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Obama campaign using president's birthday to raise money

July 16, 2012|By Michael A. Memoli
  • President Obama campaigns in Cincinnati.
President Obama campaigns in Cincinnati. (Saul Loeb / AFP-Getty Images )

WASHINGTON -- President Obama has a simple wish for his upcoming birthday: some cash.

At least that is what First Lady Michelle Obama is asking for in an email to supporters Monday, in which she reveals she and her husband plan to celebrate his 51st birthday next month with "a little celebration" at their Chicago home.

Obama's birthday is Aug. 4, and his reelection campaign is using the occasion for another contest in which supporters can enter to win a chance to meet the president.

"We'd like to give grassroots supporters an opportunity to join in the fun. You guys deserve it, and I know Barack would personally love to see you there," the first lady writes in the email, asking for donations of as little as $3, "or whatever you can."

Past campaign contests have enticed Obama backers with a seat at fundraisers at the homes of actors George Clooney and Sarah Jessica Parker, or some face time with the president on his campaign bus. But never before have donors had a chance to visit with the president at his own home -- albeit one he hasn't seen much of for the past three-plus years.

Mrs. Obama goes on to write that the president's birthday "is one of the last opportunities he'll get for a little downtime before the final weeks of the election."

"That won't stop me from teasing him about all those new gray hairs he has -- though I think it's fair to say he's earned every one," she says.

Obama celebrated his 50th birthday with a star-studded fundraiser in his hometown in 2011. He last went home on Father’s Day weekend.

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