The White House has pegged Aug. 2 as the drop-dead deadline for a debt-limit deal. But deal or no deal, President Obama is heading to Chicago on Aug. 3 for his 50th birthday bash — a pricey fundraiser for his re-election campaign.

Obama’s campaign began promoting the birthday last week with an appeal to supporters to “bring 50 new people into this campaign for President Obama’s 50th birthday.” Obama’s birthday is Aug. 4. The party will be held the night before at Chicago’s historic Aragon Ballroom.

Lynn Sweet of the Chicago Sun-Times reported tickets would range from $50 a person to whopping $35,800 per couple. A concert, possibly featuring Jennifer Hudson, is planned for the afternoon, along with a private reception.

The news follows Obama’s record fundraising haul of $86 million for the second quarter. That’s already prompted accusations that Obama is more interested in raising money for his re-election than dealing with the debt limit. Now comes news of his birthday party just one day after the administration’s own deadline.

Keith Koffler observes on White House Dossier that Obama is opening himself to criticism:

The Republicans may not realize it, but they have an extra point of leverage in the debt ceiling talks: Barack Obama’s birthday.

It’s on Aug. 4. The president is turning 50. He’s decided to have a quiet celebration with family and a few close friends.


Instead, the president is planning an extravagant fundraising bash Aug. 3 at the Aragon Ballroom in Chicago, including a birthday concert teeming with celebrities and – for couples contributing $35,800 – a private dinner with the president. All this just one day after the government is scheduled to run out of cash!