President Obama Monday evening collected a startling $45,000 per head at a Washington fundraiser to benefit his campaign, the Democratic National Committee, and Democratic state election efforts.
The press was barred from the event, a “roundtable discussion” at the luxurious Jefferson Hotel, but invited to cover the more egalitarian fundraiser later in the evening, which featured tickets starting at $100 and a performance by singer Sara Bareilles.
The White House has put on a big show of its small donation collections, last week displaying for all to see Obama having lunch with winners of a raffle in which participants needed to pony up only a $3 contribution to enter.
The White House Monday night used its usual excuse for keeping the press at bay – one also used by the Bush White House – saying that Obama was not making formal remarks at the event for high rollers. But the “openness” Obama White House had pledged to change business as usual. And it’s hard to imagine that Obama had no opening statement for the “roundtable” and just launched the proceedings with something like, “What’s on your mind?”
The White House did not release the names of the $45,000 ticket purchasers. It said the money would go to the Obama Victory Fund 2012, which is a joint project of the Obama campaign and the Democratic Democratic National Committee, as well as the Swing State Victory Fund.
The Swing State Victory Fund is a new operation set up by the campaign a few weeks ago that “will allow supporters who would like to contribute to individual state efforts to elect the president and Democrats up and down the ballot,” an Obama campaign official told The Hill in a statement last month.