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Obama's M.I.A. Fundraiser Takes Rides on Air Force One

Penny Pritzker raised crucial sums of money for Obama in 2008

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Pritzker Hitches Ride on Air Force One

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Penny Pritzker | Chicago Board of Education Member
Pritzker currently chairs the Chicago Public Education Fund and co-directs the Pritzker Traubert Family Foundation. | Read Full Profile.

Could Obama be scrounging for Pennys?

Two weeks after a New York Times article noted the 2012 abscence of Penny Pritzker, the big-time fundraiser and bundler who ran the finance arm of Obama's 2008 presidential campaign, Pritzker took a ride on Air Force One Tuesday, reports Politico.

At a time when Obama's fundraising efforts are lacking in comparison with presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney's, could the Obama campaign be welcoming Pritzker back into the fold?

According to Politico, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney explained that Pritzker's reason for riding the presidential jet was simply that she was "in the neighborhood."

Pritzker, who is ranked as one of the wealthiest people in America according to Forbes and whose family owns the Hyatt Hotel chain among several other successful businesses, raised a crucial sum of around $745 million for Obama's campaign in 2008, the Times reported.

Some believe that her lack of public support this time around could be the reason behind Obama's fundraising lagging behind Romney's, and even the indirect cause of donors not giving as much this time around.

“Donors have asked, ‘Where’s Penny?’” said Andy Spahn, a Democratic consultant in Los Angeles who works with prominent Hollywood supporters. “We have called her and not gotten callbacks.”

According to Pritzker's friends, if Obama's 2012 campaign continues to lag, she is prepared to lend a helping hand.

Pritzker also raises funds for Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and serves on the Chicago Board of Education.

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