Wednesday, July 28, 2010


Glitzy Fundraisers, Posh Vacations, And Celebrity Concerts Show Obama’s Elitist Disconnect From The American People

“President Obama is coming to New York on July 28 for Democratic National Committee fundraising, but apparently he has two events planned on the day - including one at the home of Vogue editrix Anna Wintour.” (Maggie Haberman, “Obama And Anna Wintour, For One Night Only,” Politico, 7/14/10)


Calvin Klein, Harvey Weinstein And Several “Former Clinton Boosters” Are Expected To Shell Out Over $30,000 To Attend Tonight’s Events. “The price for the evening is just over $30,000 a head, making it a somewhat tougher draw. But the names - at least the ones I was able to pry loose - are a patchwork of a bunch of different industries. … At the Four Seasons, the first event of the night and a fifty-ticket event, a source familiar with the affair said attendees are expected to incude longtime Bill Clinton donor Bernard Schwartz, Obama booster Jane Hartley, Anne Hess, former Clinton boosters Stan Shuman and Michael Kempner. The next event, at Vogue editrix Anna Wintour's home, has been difficult to get details about, but a few names I was able to glean include Larry Gagosian, the art dealer who was a Clinton backer, along with Miramax founder Harvey Weinstein, and designer Calvin Klein, an Obama booster, and Marissa Mayer of Google fame.” (Maggie Haberman, “Mix Of Clinton, Obama Donors Slated For Prez Events,” Politico, 7/27/10)

In May, Obama Jetted To $15,000 Fundraiser At St. Regis In New York City. “President Obama headed to a $15,000-per-person fundraiser in Manhattan after spending the afternoon speaking to workers upstate about their economic struggles… Obama is the big draw at a dinner to raise money for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. He’s set to take the stage at 7:05 p.m. at the St. Regis Hotel, where tickets sold for $15,000 a person or $30,400 a couple, according to a Democratic official.” (Carol Lee, “Obama Tops $15K-Per-Person Event, Politico’s 44 Blog, 5/13/10)

In 2009, Obama “Basked In The Glow” Of His Hollywood Supporters, Holding Back-To-Back Fundraisers Among Hollywood Elite. “President Obama arrived at a back-to-back fund-raising dinner and concert on Wednesday night and raised $4 million for the Democratic National Committee. He basked in the glow of his Hollywood supporters and thanked them for making his candidacy possible… There was Jamie Foxx and Marissa Tomei, Antonio Banderas and Melanie Griffth, Steven Spielberg and Jeffrey Katzenberg, and a long line of bold and not-so-bold names.” (Jeff Zeleny, “Obama Rings Up Cash Among The Stars,” The New York Times’ The Caucus Blog, 5/27/09)

  • Paying $30,400 Per Couple. “The people in the audience – who paid $30,400 per couple to attend – laughed as they ate a dinner of roasted tenderloin, grilled organic chicken and sun choke rosemary mashed potatoes.” (Jeff Zeleny, “Obama Rings Up Cash Among The Stars,” The New York Times’ The Caucus Blog, 5/27/09)

Obama Will Even Celebrate His Birthday With $30,000 A Plate Fundraiser Thrown By Billionaire Neil Bluhm. “$$$$$: Happy Birthday, buddy! Sneed hears real estate mogul Neil Bluhm is tossing a private birthday party here for President Obama, who turns 49 on Aug. 4. The shocker: The dinner invite to the Barack bash at Bluhm's home requires a $30,000 donation to the Democratic National Committee! The stunner: Obama is also scheduled to be in town Aug. 5 for a fund-raiser at the Palmer House for U.S. Senate hopeful Alexi Giannoulias, who is hoping to capture Uncle Rocky's old seat.” (Michael Sneed, “Price To Attend Obama's Birthday Bash: $30,000,” The Chicago Sun-Times, 7/23/10)


