Blaze of Glory: Rock star Jon Bon Jovi will give a command performance...
UPDATE, May 21: The dinner now has a contest for grassroots donors
On the heels of George Clooney's megamillions fundraising dinner for President Obama, Campaign officials have newly announced another big-ticket culinary soiree. Former President Bill Clinton will join President Obama at a "Gala Dinner" at The Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York on Monday, June 4th. Grammy Award-winning rock legend Jon Bon Jovi will give a special concert. Tickets are $35,800 for silk-pocketed donors wanting the full experience of facetime and a photo op with 44 & 42. The race is on to make the 6:00 PM Park Avenue event a sell out, just like Clooney's affair, which raised close to $15 million. (The invite, above)
"I suggest ordering your ticket soon since this event will probably sell out quickly," co-host Jon Cooper wrote in an email sent this weekend with the invitation. President of New York's Spectronics Corporation and Co-Chair, Tri-State Region, of the Obama Victory Trustees, Cooper hailed the event as "what is sure to be a very memorable evening!"
Obama for America already announced two other fundraising events for the two Presidents on the same day; one is at the New Amsterdam Theater on West 42nd Street. Dubbed 'Barack on Broadway,' it officially kicks off at 7:00 PM. The third will be at hedge-fund manager Mark Lasry's home, with tickets at $40,000 each. Clinton's first Obama fundraiser was a dinner and reception on April 29th at the Virginia home of former Democratic National Committee chair Terry McAuliffe. (Above: The Presidents confab at McAuliffe's home)
"You guys get two Presidents for one out of this event, which is a pretty good deal," President Obama told the crowd in McAuliffe's backyard.
'Barack on Broadway' has lower ticket prices than the Gala Dinner, designed to woo the younger, less flush Gen44 donors who can't drop a year's salary on a presidential dinner. The theater seats about 1,800, and tickets are in three tiers: $100, $250, and $1,000 for VIP. It replicates a similar Obama fundraiser in September of 2007.
June 4th will be the first joint appearance with Clinton following Mr. Obama's announcement that he supports same-sex marriage; the Commander in Chief repealed Clinton's 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' policy for the military. Dinner co-host Cooper is openly gay, and previously sought to get same-sex marriage on the platform at the 2008 Democratic National Convention. Cooper has supported Mr. Obama since 2007, and formerly served as the Majority Leader of New York's Suffolk County Legislature, and as the Long Island Campaign Chair for Obama for America. He was a member of OFA's National Finance Committee.
Donations from the LGBT community have had a healthy bounce since the President announced his "evolved" position on marriage last week, and he is in New York today, Monday, for an LGBT-centric event with popstar Ricky Martin.
Bon Jovi is a longtime Obama/Dem supporter, and was appointed by the President as a member of the White House Council on Community Solutions in December of 2010, thanks to his work with his own charitable Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation. In addition to many other fundraising activities for Mr. Obama and the Democratic party, Bon Jovi hosted a dinner at his New Jersey home for Candidate Obama in September of 2008. That event cost supporters $30,800 per person. (Above: The President, Bon Jovi, and his daughter Stephanie Rose backstage at the Lincoln Memorial during the Inauguration concert in January, 2009)
Clinton has signed on for at least three dates for fundraising events with President Obama, part of a tit-for-tat deal designed to help Secretary of State Hillary Clinton relieve the large debt leftover from her run for President in 2008. The third date for fundraisers has not yet been announced, but it is expected to be held in Los Angeles, CA.
Lower-priced tickets to the Obama-Clinton Gala Dinner are also available. Guests with no photo privileges will pay $2,500 per person, while Hosts will pay $15,000 or raise $25,000 through bundling for the Photo Reception and dinner for up to two people. Those designated as "Chairs" will pay $35,800 or bundle $100,000 in donations, for which they receive the "Co-Chair Greet," the Photo Reception, and dinner. (Above: The RSVP page at BarackObama.com)
The Waldorf Astoria is at 301 Park Avenue, New York, NY.
*Obama/Clinton photo by Pete Souza/White House; Bon Jovi photo from his personal archive, shared with Oprah.com