Michelle, kids to miss Obama`s 49th birthday celebrations

Chicago: US President Barack Obama will celebrate his 49th birthday in the company of his friends in Chicago and not with his wife and two daughters.

The White House said that Obama will leave Washington for Chicago on Wednesday and will stay at his home in Kenwood for the night, Chicago Sun-Times reported.

First lady Michelle Obama will not be with the President. She will leave next week for Spain, travelling with daughter Sasha, 9. Malia, 12, is at an overnight camp.

Obama, born on August 4, 1961, in Honolulu, was last in Chicago with his family over the Memorial Day weekend in May last.

Obama is scheduled to attend three fund-raisers and to tour a Ford plant.

On August 5, Obama plans to attend fund-raisers for Illinois Democratic Senate nominee Alexi Giannoulias at the Palmer House Hilton at USD 1,000 to 2,400 per person, and for the DNC, a dinner at the home of developer Neil Bluhm for 50 people, at USD 30,400 per person, and a USD 250-per-person reception at the Chicago Cultural Center.

White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel -- interested in running for mayor of Chicago if Mayor Daley decides not to seek another term -- is likely to accompany Obama to the fund -raising events to reconnect with some of his Chicago friends.

White House senior adviser Valerie Jarrett is also coming.

Meanwhile, the Democratic National Committee`s Organising for America grass-roots arm is using his birthday as an organising tool.

E-mails have been sent out under Michelle Obama`s signature urging people to sign an electronic birthday card for the president. The gambit lets the DNC capture contact information and build mailing lists.

Michelle said in the e-mail, "I`m putting together a birthday card that I would like you to sign. Together with other Organizing for America supporters -- and me, Malia, Sasha, and Bo -- we`ll wish him a happy birthday and let him know that we`re ready to take on the year ahead alongside him."