Former President Barack Obama headed to a lavish home in New York City on Nov. 14 to help raise money for the Democratic party.
But even with the high-profile guest, the turnout was reportedly sparse, according to Daily Mail.
House Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi of California and Senate Minority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York hosted the party at Democratic donor Dennis Mehiel's duplex home on the Upper East Side.
Proceeds will go to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and the House Senate Victory Fund.
The former president was all smiles as he walked inside carrying a coffee cup and wearing a black suit with no tie and an open top button. Four Secret Service SUVs arrived in his motorcade and met three more cars full of agents waiting outside the event to ensure his safety.
Obama's relatively casual getup was similar to one he donned in early November when he showed up for jury duty in Chicago, where he warmly greeted fellow jurors before being dismissed after two hours and earning the standard $17.20 juror paycheck.
News of the Manhattan event's small crowd comes amid reports that the Democratic National Committee has been struggling to make enough money to cover the costs of putting a strong foot forward in the 2018 midterm elections as it gears up to support a presidential candidate in 2020, notes Politico.
"It's a very legitimate concern," one DNC member with fundraising experience told Politico of the slow trickle of donor checks coming in.
DNC Press Secretary Michael Tyler said that the numbers are on par with with comparable "off years" and that this is in part because the party is working hard on grassroots outreach, which typically correlates with a high volume of comparably small donations.
As of October, the DNC's main account had a balance of just $7 million.
"We're all aware the money is not flowing in the way we hoped it would," said former DNC secretary Alice Germond, adding that "competition for the party" has popped up in the form of resistance groups, which she described as "pretty overwhelming, and a newer phenomenon."
Nebraska party chair Jane Kleeb, who helps with grassroots fundraising, said that "donors, small and large, are so over the party," but added that she thinks donations will eventually pick up. "Everybody thinks that some magic three-page document and some magic tagline is going to turn everything around for us. But this is very typical work."