1 billion for his reelection. So far since April 2011, he has raised an estimated $82 million to $100 million at those events.

Obama may be working fundraisers as hard as former President Bill Clinton, but the numbers aren’t fantastic. In January, he didn’t raise as much as he did in 2008, with contributions to Obama and the Democratic National Committee down 30 percent, according to a Boston Globe analysis. After those numbers came out, Obama flip-flopped and pushed donors to give to his “super PAC.”

At this point in his first term, President Bush had raised more money for re-election than Obama.

Obama lags behind Republican front-runner Mitt Romney in finding donors willing to give $2,000 or more — a surprising development for a sitting president, and one that could signal more worrisome financial problems heading into the general election. At this point in the last election cycle, Obama had received such large donations from more than 23,000 supporters, more than double the 11,000 who have given him that much this time. President George W. Bush had more than four times that number of big donations at this point in his reelection.