Hosting “Scores Of Celebrities” Such As George Clooney And Jay-Z. “During Obama's first 16 months in office, the White House has hosted scores of celebrities, including Oprah Winfrey, Steven Spielberg, Eva Longoria Parker, Brad Pitt, George Clooney, Serena Williams, Bobby Flay and the Foo Fighters. Some have come for official events, such as Bob Dylan and Smokey Robinson, who performed at a civil rights concert at the White House in February. In March photos surfaced of Shawn "Jay-Z" Carter and his wife Beyonce Knowles posing coolly with the president in the White House.” (Deborah Weinstein. “Obama’s Celebrity Guests,” Forbes, 5/4/10)

Obama Following Pattern Of Holding Weekly Social Events, Including Cocktail Parties And Concerts. “The administration has followed a pattern recently, opening up the White House on Wednesday nights for social events – a Stevie Wonder concert last Wednesday, and cocktail parties with various groups in weeks past.” (Sunlen Miller, “Obama Hosts Bipartisan 'Timeout' Dinner at White House,” ABC News, 3/5/09)

Obama Has “A Penchant For Ritziness.” “That Obama also relaxes in Hawaii — though his childhood home, it’s viewed by many Americans as a kind of paradise that they can never get to — and on tony Martha’s Vineyard evinces a penchant for ritziness that can’t help him with the general public.” (Keith Koffler, “Obama Distances Himself From Voters,” Op-Ed, Politico, 7/26/10)

Obama Is One Of “Broadway’s Most Prominent Advocates,” And Is Now Bringing Broadway To Him. “A couple of Broadway’s most prominent advocates – President Obama and his wife, Michelle – will continue to do their part for the New York theater by bringing some of it to the White House on Monday. Representatives for Mrs. Obama said on Wednesday that the White House would continue its concert series with a performance at 7 p.m. on Monday by a lineup of prominent Broadway talents, including Nathan Lane, Idina Menzel, Audra McDonald, Brian d’Arcy James, Chad Kimball, Tonya Pinkins, Marvin Hamlisch, Karen Olivo and Assata Alston, preceded by remarks from the president.” (Dave Itzkoff, “White House To Host A Broadway Concert Next Week,” The New York Times, 7/14/10)

The “All-Star Lineup” For Paul McCartney’s Gershwin Prize Performance Included Stevie Wonder, The Jonas Brothers, And Faith Hill. “The setting was the ornate East Room, chandeliers overhead, George and Martha Washington portraits on the walls and an all-star lineup of performers cranking out some of McCartney's greatest hits. Stevie Wonder had the Obamas clapping to ‘We Can Work It Out.’ The Jonas Brothers did ‘Baby You Can Drive My Car.’ Corinne Bailey Rae slowed things down with ‘Blackbird.’ And Faith Hill stroked ‘Long and Winding Road.’ It was McCartney himself who brought down the house by belting out ‘Michelle,’ aiming his words straight at a first lady named Michelle.” (“All-Star White House Tribute To Paul McCartney,” The Associated Press, 6/3/10)


Obama Just Returned From Vacation In Bar Harbor, Maine. “Bar Harbor, Maine — Serving as a summer retreat for Rockefellers, Vanderbilts and Morgans, this town and the surrounding area have long been known as a place where well-heeled and well-known visitors could beat the heat — and have their privacy respected. President Barack Obama is the latest influential visitor to flee to Maine in search of a cool ocean breeze. When he arrives Friday for a three-day visit, he'll be the first sitting president to visit Mount Desert Island since William Howard Taft a century ago.” (Clarke Canfield, “Obama's Maine Island Long Visited By Rich, Famous,” The Associated Press, 7/15/10)

