Last night was the much publicized Obama campaign fundraiser at George Clooney's Hollywood home. The event raised $15 million for Obama's campaign, which is apparently a record for a single fundraiser.
Party-goers -- 150 of Clooney's closest friends who forked over $40k a ticket -- included Tobey Maguire (who sat at Clooney's table), Robert Downey Jr., Salma Hayek, Jack Black, Barbra Streisand, and Jeffrey Katzenberg (head of Dreamworks). Obama and Clooney fawned over one another all night -- cracking jokes about their good looks like they were BFFs.
Sounds like a smashing success.
But if you remember, this dinner is the one that got a ton of press because the Obama campaign held a "Win Dinner With George Clooney" raffle so that two hoi polloi could attend and mix with Hollywood "elite" and the prez. What noblesse oblige.
It sure seemed like a great idea -- kind of an extension of the "Win Dinner With the President" raffles that have been held periodically over the past few months. Unfortunately, it ended up making the president look bad.The Obama campaign raised millions of dollars through the online raffle of two free tickets to the dinner. People could contribute $5 for a chance to go to the party. In fact, you didn't have to contribute anything at all to enter or to win.
The winners were Beth Topinka, a New Jersey science teacher, and Karen Blutcher, a Florida utility company employee. Both of the women went to the party with their husbands. So where did they sit? At the back of the party tent of course (I'm guessing right by the port-o-potties). So unimpressed, George. What kind of host are you?
Why the heck weren't these winners seated at Clooney or Obama's table? One couple could have sat with Clooney and another with Obama -- or both couples could have sat together at a table with Clooney and Obama. We all know the answer to that. These regular folks just aren't good enough to sit aside Hollywood royalty or get that close to the President (although I'm sure he made the most of those photo opps with the winners). The Obama campaign got the press coverage and $$$$ it wanted. George Clooney comes off looking like a great guy. And no doubt the winners will indeed be aglow that they got to bask in the light of all these famous stars -- oblivious to the function they really served.
Ah, America -- where the President is no longer a man of the people, fame and money talk, and politicians throw all the little people a bone ... when they need your vote.
Do you think the winners of the "Dinner With Clooney" raffle should have been seated with Obama and/or Clooney -- or do you think they belonged at the back of the tent?
Image via art_es_ana/Flickr