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Obama To Talk Libya, Raise Money in NYC

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

On President Obama's agenda today is dedicating a new building at the city's United Nations complex, sitting down with the big three broadcast TV networks, and raising campaign cash.

In interviews with CBS, NBC, and ABC, Obama is expected to continue pressing his case for the U.S. intervention in Libya. The mission will also likely come up as Obama dedicates a new building to house the U.S. delegation to the United Nations.

Obama will turn to campaign fundraising this evening, when he'll headline a small — and pricey — fundraiser for the Democratic National Committee at Red Rooster, the Harlem eatery founded by Top Chef Masters champion Marcus Samuelsson. The entry fee is $30,800 per plate. The night's receipts will add to the Democratic National Committee's war chest heading into the 2012 elections. At the end of last month, the DNC had more than $10 million dollars in cash, compared to just over $2 million in the Republicans' account.

Obama's fundraiser will be his first visit to the neighborhood as president. He last visited Harlem during a campaign swings in 2007 and 2008. The dinner will be followed by an invitation-only reception for Obama supporters at Harlem's Studio Museum.

The presidential visit comes less than two weeks after the neighborhood learned that former President Bill Clinton is moving his foundation's offices out of the neighborhood. (And as the 2010 Census numbers show, Obama will find a much different neighborhood than the one Clinton moved into in 2001.)

The new building at the United Nations complex also has a Harlem connection. It is named for Ron Brown, Clinton's Commerce Secretary who died in a plane crash in Croatia in 1996. Brown was raised in Harlem and worked as a welfare worker in New York City before before moving to Washington and rising through the political ranks as an attorney. In 1989, Brown became the first African American to lead the Democratic National Committee, and he became the first black Commerce Secretary in 1993.

The president is scheduled to fly back to Washington around 10pm Tuesday night.

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