Last December, The First Family Stayed In An $8.9 Million Dollar Estate On Their Hawaiian Getaway. “The first family touched down amid intense security in President Obama's hometown Thursday and settled in for what is expected to be a 10-day vacation in Kailua, with apparent plans to decorate an 8-foot Noble fir Christmas tree last night. Coast Guard personnel in semi-rigid boats patrolled the nearby Kawainui Canal, and a pair of gunboats sat behind Kailuana Loop, where the Obamas will be staying in a five-bedroom, beachfront home that's up for sale for $8.9 million.” (Dan Nakaso, “Obamas Plan To 'Recharge' On Hawaii Trip,” The Associated Press, 12/25/09)

Over 40 Rounds Of Golf. “President Barack Obama has played a remarkable 41 rounds of golf since becoming president, easily outpacing his predecessor and possibly damaging his ability to portray himself in 2012 as a populist advocate of average folks… The former community organizer’s 41 trips around the links – a standard of recreational activity well beyond the budgets of most Americans – compares to only 24 total outings for former President George W. Bush, according to statistics compiled by White House chronicler Mark Knoller of CBS News. Bush, whose golf outings were used to help deride him as a callow, lazy, rich boy, played his 24th and last round on Oct. 13, 2003, saying he was ending the practice out of respect for the families of Americans killed in Iraq.” (Keith Koffler, “Obama Has Shot 41 Rounds of Golf as President,” WhiteHouseDossier, 7/16/10)

When Stuck In DC, Obama Dines At “Super Exclusive” And Super Expensive Restaurants. “Most recently, the couple went to super exclusive Komi, one of the toughest places to get a reservation in D.C. No word on what the couple ate, but the restaurant is known for its $125 multicourse menu. What we do know: The first lady held a bouquet of flowers as she left the restaurant.” (Amie Parnes, “Obama Family Haunts,” Politico-Click, 7/6/10)

  • And When The Obamas Can’t Go To The Celebrity Chefs, The Celebrity Chefs Come To Them. “This is the Obamas' second state dinner, and Bayless is the second guest chef that Mrs. Obama has requested. In November, award-winning chef Marcus Samuelsson prepared a meal for Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.” (“Chicago Celebrity Chef Rick Bayless Will Prepare Meal For Obama’s State Dinner For Mexican President,” The Associated Press, 5/19/10)


Nancy Pelosi Asked “Legendary Fashion Designer Diane von Furstenberg” To Design A Limited Edition Tote Bag To Raise Money For The DCCC. “Legendary fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg is a big fan of Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), and she's designed a limited-edition tote bag to prove it. …Von Furstenberg writes that Pelosi ‘recently asked me if I would design a limited edition tote bag, and ... I was more than happy to oblige.’ Every dollar of the purchase price of the bag will benefit the DCCC.” (Christina Wilkie, “Diane Von Furstenberg Designs A Tote Bag For Pelosi,” The Hill Washington Scene Blog, 7/23/10)

Senator John Kerry’s 76 Foot Luxury Yacht Stored In Rhode Island To Avoid Massachusetts Taxes. “Sen. John Kerry, who has repeatedly voted to raise taxes while in Congress, dodged a whopping six-figure state tax bill on his new multimillion-dollar yacht by mooring her in Newport, R.I… Isabel - Kerry’s luxe, 76-foot New Zealand-built Friendship sloop with an Edwardian-style, glossy varnished teak interior, two VIP main cabins and a pilothouse fitted with a wet bar and cold wine storage - was designed by Rhode Island boat designer Ted Fontaine.” (Gayle Fee and Laura Raposa, “Sen. John Kerry Skips Town On Sails Tax,” Boston Herald, 7/23/10)

  • Saving Kerry Approximately $500,000. “But instead of berthing the vessel in Nantucket, where the senator summers with the missus, Teresa Heinz, Isabel’s hailing port is listed as “Newport” on her stern… Sources say Isabel sold for something in the neighborhood of $7 million, meaning Kerry saved approximately $437,500 in sales tax and an annual excise tax of about $70,000.” (Gayle Fee and Laura Raposa, “Sen. John Kerry Skips Town On Sails Tax,” Boston Herald, 7/23/10)

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