President Obama personally kicks off his re-election effort with a set of events in his home town of Chicago Thursday, and he's lined up A-list talent to help him get things started.
According to a Democratic source, Bulls point guard Derrick Rose, All-Pro Pittsburgh Steeler and University of Illinois alum Rashard Mendenhall, and none other than Mr. Cub himself, Ernie Banks, will be on hand for the biggest of the three fundraisers, a low-dollar event targeting Obama's younger supporters at the city's Navy Pier. Grammy Award-winner Colbie Caillat will perform.
That event is expected to draw about 2,000 people, with tickets starting at $100 each. The president will also court donors at smaller events at Nine and MK restaurants. All proceeds go to the Obama Victory Fund.
Obama's former chief of staff and Chicago's mayor-elect, Rahm Emanuel, will also be on hand.
The president will spend the night in Chicago, and return to Washington Friday.
Similar campaign kickoffs are expected in California and New York in the coming weeks.
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