President Obama will be joined by Bill Clinton at a fundraising reception and dinner tonight. It is the first time the former occupant of the White House has openly joined the current commander in chief on the campaign trail.
The event is being hosted at the McLean, Va., home of Terry McAuliffe, a former chairman of the Democratic National Committee and personal friend of the Clinton family.
Reflecting a fundraising arms race among the candidates, price tags for the venue are hefty. Five hundred supporters are expected to attend the reception, with tickets starting at $1,000 a person. The Obama campaign says 80 will be present for the banquet, with individual donations of $20,000 donation necessary for that event
McAuliffe tells ABC News the evening will bring in over $3 million combined.
Proceeds will be divided among Obama reelection committees, the Democratic National Committee, and a number of state Democratic parties. The president begins his first campaign rallies next weekend, although critics contend recent official travel amounts to the same thing.
Clinton’s relationship with the president has evolved from the 2008 campaign, in which then-Senator Obama was pitted in a tense battle against Hillary Clinton in the primaries. Since then, Obama’s former rival has become his Secretary of State; and her husband has become one of Obama’s most influential allies, vocalizing a past leader’s perspective on the current administration.
Meanwhile the campaign relies on Clinton to remind voters of the blooming economy of the last Democratic presidency.
Tonight will be the first of three joint fundraising stops between the presidents.
Their association is a contrast from President George W. Bush, who has remained largely out of politics since leaving office and has refused to openly support a Republican candidate at this point in the race. Mitt Romney’s campaign itself is still discussing what role the former party leader could play in 2012.
However, last month the older Bush, George H.W., officially endorsed the former governor.
The Associated Press contributed to this blog, which was updated at 7:06 PM.