By Jay Levine

CHICAGO (CBS) — With campaign 2012 heating up, President Obama is once again heading to his hometown of Chicago to raise money.

CBS 2 Chief Correspondent Jay Levine reports on Obama’s itinerary for Wednesday.

He set all-time fund-raising records four years ago with his Chicago-based campaign for the White House. And he’s trying to do it again next week with a rally and concert on the Near West Side, plus private dinners on the North and South Sides.

The President’s campaign headquarters, formerly in the Loop, is now across from Millennium Park. It’s a much bigger space, jam-packed with volunteers working the phones, contacting supporters and raising money.

But not only are the campaign strategists and fundraisers based here in Chicago, so are some of the president’s most important allies, who are watching the Republicans battle for the GOP nomination.

“Regardless in my view of who the Republicans nominate, the president of the United States, in my view, has a strong case to make about his fight on behalf of the middle class, his fight on behalf of America and Americans, the middle class and their future,” Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Obama’s former chief of staff, said.

The centerpiece of Obama’s visit is a 3 p.m. rally, where 750 people are expected to pay between $44 for general admission and $1,000 for VIP seating at the UIC Forum. The president will speak, and performances are scheduled by Hill Harper and Janelle Monae.

Also, there will be two intimate receptions. One will be hosted by media mogul Fred Eychaner, a major Democratic fundraiser, at 5 p.m. at his home on the North Side. Tickets will also be $35,800 per couple.

Tickets for a second reception that evening on the South Side are priced between $7,500 a person and $30,000 per couple. It will be hosted by the president’s close friends John Rogers, Eric Whitaker and others.

Barack Obama raised more than $1 billion four years ago, aided by innovative web and social media appeals.

He may not need as much money this time, running as incumbent and not facing opposition in the primaries. But his campaign officials are taking no chances.

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