President Barack Obama may be flying into New York and visiting lower Fairfield County Thursday, but it’s unlikely anyone without a ticket will catch a glimpse of the 44th president.
That may be a good thing for Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Richard Blumenthal, the candidate Obama is coming to support. Just this week Obama’s approval rating fell into negative territory with only 45 percent of Connecticut voters approving of the job he’s doing and 52 percent disapproving.
In 2008 when then President George W. Bush came to campaign for David Capiello at Henry Kissinger’s home in Kent, he planned a public event in Hartford so the entire trip didn’t have to come out of the fundraising totals. Obama hasn’t scheduled any public events and so the cost of the trip will have to come out of the fundraisers.
Blumenthal’s fundraiser at the Stamford Marriott costs $1,000 per person. The presidential picture package costs $12,400. It’s still unclear how much Obama—still a big draw amongst Democrats—will bring into Blumenthal’s campaign coffers. Obama also has a second fundraiser for the Democratic National Committee planned later in the evening.
According to the White House Air Force One is expected to touch down at John F. Kennedy airport in New York around 5:15 p.m. The President is expected to speak at the Marriott around 6:15 p.m. before jetting off to a fundraiser for the Democratic National Committee in Greenwich. Air Force One will leave around 9:40 p.m.
Media access at the event will be limited to one local print reporter, one videographer, and one photographer. A similar presidential fundraiser last year for U.S. Sen. Chris Dodd was opened to all members of the Connecticut media. The traveling press corps will also have access to the room.
Outside the Marriott, Tea Party members will be protesting the president’s visit and voicing their discontent for Blumenthal. Meanwhile, Blumenthal’s Republican opponent Linda McMahon will be campaigning in Willimantic.