Are Obama supporters planning 9/11 fundraiser?

An e-mail invites supporters to join Warren Buffett at a campaign event in D.C. on the seventh anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Published August 20, 2008 11:36PM (EDT)

Are Barack Obama's supporters planning a fundraiser on Sept. 11?

An e-mail making the rounds among Democratic finance types and obtained by Salon makes it seem that way. "Come get your photo w Warren Buffett," the subject line reads. The invitation itself goes on to say: "What does it say about Obama that the best-respected businessman in the world keeps doing fundraisers for him? Especially when, up until this cycle, he has steered clear of the political nitty-gritty. Can you join Warren for a business roundtable discussion in Washington on Thursday, September 11?"

The e-mail didn't say exactly who was organizing the event, whether there was a donation required to attend or whether Obama would be there. Obama aides couldn't confirm what his plans are for that date. Buffett's spokesman didn't return a call for comment late Wednesday. The billionaire investor hosted an event for Obama last year, and another one this July. Federal records show Buffett gave $4,600 to Obama in April 2007 (after giving $2,300 to Hillary Clinton in January).

If there is a fundraising event -- or even just a campaign event -- in the works for Sept. 11, Obama might face some criticism for it. He already plans to pull down ads that criticize John McCain on the seventh anniversary of the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, and a new community service group,, is trying to convince both campaigns to suspend all their partisan activity and do community service, instead.

McCain aides say he'll pull down all his ads, and will attend a "Service Nation Summit" in New York.

Since the attacks, politicians have mostly tried to avoid seeming like politicians on or around Sept. 11. Rudy Giuliani got in some trouble last year when a supporter threw a fundraising party with a $9.11 donation required to get in. Hillary Clinton had a similar problem when her campaign had a homeland security-themed fundraising event a week after the anniversary last year.

By Mike Madden

Mike Madden is Salon's Washington correspondent. A complete listing of his articles is here. Follow him on Twitter here.

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