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President Obama Turns 51 With Golf and Campaign Cash

On Saturday, President Obama celebrated his 51st birthday with a round of golf, enjoying a largely private day with friends and colleagues before retiring to Camp David.

With daughters Malia and Sasha away at summer camp, Barack and Michelle were able to enjoy some time away from the rigors of campaigning. Still, even the personal celebration isn’t exempt from politics, as a much more public birthday party will be used as a fundraiser next week. Hundreds of supporters who donated to Obama’s campaign will be invited to a party at his Chicago home on August 12. Last year the president hosted a similar party in the windy city, complete with star Jennifer Hudson singing him “Happy Birthday.”

As the election year continues, the Obamas will be forced to cash in more of their public personas than ever before. In the past the first family has kept a relatively low profile in regards to their public life, but with rough economic and diplomatic issues working against the president, Obama’s campaign will be leaning heavily on the likability of the president and his wife. The cash raised by these public events can’t be underestimated, as a similar event held at George Clooney’s California home earlier this summer helped the president raise $15 million for his campaign. A majority of that money came from donators who contributed for a chance to win a ticket to the event.

In similar fashion, Mitt Romney, the Republican presidential candidate, has already established a raffle for invitations to a meet-and-greet with Romney and the currently unknown Republican vice presidential candidate. Obama’s event, which has been billed as an intimate affair in the president’s home, is just one of the four Chicago fundraisers that the president will attend that day. Even on a day meant to celebrate the commander-in-chief, the political cogs simply will not stop turning.

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