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Politics

Obama And Democrats Fundraise At A Performance Of "Hamilton"

The Democratic National Committee is not throwing away its shot to cash in on Broadway's hottest ticket. The top ticket is costing donors $10,000 for two seats and a photo with President Obama.

Originally posted on
Updated on
Saul Loeb / AFP / Getty Images

President Obama speaks Monday during a Democratic fundraiser following a special performance of the Broadway show Hamilton at the Richard Rodgers Theatre in New York.

UPDATE

At the conclusion of Monday evening's performance of Broadway's Hamilton — a special fundraising event for the Democratic National Committee — President Obama made remarks, telling the crowd, "I am annoyed that I did not get to see this show again. Michelle and I love this show. It also happens to be the only thing Dick Cheney and I agree on …. That is a cultural landmark."

Hamilton "reminds us of the vital, crazy, kinetic energy that is at the heart of America," Obama said, adding, "That people who have a vision and set of ideals can transform the world. That has always been true."

Official crowd count at the event was 1,324 per the box office statement, according to Timothy Pettolina, the White House pool report stated.

ORIGINAL REPORT

WASHINGTON — On Monday afternoon, President Obama will be sharing his love of Broadway's hottest show — the new musical, Hamilton, about Alexander Hamilton — with up to 1,300 of his closest donors.

The Democratic National Committee has bought out the whole house of the 1,319-seat Richard Rodgers Theatre for a special performance of the show, a DNC spokesperson confirmed to BuzzFeed News. The fundraiser was first reported by the New York Times.

Charles Sykes / AP Photo

Lin-Manuel Miranda appears at the curtain call following the opening night performance of Hamilton at the Richard Rodgers Theatre on Thursday, Aug. 6, 2015, in New York.

Obama is slated to give remarks at the conclusion of the 5 p.m. performance, according to the president's schedule for Monday, but will not be attending the performance itself. (He is scheduled to give remarks and take questions at another event — benefitting the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee — while the performance is taking place.)

Monday's ticket sales, according to an invitation obtained by BuzzFeed News, benefits the Democratic Hope Fund, which is a joint fundraising committee between the DNC and Obama for America. According to the invitation, the first $2,500 of any ticket purchase will go to Obama for America to retire its debt from the 2012 general election campaign. As of the end of June, the campaign still had more than $2.4 million in outstanding debt.

"We just bought all the seats at face value of what the show normally sells them and then marked them up at various rates of giving to raise money for the DNC on top of that," DNC spokesperson Miryam Lipper said. "Tickets are between $500 and $10,000 depending on where your seat is. $10,000 includes a photo with the president and two seats, which is something offered at various DNC fundraisers at that price."

Although the website for the event still shows seats available for purchase, the $10,000 tickets that include a photo with the president were no longer available as of Sunday afternoon.

For his part, Obama has already seen the show, written by Lin-Manuel Miranda about the country's Founding Fathers, attending a performance with his daughters, Sasha and Malia, in July.

Back in May 2009, in fact, Obama helped give Miranda one of his first audiences for what became the opening number in the show at a White House night celebrating art and poetry.

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UPDATE

This report was updated to include more information about President Obama's schedule on Monday.


Chris Geidner is the legal editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in Washington, DC. In 2014, Geidner won the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association award for journalist of the year.

Contact Chris Geidner at chris.geidner@buzzfeed.com.

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