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Obama's whirlwind tour of New York nets $700,000

Helen Kennedy
New York Daily News (MCT)

CHICAGO - Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama raised at least $700,000 in his whirlwind swoop through Manhattan, giddy fundraisers said Tuesday.

In one evening, after taping "Late Show With David Letterman" on Monday, Obama schmoozed fat cats on the upper West Side, zipped down to SoHo for more flesh-pressing and ended the night at a third party in Carnegie Hill.

"Even at the end of a day like that, he was fresh. He must have a remarkable reservoir of energy," said Joan Hornig, a jewelry designer and wife of Credit Suisse honcho George Hornig, who hosted the third fund-raiser of the evening at her Park Ave. apartment.

The Illinois senator's campaign refused to discuss how much he raised, but two of his moneymen estimated a minimum of 300 people plunked down the maximum $2,300 each.

"I know how well ours did, so I expect the campaign raised in the ballpark of between $700,000 and $1 million," said Ben Geyerhahn, executive director of the Blue Tiger Democrats, who co-hosted one of the soirees.

And Obama already was working on future raids of front-running Sen. Hillary Clinton's home turf.

He squeezed in a visit to the Manhattan investment firm of Abacus & Associates, where CEO Frank Weil introduced him to some prospective donors.

"Everyone went away purring," Weil said.

Money appears to be attracting money, fund-raisers said.

Obama's startling first-quarter haul of $25 million seems to have convinced a lot of city plutocrats that the senator is for real - and to get their wallets open.

"Something is happening. It's like the damn burst," said an Obama bundler who asked not to be named.

"I have people who were on the fence, waiting on the sidelines, but when they saw that, they started to move."

The bundler said ticket sales to an event for Obama in Washington Wednesday tripled virtually overnight, and it is now expected rake in $300,000.

The event is for top fund-raisers to discuss - what else? - second-quarter fundraising.

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