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obama michiganWASHINGTON — President Barack Obama was making a pitch Thursday about the job-creating potential of investing in clean energy before talking up his re-election at a pair of fundraising events with high-dollar campaign contributors.

Obama planned to tour a Holland, Mich., factory that makes advanced batteries for alternative-fuel vehicles such as hybrids or all-electrics.

In Michigan, where the unemployment rate was 10.5 percent in June, higher than the national rate, Obama was expected to talk about the benefits of spending money on producing such clean-energy technologies as advanced batteries: jobs and reduced consumption of foreign oil.

He calls them “jobs of the future” and says the U.S. should lead the way in developing energy sources that pollute less.

Johnson Controls Inc., the energy company that owns the plant that was welcoming Obama, has received a $3 million federal grant and expects to create 150 jobs at facilities in Michigan and Wisconsin, White House energy adviser Heather Zichal said.

The president also was to discuss how the clean-energy push can help automakers meet new fuel economy standards for cars and trucks.

Obama won Michigan in the 2008 presidential election and the economically battered state is crucial to his re-election hopes in 2012.

After wrapping up his second visit to Holland, Mich., in 13 months, Obama was bound for a pair of $35,800-a-ticket Manhattan fundraisers: a reception with about 15 people at the Ritz-Carlton hotel and a dinner for 50 at a private home, a Democratic official said.

Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour and movie producer Harvey Weinstein are the dinner hosts. The reception host is Gary Hirshberg, chief executive officer of organic yogurt maker Stonyfield Farm.

The $35,800 admission price is the legal maximum per person. Obama’s campaign keeps $5,000 and the Democratic National Committee pockets the remaining $30,800.

Obama’s campaign canceled 10 fundraisers around the country last month so the president could stay in Washington to help negotiate a deal allowing the government to borrow more money and avoid defaulting on its bills.

With a deal now in place, Obama is trying to make up fundraising ground, although campaign officials have acknowledged that they won’t bring in as much money this summer as the $86 million that was raised in the spring and shared with the DNC.

Thursday’s fundraiser will be Obama’s fifth campaign event since he signed the debt-ceiling bill into law on Aug. 2. It’s also his third donor event of the week.


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