New grandmother and former secretary of state Hillary Rodham Clinton has decided to stay home in New York with daughter Chelsea today, skipping a planned high-dollar fundraiser for Democratic Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown.
Instead, former President Bill Clinton will headline the event in her place.
"I am very grateful to President Clinton for changing his schedule to travel to Maryland and attend our event this evening," Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown said in a statement. "I appreciate and respect Secretary Clinton's decision to stay and spend time with her daughter and new granddaughter, Charlotte. I appreciate both of the Clintons' commitment to the Brown-Ulman campaign."
This will be the second fundraiser Bill Clinton has attended for Brown. The last one in May raised nearly $1 million for the Democrat's bid. Campaign organizers expected tonight's event at a wooded, 2.8-acre private home in Potomac to raise even more.
The Clintons curtailed their busy election season schedules after Charlotte was born Friday. Bill Clinton has long been scheduled to headline a fundraiser in North Carolina today for the re-election of U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan, a first-term Democrat.
This morning, Clinton added a stop in Maryland to his schedule accommodate the Brown fundraiser, Brown's campaign said.
Hillary Clinton's appearance was supposed to garner what might be the single biggest fundraiser for Brown. Tickets for the 5 p.m. cost in the wealthy Washington suburbs cost $4,000 each — even more for VIP tickets, according to an event invitation.
Brown campaign manager Justin Schall said as many as 500 people might attend and the campaign expects to raise more than $1 million — a sum greater than that garnered during a May fundraiser for Brown featuring Bill Clinton.
Before Charlotte's birth, Hillary Clinton had stepped up her political appearances in recent weeks, with events scheduled for Florida, Nevada, New York and Washington, D.C. to help other Democrats in the midterm elections. Clinton postponed another fundraiser that had been planned today — for a New Hampshire state senator — according to the New Hampshire Journal.
With Hillary Clinton's absence, Gov. Martin O'Malley will be the only potential 2016 presidential candidate on the grounds.
The high-profile, high-dollar event comes during a bitterly fought campaign for Maryland's governor. The Democratic Governors Association has put more than $750,000 behind attack ads against Brown's Republican opponent, Larry Hogan. The Republican Governors Association, in turn, sent its chairman, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, to Maryland this month for a fundraiser to benefit Hogan.
Hogan campaign spokesman Adam Dubitsky used Hillary Clinton's planned appearance in Maryland to fire a salvo at Brown.
"Unlike the Clinton White House, which worked with Republicans to grow the economy, cut the deficit and create jobs, Anthony Brown is committed to extending the failed policies of one-party rule, his 40 job-killing tax hikes and reckless spending," Dubitsky said. "So, other than payback for Anthony Brown endorsing her for president over Barack Obama, we have no idea why Secretary Clinton would associate with him."
Both Brown and O'Malley were early backers of Clinton in the 2008 Democratic fight for the presidential nomination, then threw their support behind Obama after he won the primary.