Obama fundraiser at Sarah Jessica Parker's house: How'd it go? (+video)
The $40,000-a-plate event chez Sarah Jessica Parker raised plenty of cash, but also raised eyebrows, feeding conservative criticism that the 'celebrity-in-chief' is out of touch with needs of struggling families.
The first couple attended a much-promoted fundraiser in Manhattan Thursday night at the home of actress Sarah Jessica Parker. So how did that go? Did the combined star power crash the West Village power grid? Did President Obama raise (tasteful) basketsful of cash? Did first lady Michelle Obama steal the show?Skip to next paragraph
Peter Grier is The Christian Science Monitor's Washington editor. In this capacity, he helps direct coverage for the paper on most news events in the nation's capital.
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No, yes, and yes. That’s what it seems from the report of pool journalists who accompanied the president, in any case. We can’t write from personal experience because due to a postal glitch our personal invite went to Meryl Streep instead.
But George Clooney, Tom Hanks, Eddie Murphy, and the ghosts of Marilyn Monroe and Cary Grant weren’t there. Bravo’s Andy Cohen was. In other words, there weren’t lots of people so famous that average voters would be able to identify them on sight.
The pool reporter, who probably does not read Vogue as if it were Mike Allen’s Playbook (that’s an inside reporter joke), was not sure who many of the people seated at the two long tables in Ms. Parker’s brownstone were.
“There were many attractive people seated at the tables, but your pooler sadly did not recognize them,” they wrote.
Still, 50 guests at $40,000 each can produce a lot of cash, even if they haven’t all done "Today Show" guest spots. Do the math, and you get a sum of ... worth the Obamas' time.
But reading between the lines of the pool report, it seems to us that the real star of the evening was Mrs. Obama.
Here’s how the actress who played Carrie Bradshaw welcomed her. “It is a great, a rare, a very special and I’m assuming a singular treat to welcome you into our home – our radiant, our extraordinary first lady,” said Ms. Parker, gesturing toward Mrs. Obama, who was seated next to her.
Only then did she turn to Mrs. Obama’s husband, calling him the “beloved current and future president of the United States.”
Of course, the whole setup was tilted in Mrs. Obama’s favor – one co-host edits a fashion magazine, the other plays a character who loves shoes. That’s not an NBA playoff-watching demographic.
Parker noted that her husband, Matthew Broderick, was absent, for instance, saying he had to perform in a show. As if. We’d wager that he and Joe Biden were in the basement man cave playing darts and watching the Mets.
Anyway, Republicans have been criticizing this event, saying that it shows how out of touch Obama is. He’s acting all celebrity-in-chief at a time when the US needs a chief-executive-in-chief. Or something like that.
Conservatives made fun of the president for talking about his plans for the middle class (“Still a lot of people hurting out there,” said Obama) in front of a group of folks who mingle with the middle class only when it’s serving them dinner.