Tonight is the Obama campaign's "New York Night" of star-studded fundraisers, with a much-advertised event at actress Sarah Jessica Parker's home and a ritzy gala-concert at The Plaza Hotel featuring a performance by Mariah Carey.
Both President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama will attend. The Parker event, which is co-hosted by Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour, will raise an estimated $2 million for the Obama Victory Fund from ticket sales - plus millions more from an online grassroots sweepstakes, campaign officials said.
The contest was pushed heavily online, through social media and in the Obama campaign's first national TV ad that aired on MTV during its 2012 Movie Awards. One lucky supporter who gave as little as $3 won tickets to attend. The campaign will release the name of the winner today. They will join 50 wealthy donors who each paid $40,000 to attend the reception inside Parker's home.
The Obamas will spend close to three hours mingling at the event, according to their public schedule. Later, the first couple will headline a 250-person gala at the Plaza Hotel on Manhattan's East Side. Tickets were $10,000 per person, a campaign official said. Pop star Mariah Carey will entertain guests ahead of the president's arrival.
Obama tonight will net at least $4.5 million for his campaign, the Democratic National Committee and several state Democratic parties, according to figures provided by his campaign.
The president tops 166 re-election fundraisers for his campaign and the DNC with tonight's events - another new record; nearly double the amount of time spent fundraising by George W. Bush.