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Obama event at George Clooney's house: Bad to be 'celebrity in chief'? (+video)

The Hollywood glitterati will be out in force for the sold-out fundraiser at George Clooney's place. The event will be a lucrative one for Obama's campaign, but the GOP is hoping to cash in too.

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But here’s the question: Does hanging out with the Hollywood glitterati make Obama look cool? Or does it make him look like a snob who doesn’t understand the problems of people like you?

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The Obama reelection team believes the former, of course. They’ve promoted the event heavily via emails to supporters. The president’s political team has long believed that his savoir faire is a selling point – that’s why he appeared on Jimmy Fallon to “slow jam the news.”

That’s why they’ve passed around clips of him singing a few bars of Obama singing “Let’s Stay Together” by Al Green. And so on.

But Republicans aren’t ceding this ground. They’ve continued to try to frame Obama as the “celebrity-in-chief,” someone more interested in chatting up Barbra then figuring out how to lower the unemployment rate. Plus, they say the president is just after show biz bucks.

A Republican National Committee press release depicts Thursday night's event as “The Celebrity-in-Chief Fundraises with Celebrities,” and notes that the dinner will be studded with big names. The word “Hollywood” figures prominently in the release – they must have poll-tested it and found that Hollywood evokes a negative image of la-la liberals among Republican voters, at the least.

It is possible that associating the president with movie stars energizes some portion of the GOP base. It might also make him appear out-of-touch at a time when the economy is still struggling and jobs are issue number one.

It might also be an attempt to address Romney’s empathy gap. In a recent Washington Post/ABC poll, 49 percent of respondents said that Obama “better understands the economic problems the people in the country are having.” Only 37 percent said the same thing about Mitt Romney.

Still, Republicans tried to portray Obama as an out-of-touch celeb in 2008, and he won anyway. It remains hard to see how it helps Romney to highlight that his opponent is having dinner with George Clooney – someone whose approval ratings probably equal Obama’s and Romney’s, combined.


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