The Ticket

Obama plans lavish 50th birthday bash for day after debt-limit deadline

The Ticket

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Obama shields candles for Helen Thomas, who shares his birthday (Ron Edmonds/AP)

One day after the government is set to default on its debts, Barack Obama could be the guest of honor at a 50th birthday celebration where the cost of attendance tops out at $35,800 per couple.

Okay, it's not likely if the government defaults that the president will be partying it up.

But the timing of Obama's Aug. 3 birthday bash is raising some eyebrows

It was reported earlier this week that president is planning to attend several lavish fundraisers in Chicago as part of his birthday celebration. Tickets start at $50, but couples are also being asked to exponentially extend their generosity.

As Lynn Sweet reports, limited-availability tickets start at $50 for a concert at the historic Aragon Ballroom, but a larger donation is required for better seating and a dinner with the president, all the way up to $35,800, which gives a couple VIP concert seating plus dinner. The president's birthday is Aug. 4.

Though the Obama 2012 team has attached that maximum price tag to past fundraisers (including one this past April in San Francisco), and staged a lavish fundraiser at a max of $30,400 for the president's 49th birthday, the timing of this year's milestone birthday celebration is unsettling for some.

"Obama Plans Birthday Fundraiser One Day After Debt Deadline," states conservative Heritage Foundation's The Foundry blog.

"Oh boy, this is going to look bad," Keith Koffler wrote for White House Dossier.

As of Friday morning, Congress and the White House remained at a stalemate over a deal to raise the debt-ceiling limit.

The White House said earlier this week the president's Aug. 3 party could be canceled if a deal is not reached by Aug. 2. As of now, however, the event is "not on hold," a campaign official told CBS News. Political Punch reports that senior White House officials say the party is on hold pending debt negotiations. The White House did not immediately return The Ticket's request for comment.

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