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Obama hosts fundraising event at his Chicago home

CHICAGO, Ill. -- Secret Service agents, bomb-sniffing dogs and police cordons usually mean a high-level politician or dignitary is nearby.

For the residents of a certain Kenwood enclave, it also means the neighbors are back in town. That was the scene Sunday evening on a certain stretch of Greenwood Avenue here as President Obama hosted some of his closest, $40,000 check-wielding friends for the first-ever fundraiser at his home.

Yuri Gripas / AFP - Getty Images

President Barack Obama walks through the Kenwood neighborhood of Chicago on Sunday.

Standing in a corner of the front yard of his classic Georgian-style brick home, the president greeted around 75 supporters sprawled out on his manicured green lawn, the lushness of which the president commented on.

“I have to say, the lawn hasn’t looked this good in a while. But I figured, but at least Michelle figured, that if everyone was coming over we ought to neaten up a little bit,” he said.

Speaking from a small stage that was surrounded with a small hedge, the president made light of the fact that he was once again asking his deep-pocketed donors to pony up.

“Being friends with a politician is a little bit like having a child perpetually in college because every so often you’ve got to write a big check. The good news is I’m about to graduate,” he joked as the crowd laughed.

But the comic asides did contain a serious undertone – that Obama is locked in a brutal spending war with his Republican rival Mitt Romney, and is currently being outspent.

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He cautioned his guests that the next three months of the campaign were not going to be easy, referring to, as he has frequently in recent appearances, the Olympics to make a campaign analogy. 

“I just want to remind you this is not going to be a race like Usain Bolt where we’re like 40 yards ahead and we can just start jogging 10 feet before the finish line,” Obama said, name-dropping the famed Jamaican sprinter. “We’re going to have to run through the tape.”

After the quick stop at his own home, the president went back to once again being a guest as he attended two more fundraisers, both at homes in his neighborhood but none that could be called the Family Home of the United States.

Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP

The president's fourth year at the White House in pictures — follow along as it happens.