If you want to have dinner with President Obama tonight, it'll cost you $17,600. The president, in town today (your Presidential Sigalert: Air Force One to LAX, chopper to California Science Center, flying back to DC tomorrow) to speak at fundraisers for the Democratic National Committee and for Senator Barbara Boxer, will be be speaking at a dinner tonight at the National History Museum, where a meal ticket will run you just short of $18K.
Why so much? Combine half the maximum $30,400 contribution to a national party committee with the maximum $2,400 donation to a candidate. In other words, no, Daniel Boulud is not making his truffle and foie gras hamburgers for the event. Although having Boulud stump for Boxer would probably help her polls some, if it's an option.