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Speculation Swirls Around Obama's Weekend Trip to Chicago

What's President Barack Obama up to this weekend? Between fundraisers, some wonder if he'll show up at a Cubs game

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    President Barack Obama arrived in Chicago Friday afternoon to attend a series of fundraisers all weekend, bringing with him plenty of speculation about his schedule. NBC5's Mary Ann Ahern reports. (Published Friday, Oct. 7, 2016)

    President Barack Obama arrived in Chicago Friday afternoon to attend a series of fundraisers this weekend for Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and Rep. Tammy Duckworth.

    There has been a lot of speculation swirling around the city about what Obama will be doing with the rest of his time in Chicago. Considering it's a busy weekend, filled with the Cubs' first playoff games and the Bank of America Chicago Marathon, there's no shortage of things to do.

    The White House released few details about his plans, simply confirming that the president will stay in his Hyde Park residence on the city's South Side.

    Obama’s press secretary, Josh Earnest, was asked Wednesday if the president plans to attend either of the Chicago Cubs playoff games at Wrigley Field. Earnest didn’t explicitly respond to the question, but said the president is “looking forward to tracking their progress through the payoffs,” despite his allegiance to the White Sox.

    “The president is also a champion of his hometown, and he certainly has been pleased to see the Chicago Cubs play so well this year,” Earnest said. “It’s been a long time coming, and Cubs fans have been waiting a long time for a team that looks like this."

    "And there’s a reason that they are considered by just about everybody the favorites to win the World Series,” he added.

    Earlier in the afternoon on Friday, the president cast an early ballot during his trip to the city, cracking jokes during his visit to the Chicago Board of Elections in the city's Loop.

    Obama also attended a high-priced fundraiser for the DCCC alongside House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi on Friday, held at the home of Democratic donor Fred Eychaner, who hosted Vice President Joe Biden last week for a Duckworth fundraiser.

    The event included a variety of pricing options. On the low end, donors pitched in $10,000-per-plate for the lunch or $16,700 for lunch, a photo and good seating. For $33,400 per couple, donors were added to Pelosi's "Speaker's Cabinet donor group. The most expensive option, which ran $66,800 per couple, allowed donors a VIP add-on, to be part of a "clutch," or small reception, according to the report.

    Sunday’s Duckworth fundraiser will be held at the Stony Island Arts Bank, which was founded by artist Theaster Gates, a professor in the Department of Visual Art and director of Arts and Public Life at the University of Chicago, the Sun-Times reports. Gates also serves on the Obama Foundation’s design advisory committee.

    Other hosts include Obama Foundation chair Martin Nesbitt and his wife, physician Anita Blanchard, as well as Democratic activist John Atkinson and his wife, Bonnie.

    Tickets for the event range from $1,000 for an individual donation to $12,700 in a pledged contribution or promise to raise that much money from others. Top donors and fundraisers will also receive a VIP reception and a photo.

    Proceeds from the fundraiser will benefit the Illinois Coordinated Victory Fund of 2016, a joint fundraising committee with the Democratic Party of Illinois and Duckworth's Tammy for Illinois fund, according to the report.

    Duckworth is locked in one of the nation's tightest Senate races with Republican incumbent Mark Kirk.