January 11th, 2012
08:54 PM ET
President Obama focused on his 2012 campaign in earnest Wednesday when he returned to his hometown of Chicago to rally supporters at his re-election headquarters and raise some hefty campaign cash.
Not long after arriving in the Windy City, the president stopped by his national campaign headquarters to thank workers and supporters. It was the president’s first visit to the offices of Obama for America. There he addressed a few hundred campaign staffers encouraging them to run “a campaign that embodies the values we're fighting for.”
His second stop: a fundraiser at the University of Illinois Chicago (UIC). President Obama greeted a group of about 800 supporters on the campus. During his remarks Mr. Obama made a point of thanking his outgoing chief of staff Bill Daley, who accompanied him to Chicago, for his service.
But the president did take a moment to acknowledge his administration's struggles to the room full of grassroots supporters,"It's been a tough three years," he said. "I warned you it was going to take time."
The crowd at the Gen 44 sponsored event, which bills itself as the under-40 working professional arm of the Obama campaign, was entertained by Grammy-nominated R&B soul musician Janelle Monáe who has played at the White House at the Obamas' invitation. Most attendees paid from $44 to $100 each for tickets. Some VIP $1000 tickets were also sold.
Tonight's other two fundraisers are at private residences for big spending donors only. According to an Obama campaign official, tickets will start at $7500 per person at one; the other, the big ticket event of the night, will cost supporters $35,800 per person to mingle with the commander-in-chief.
All in all, the president's campaign war chest will certainly grow this evening - by somewhere in the neighborhood of two million dollars.