Obama to launch reelection campaign with Chicago fundraisers

WASHINGTON -- President Obama will personally kick off his reelection effort with a set of fundraisers in his hometown of Chicago on Thursday, according to his campaign.

The public launch will be an event at Navy Pier, with an assist from Chicago Bulls guard and MVP candidate Derrick Rose. Tickets start at $250 each.

“We are starting something new -- and we want you with us from the start,” an invitation from the campaign said.


Two other events -- with higher price tags -- are planned at Windy City restaurants MK Chicago and Nine. All money raised goes jointly to the Democratic National Committee and Obama’s campaign.

The president’s reelection effort first launched online last week, with an email to supporters linking to a YouTube video featuring Obama supporters discussing their thoughts on the 2012 campaign. Obama himself was barely featured.

He has appeared at a number of fundraisers this year, but these are the first directly targeted to his own campaign. In the coming weeks, he’s also expected to hold events in Los Angeles, the Bay Area and New York City.

The White House said Obama will travel to Chicago on Thursday and spend the night there, returning to Washington on Friday.

Michael A. Memoli contributed to this report