The blocked streets and long motorcade in D.C. Monday night could only mean one thing: The president was on the town. Dinner with friends? Nah. President Obama doesn’t socialize in private homes — he raises money.
The fundraiser was at the Northwest residence of Dwight and Toni Bush, said to be Martha’s Vineyard pals of the Obamas. He’s the vice chair of EntreMed, a bio tech and health care company; she’s a communications lawyer at Skadden Arps. The president stayed just over an hour; the 45 guests, who sat at tables in the tented backyard, paid a minimum of $17, 900 each to attend.
Washington insiders have given up any hope that Obama would be part of the city’s social life — since his inauguration, he’s visited private homes just 14 times: Four at the apartment of White House adviser Valerie Jarrett, and once to a farewell party for David Axelrod at the home of campaign aide Linda Douglass.
The other nine visits — three last year, six in the past six months — have been campaign fundraisers. According to CBS Radio News White House correspondent Mark Knoller, who keeps the definitive record of presidential comings and goings, in 2010 Obama attended fundraisers at the homes of businessman Frank White Jr. in April; Sen. Jay Rockefeller in July; and John Phillips (Douglass’s husband) in September. This year, he went to reelection events at the residences of Phillips (again) in May; developer Don and Katrina Peebles in August; White (another repeat), former ambassador Elizabeth Bagley, and physician and entrepreneur James D’Orta in September; and the Bushes Monday night.