Obama attended a private fundraiser late Thursday afternoon at a home in Chicago's Gold Coast neighborhood.
Obama is back in Chicago for the first time in more than a week after that convincing victory in the Iowa caucus and that tough defeat and the upset with Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire, and he has since rebounded with key endorsements.
There were two fundraisers Thursday, a small one in Old Town and the one in Gold Coast for 250 A-list contributors paying more than $1,000 each to visit Obama in a ritzy condo 10 floors up.
"People are so excited to welcome Barack back to his hometown. And so he's going to have a lot of friends there. And he's going to have a lot of new friends will coming to hear him speak and give him an opportunity to meet him up close and personal," said Desiree Rogers, Obama fundraiser hostess.
The big Obama fundraiser Thursday at the home of Peoples Gas president Rogers follows two days of important endorsements from key unions and ex-presidential candidates, including Thursday's heartfelt show of support at a rally in Charleston, South Carolina, from former senator and Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry, who is choosing Obama over a long-time Senate colleague, Hillary Clinton, and his own running mate in 2004, John Edwards.
"Barack Obama can be, will be, and should be the next president of the United States," said Sen. Kerry.
"John Kerry is a man of courage and a man of conviction, a man whose life story has given him an intimate understanding of the kind of change we need right now," said Obama.
Edwards, reacting in a statement, said, "Our country and our party are stronger because of John's service and I respect his decision. But I continue to believe this election is about the future, not the past, and this country needs a president who will fight aggressively to end the status quo and give voice to those ignored in the corridors of power."
Clinton is reacting by announcing endorsements of her own from prominent Hispanic politicians, and she is still popular in Chicago.
This has been a great week for Obama in spite of New Hampshire. He was endorsed the following day by the Culinary Workers Union in Nevada. That is a huge and powerful union that is very important with the Nevada caucuses coming up a week from Saturday. He was endorsed by another former presidential candidate, independent John Anderson of Illinois.