Fresh off the tumultuous debt ceiling debate, President Obama jumps back on the campaign trail today, heading to Chicago for a series of fundraisers tied to his 50th birthday.
Party plans had been tentative to fraught, because Obama's lavish bash was scheduled to take place on the day the government might have defaulted on its obligations (a scheduling note which raised a few eyebrows amid the debt limit uncertainty).
But now that the ceiling has been raised, it's off to celebrate.
Of course, a major birthday milestone doesn't mean Obama is getting a reprieve from politics. Ahead of the president's trip, GOP rival Mitt Romney's campaign released a web video slamming Obama's handling of the economy and noting high unemployment rates in Chicago. The spot features footage of Obama's 2008 election night speech in Chicago's Grant Park.
"Obama isn't working," the Romney ad declares.
You can watch the video below:
Obama, whose actual birthday is Thursday, will speak to supporters at a fundraising bash at Chicago's historic Aragon Ballroom tonight. He'll share the stage with singer Jennifer Hudson, jazz pioneer Herbie Hancock and the band OK Go.
More than 1,000 supporters are expected to attend the event, where the admission price is a donation ranging from $50 to $35,800. The proceeds will go to Obama's re-election bid and the Democratic National Committee. The high-dollar donors will score face time with the president at an intimate reception during the gala, where they will be allowed to pose for pictures with Obama before he heads back to Washington.
As The Ticket previously reported, it's the second year in a row that Obama has spent his birthday raising political cash. Last year, he spent his 49th in Chicago at a DNC fundraiser, where some donors contributed as much as $30,400 to rub elbows with the president.
In Chicago, Obama won't just be focused on big donors. His campaign is also using his birthday to try to stir up and motivate his political base. Ahead of the two fundraisers tonight, Obama will speak in a teleconference to what the DNC says will be 11,000 grassroots volunteer meetings around the country, organized around the president's birthday.