Obama holds Chicago fundraiser to pay off 2012 campaign debt


via WashingtonTimes: On the same day that President Obama announced he was taking taxpayers on a two-year-long “debt holiday” as part of a new budget deal that will raise the national debt past $20 trillion, the president flew to Chicago to take care of some of his own campaign debt.

Mr. Obama attended a Democratic Party fundraising dinner Tuesday night at the posh Pump Room restaurant, where about 80 donors paid $33,400 apiece. The first $2,500 of each contribution will go to Obama for America — the president’s 2012 campaign committee — to pay off debt from his successful re-election bis.

Three years after the election, Mr. Obama’s committee is still about $2.4 million in debt, most of which — about $1.7 million — being owed to the law firm of Perkins Coie.


As of last month, the Obama campaign also owed about $274,000 to Hargrove Inc., an events firm; $198,000 to Blue State Digital; $104,500 to David Binder Research; and $40,000 to the firm of David Axelrod, formerly one of his top advisers and strategists.

Under an agreement reached last month, the Democratic National Committee and Obama for America created a joint-fundraising committee called the Democratic Hope Fund, which will allow the DNC to help pay off the Obama campaign debt.

In return, OFA gave the DNC ownership of its vaunted email list.

The president agreed as part of the deal to host extra fundraisers to pay off the debt and raise money for the DNC for 2016.

Politico reported last month that Mr. Obama’s campaign debts have extended much longer into his second term than his predecessors. George W. Bush’s campaign paid off almost all of its debt within months of his re-election in 2004, and Bill Clinton’s reelection campaign owed only $219,336 left in debt at the same point in his second term.

The event Tuesday night was an “intimate dinner” being hosted by Robbie Robinson, managing director of BDT & Co., and his wife, D’Rita, founder and CEO of Chatty Guest.

A pool reporter traveling with the president said the Pump Room’s chef, Jean-Georges Vongerichten, “claims to have invented the molten chocolate cake.”

The president also attended a fundraiser for Democratic Senate candidates in Chicago on Tuesday. On the way between fundraisers, his motorcade passed the Trump International Hotel and Tower.

Mr. Obama also is scheduled to take in a basketball game Tuesday night — the Chicago Bulls host LeBron James and the defending Eastern Conference champion Cleveland Cavaliers on the NBA’s opening night. Mr. Obama will spend a night in his own bed at his home in the city.

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