« | »

Hollywood Worries About ‘Celebrity’ Obama

From the Hollywood Reporter:

Obama Celebrity Fundraiser Barrage Worries Some in Hollywood

6/21/2012 by Tina Daunt

Barack Obama’s recent barrage of Hollywood campaign fundraisers is drawing backlash from an unlikely place: Hollywood.

Some of the president’s most ardent entertainment industry supporters quietly tell The Hollywood Reporter that while they realize he needs to deploy all of his weapons to compete with deep-pocketed Republican super PACs, they fear the increasing reliance on stars and celebrity contests could backfire with swing voters and mobilize the right.

"We don’t like what he’s doing, but we understand it," says one Hollywood fund-raising insider. "He has to raise the money. It’s a bad situation."

Notice these people aren’t worried about ticking off half of their potential audience.

But even these airheads realize that if the truth comes out about Obama, it could turn off the precious Independents and mobilize the dreaded rightwingers.

Reaction was particularly strong to the $40,000-a-plate dinner co-hosted June 14 by Sarah Jessica Parker and Vogue editor Anna Wintour with guests including Meryl Streep, Aretha Franklin and Bravo’s Andy Cohen. Critics say the tony, heavily promoted event­ — Parker sent an e-mail to supporters promising the evening would be "fabulous," and Wintour posted a video online urging supporters to enter a lottery for two tickets — risked creating the impression of an elitist, out-of-touch candidate in a period of ongoing distress and growing economic inequality.

It’s too bad they weren’t around to warn Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette that they were running the same kind of risk.

"It’s a mistake," a veteran Hollywood exec says flatly of the event, which the Drudge Report headlined "Checks in the City." The exec adds: "He’s supposed to be a man of the people, and he’s hanging out with Anna Wintour? Is he trying to turn the election into a celebrity reality show?"

That happened a long time ago. Mr. Obama has always campaigned (and ‘governed’) more like an American Idol contestant than as a man who wants to do the job of the Presidency.

Conservatives quickly pounced, with Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus writing a column on Breitbart.com titled "Out-of-touch Obama Is in Wintour Wonderland." Even liberal-leaning [sic] Jon Stewart reminded viewers that the insufferable magazine editor in The Devil Wears Prada was loosely based on Wintour, quipping, "If there are two things the American people relate to, it’s the devil and Prada." …

Such outrage. But then Mr. Stewart quickly returned to mocking Ann Romney for riding a horse to counter her multiple sclerosis.

[But] the Obama campaign is far from done: An online contest is underway that allows donor-participants to name the celebrity they’d like to join for dinner with the president, and on June 26, Obama will appear onstage in Miami at a benefit concert with singer Marc Anthony. Another online contest offers backstage passes to that event (with an entry form in English and Spanish, signaling how important Latinos will be to winning Florida).

Despite the risks, most industry Democrats see no alternative given the Republicans’ ability to raise hundreds of millions of dollars in super PAC donations from corporations and ultra-wealthy individuals like brothers Charles and David Koch. Gaming magnate Sheldon Adelson already has given $20 million to GOP campaign coffers and says he’s willing to pour as much as $100 million into this election. Without celebrities to generate buzz for Obama’s campaign, many believe he will be far outspent.

This is the same song we hear every campaign cycle. But after the election we always hear how the Republicans were wildly outspent by the Democrats. And that does not even include the donations in kind from the unions and the news media, and of course, the entertainment industry.

In addition to the focus on high-profile events with the president, the Obama campaign is homing in on entertainment-industry donor lists, trying to milk even more money out of Hollywood.

"We need you to panic NOW!" wrote Cookie Parker of the Obama campaign in an e-mail that hit showbiz inboxes in early June, urging recipients to commit to giving or raising "$1,000 each month until the election." The increased urgency — with an event slated for June 20 at actress Donna Mills’ L.A. house touting Sharon Stone as a special guest — also has left some with a bad taste

Which, if it came off, seems to have been played down by the news media. (Anyway, let’s hope Ms. Stone managed to keep her legs crossed.)

This article was posted by Steve on Friday, June 22nd, 2012. Comments are currently closed.

One Response to “Hollywood Worries About ‘Celebrity’ Obama”

  1. GetBackJack says:

    When In Doubt
    Run In Circles
    Scream and Shout

« Front Page | To Top
« | »