With the debt ceiling debate now behind him, President Obama is turning his 50th birthday into a massive, nation-wide campaign event and fundraiser, complete with a lavish bash in Chicago tonight and related fundraisers around the country.

Obama will travel to Chicago this afternoon and kick off the festivities with remarks to the hundreds of parties being held across the nation by members of Obama for America 2012.

Then the real fun begins at the Aragon Ballroom in Chicago, where guests will pay from $50 to the maximum donation limit of $35,800 to attend an initial party and fundraiser featuring about 1,000 guests. Performers will include Jennifer Hudson, Herbie Hancock, and the band OK Go.

Continue reading →