Celebrity-in-Chief tells Americans to eat cake again.
Obama has now held more fundraising events than the last six presidents combined.
UK Daily Mail – Last night busy night for Barack Obama, as he appeared at not one but two A-list fundraising events in Manhattan – raising a total of $4.5million.
However, the President’s re-election campaign will not have to pay the full cost of his jaunt to the Big Apple, as he combined the trip with an official event which will be charged to the taxpayer.
Before the fundraisers, one at Sarah Jessica Parker’s house and one at the five-star Plaza Hotel, Mr Obama scheduled a visit to the World Trade Center site.
Mr Obama has now held more fundraising events than the last six presidents combined, leading to his opponents coining the derisive nickname ‘Campaigner in Chief’.
He frequently combines the events with his official duties, which allows his re-election campaign to defray the President’s travel costs by charging part of them to the public purse.
For a trip like yesterday’s, involving both official duties and campaign events, a formula is applied so that the campaign pays part of the costs – but it still works out cheaper than making a trip purely for campaigning.
The intimate dinner at the house of Sex and the City star Ms Parker and her actor husband Matthew Broderick banked about $2 million, with 50 people paying $40,000 each.
Speaking in a dimly lighted, art-filled room, Mr Obama told supporters they would play a critical role in an election that would determine a vision for the nation’s future.
‘You’re the tie-breaker,’ he said. ‘You’re the ultimate arbiter of which direction this country goes.’
Among the celebrities on hand to hear the President’s remarks were Oscar winner Meryl Streep, fashion designer Michael Kors and Vogue editor Anna Wintour, who moderated a private question-and-answer session between the Mr Obama and the guests. Mr Broderick, who was starring in a Broadway musical, was absent.
The night’s second glitzy fundraiser, which included a performance from Mariah Carey and a speech by singer Alicia Keys, yielded the Obama campaign at least $2.5 million.
Some New Yorkers reacted with anger at the prospect of footing the bill for Mr Obama’s fundraising visit to the city.
Lauren Greenwood, a 28-year-old who works in medical sales, told MailOnline that while she had no objection to the President attending campaign events, ‘it shouldn’t be on New York taxpayers’ dollars to support him having parties.’
But Jonathan Fischer, 24, disagreed, saying: ‘He came here on business, he handled his business… He spends his days protecting the country, the rest is up to his own free will. He also pays taxes, so it doesn’t bother me.’
Much of downtown Manhattan was temporarily sealed off for the duration of Mr Obama’s visit, and the street in the West Village neighbourhood where Ms Parker’s house is situated was closed to pedestrians.
Some pedestrians bemoaned the disruption caused to the New York streets by the presidential motorcade – Mary Grach told ABC that Mr Obama’s visit was ‘really inconveniencing a lot of commuters’.
She added: ‘There has to be a better way to go about it rather than putting out how many thousands of riders out of commission, and having to find another way home.’ (more >>>)