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Obama 2012 campaign manager to meet with mega-donors in Chicago

Updated: September 24, 2012 6:25AM

WASHINGTON — Obama 2012 campaign manager Jim Messina hits Chicago on Wednesday for meetings with major Democratic donors, as the re-election drive starts to re-assemble the finance team that made then Sen. Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential bid possible.

Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign will be based in Chicago and will formally kick-off in March or April.

I have exclusive details about Messina’s Chicago schedule:

◆ He will meet with media mogul and mega donor Fred Eychaner. Last September, Obama handed Eychaner a plum appointment, making him a trustee of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Obama at that same time also tapped business mogul Penny Pritzker for the same board. Pritzker was the Finance Chair for Obama’s 2008 campaign. She told me through a spokesman she will not be the 2012 finance chair, but will instead take an “advisory” role in the re-election campaign.

◆ Neil Bluhm, a member of the 2008 Obama National Finance Committee, will host a Messina meeting.

◆ Messina will also huddle with Democratic donor Laura Ricketts — one of the owners of the Chicago Cubs.

On Thursday, Messina heads to New York to start wooing big donors there. He will also travel to Los Angeles and San Francisco on this first pre-official launch swing.

Job one, even before headquarter space is rented: Get the donors jazzed up about raising almost $1 billion for 2012.

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