Democrats: The $1,000 Understanding

With their party's National Committee $800,000 in debt, Democrats had to think big. The $100-a-plate fund-raising dinner, invented almost 30 years ago by Pennsylvania's Matt McCloskey, seemed obsolescent. So Democratic party leaders decided to celebrate the second anniversary of President Kennedy's inaugural with a big show at Washington's National Guard Armory, preceded by a dinner at the New International Inn. Tickets to the show were a piddling $100—but those for the dinner drew down no less than $1,000.

What was the incentive to fork over $1,000? It certainly wasn't the food:


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