President’s Dinner a tough sell this year

Steve Henn Jun 13, 2007

SCOTT JAGOW: In Washington tonight, Republicans are throwing their annual party for the president. The President’s Dinner raises money for congressional candidates around the country. But the Republican dough isn’t rising as fast anymore, if you know what I mean. Steve Henn reports.

STEVE HENN: For just $25,000, you and a guest could go to a reception tonight with President Bush, and even walk away with you very own souvenir photo.

A few years ago, that deal was going like hotcakes — nothing said Washington player like a grip-and-grin with the president. But these days, opportunities to be photographed schmoozing with the commander in chief aren’t moving quite as fast.

Last year, the annual President’s Dinner raked in $15 million. This year, organizers are hoping to haul in just half that.

But just because campaign cash isn’t flowing to Republicans doesn’t mean donors are sitting on the sidelines. Democrats on the Hill have reported huge increases in their fund-raising this year, and much of that money is coming from lobbyists.

In Washington, I’m Steve Henn for Marketplace.

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