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.

We’re here to help you navigate this changed world and economy.

Our mission at Marketplace is to raise the economic intelligence of the country. It’s a tough task, but it’s never been more important.

In the past year, we’ve seen record unemployment, stimulus bills, and reddit users influencing the stock market. Marketplace helps you understand it all, will fact-based, approachable, and unbiased reporting.

Generous support from listeners and readers is what powers our nonprofit news—and your donation today will help provide this essential service. For just $5/month, you can sustain independent journalism that keeps you and thousands of others informed.