CHICAGO (CBS) — It’s bizarre, obscene, what’s happening in the race for president — the money being spent to buy the White House.

Hundreds of millions, and by time the race is over, $2 billion.

The candidates are begging for money. In emails, almost every day now, President Barack and Lady Michelle are pestering me to pony up. They are having a birthday party Saturday at their home here in Chicago.

Walter, it “could be the last one I celebrate as president. It’s up to you! If you pitch in three dollars, you and a guest will be entered in a lottery to join me.” Thanks, he says, I hope I’ll see you soon.

I don’t know, Mr. President, how I got onto your mailing list or how I can get off. It’s not that I don’t want to go to your home. I just wish when you’re here, you’ll come out of your home to walk the streets, just a bit, and propose a plan for stopping the violence in Chicago.

I’d be happy to pay three dollars for that.