Oprah’s Windfall

Oprah Winfrey’s fund-raiser for Barack Obama on Sept. 8 is being talked up as the donor event of the year, one that promises to be chalk full of industry execs and celebrities.

But just how much do they stand to raise?

The buzz going around the Obama camp is that as many as 1,700 people are now expected, including some 100 people at a pre-event VIP reception (given this was invitation only, aren’t they all VIPs?).  The figures come from a source who has perused the guest list. So at $2,300 per person, that is $3.9 million. It’s a staggering sum, which would easily make it the biggest Hollywood fund-raiser this year, although not the biggest of all time. One of the biggest was a 2004 DNC event for John Kerry at Disney Hall , where $5 million was raised, but donors could contribute up to $25,000.

Of course, just the business of raising money for candidates is, obviously, extremely competitive, and other campaigns often will scoff at figures as being inflated and fudged.  And both the Clinton and Obama camps are  in another breakneck pace of fund-raising before the third quarter ends on Sept. 30.

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