President raises money at a pair of fundraisers. NBC 5's Mary Ann Ahern reports.
President Obama visited Chicago Thursday for a pair of fundraisers and an overnight stay.
Air Force One arrived at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport about 10 minutes before its scheduled 5:50 p.m. arrival.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel was at the airport to greet the President, who spent some time shaking hands with a crowd gathered behind a fence.
Obama then flew to Montrose Harbor via helicoptor and traveled via motorcade to a fundraiser on the Near North Side.
The first fundraiser was at the home of Michael and Tanya Polsky. Polsky has been a consistent contributor to both Republicans and Democrats but has thrown his support in the upcoming Illinois gubernatorial election behind Bruce Rauner and not incumbent Gov. Pat Quinn. Guests crowded the front rooms of the Polsky home as Obama spoke for about 10 minutes, imploring Democrats to show up for midterm elections.
"I'm looking around and I see a lot of friends," Obama said. "All of you look the same, and I look like Morgan Freeman."
Obama praised senatorial candidates Dick Durbin and Michael Bennet and blamed congressional problems on "ideologically rigid" Republicans who deny climate change, block raising the minimum wage and scoff at the notion that it might be a problem to pay women less for the same work as men.
"You have a president who is fighting for you in the White House," Obama said. "What you do not have right now is a Congress that can function."
From there, Obama attended a second fundraising dinner Lincoln Park at the home of Fred Eychaner.
Admission to the events started at $1,000 and go up to $35,000.
Obama is considered a secret weapon for Gov. Quinn, who faces a tough re-election fight. Quinn flew back from Springfield to attend the second event, as it might have been awkward had he stopped at the first fundraiser due to Polsky's support of Rauner.
Obama was back at his Kenwood home by 9:30 p.m.
The trip came after a full day in upstate New York, where the president discussed the economic benefits of tourism to the U.S. and the latest steps he is taking to boost it at the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown.
President Obama was last in Chicago in early April for fundraisers.