Other than catching a glimpse of his motorcade, the public is unlikely to see President Obama during a whirlwind trip today to one of the nation’s best sources of campaign cash: lower Fairfield County.
Two days after a poll found he is a “drag” on Democratic candidates in Connecticut, Obama is coming to the state raise money for U.S. Senate candidate Richard Blumenthal and the Democratic National Committee.
No public rallies are scheduled and press access is limited, but the White House is allowing a pooled video feed that could provide footage of Obama and Blumenthal before the end of local 6 p.m. newscasts.
Air Force One is scheduled to land at JFK in New York at 5:15 p.m. and depart at 9:40 p.m. In between, Obama will attend big-ticket fundraisers at the Marriott in downtown Stamford and a gated enclave in Greenwich.
The doors open at 3:45 p.m. at the Stamford event – and Tea Party protesters are planning a sidewalk demonstration at 3:30 p.m. – but the president is not expected on stage until 6:15 p.m.
Tickets start at $1,000. A $12,400 donation – with $2,400 to Blumenthal’s campaign and $10,000 to the state party’s Senate Victory Fund — buys a photo with the president.
From Stamford, Obama will travel south by motorcade to nearby Greenwich for a 7:45 p.m. dinner at the home of real-estate investor Richard Richman and his wife, Ellen Schapps Richman. One neighbor who is not expected on the guest list: Linda McMahon, the GOP nominee.
A seat at the Richman’s table costs $30,000, with proceeds going to the Democratic National Committee.
Obama has no official business on this trip, so the Blumenthal campaign and DNC will have to offset some of the president’s travel costs, a damper on the net proceeds of the two events.
The White House had no estimates of the costs to the campaign and party.
Two years ago, President George W. Bush staged a public event in Hartford to publicize “malaria awareness” on the same day he hosted a fundraiser for a congressional candidate, David Cappiello, at the Litchfield County estate of Henry Kissinger.
By doing so, the government shared the cost of the trip.