Obama to raise $1 million for struggling Senate candidate

President Obama will speak at a Chicago fundraiser on Thursday for Senate candidate Alexi Giannoulias (D).

The event at the Palmer House Hilton is expected to raise a much-needed $1 million for Giannoulias's campaign. Moreover, it will likely provide the video and images the Democrat needs to showcase his relationship with Obama down the stretch. 

Obama's appearance with the Democrat who hopes to win the president's former Senate seat comes the same week that new records emerged showing jailed developer Tony Rezko received a previously undisclosed loan from the Giannoulias family's Broadway Bank.

Fundraising has been a problem for Giannoulias since Broadway Bank collapsed in April. He raised less than $900,000 last quarter while his Republican rival, Mark Kirk, pulled in $2.25 million during the same period. 

Both candidates have been dogged by controversies, and their race is tight.

Obama will also deliver a speech at a Ford plant in Chicago on Thursday. The president will later participate in two other fundraisers for the Democratic National Committee. 

Sources told the Chicago Sun-Times that the Giannoulias camp and the DNC were initially having trouble filling the rooms for the events. The DNC expects to raise $2.5 million from Obama's appearances.