Obama raised $750 million in 2008 and could top $1 billion this time around, though he himself acknowledges a need to re-energize the grass-roots supporters and small donors who helped sweep him into the White House.
"This campaign is not my campaign, this is your campaign. And the question is do we finish the job. I'm prepared to finish the job. I hope you are too," he said at MK restaurant.
The last event of the night Thursday, at Chicago's Navy Pier, priced tickets starting at $100 and was aimed at younger supporters. It drew a loud and enthusiastic crowd of 2,300 that was warmed up by Chicago sports stars, including Bulls point guard Derrick Rose. Obama's former chief of staff and Chicago's mayor-elect, Rahm Emanuel, accompanied the president throughout the evening.
Earlier Obama spoke to about 225 people in all at events at the restaurants Nine and MK, with tickets as high as $35,800. All told the events should raise $2 million or more for Obama's campaign and the Democratic National Committee.
Obama's fundraising push comes as the Republican field begins to take shape, with former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum announcing exploratory committees this week.
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