June 16, 2012
by Ronald Radosh
Our fund-raiser in chief, President Barack Obama, outdid himself on Thursday night. As we all learned from the much-derided Anna Wintour video, we were all invited to party with the president at her "good friend" Sarah Jessica Parker's home in Manhattan, to the tune of $40,000 per person. This is the same Vogue editor who once chose to feature Assad of Syria's wife as a feature story in her magazine — now removed from the website – and who recently announced her new designer canine products under the slogan "Bark For Obama."
The dinner was followed by a concert from Mariah Carey at the Plaza Hotel for the honored guests. The first couple raked in a cool $4.5 million in one evening. But as reporterPeter Grier reported for DC Decoder, Mitt Romney without any celebrities or any glitz brought in $3.5 million that same night in Chicago, where he presented a speech on the state of the economy.
Back at the Parker-Matthew Broderick home, a guest might have spotted George Clooney, Eddie Murphy and Tom Hanks, but evidently there were many rich folk whom the average celebrity hound in attendance would find unrecognizable. For Parker, the real star was Michelle Obama, who she introduced first by saying: "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." After that, she turned to Michelle's husband, and referred to him as the "beloved current and future president of the United States."
The event was in honor of the same president who has the nerve to tell the nation that his campaign is all about the suffering of the middle class: "still a lot of people hurting out there," he recently said. Obama was guest of honor, as Grier wrote, "in front of a group of folks who mingle with the middle class only when it's serving them dinner," or perhaps when they reluctantly are signing an autograph. Grier noted a poster displayed at an entertainment website stating "While rubbing elbows with New York's rich and famous Obama paused to remember the Americans suffering under his economy, how sweet."
Now, with his pandering for the Hispanic vote by bypassing Congress and introducing amnesty in effect, Obama has taken yet another step whose negative consequences will most harm the very middle class he claims to support. David Frum points out the economic implications of his amnesty program this way:
In a time of very high unemployment, it seems simply reckless to invite future waves of migration—and especially of the low-skill, low-wage migration that America has mostly attracted over the past four decades….The immigrants get higher wages than they would have earned in their former country. The affluent gain lower prices for in-person services. Lower-skilled native-born Americans face downward wage pressure. In any other policy area, people who consider themselves progressive might be expected to revile a policy whose benefits went to foreigners and the rich, and whose costs were born by the American poor. Immigration policy baffles that expectation.
Don't expect the president to comprehend or try to explain that contradiction to his elite backers. They're too busy being thrilled to sit at a dinner for two hours just to be in the presence of the Obamas and George Clooney and company. Undoubtedly, they are more than thankful that they may now save a few more pennies by gaining the chance to hire their maids and nannies for a lower fee. That's a good enough reward to pay for a dinner that costs more than many people earn in the entire year.
Undoubtedly, these are the same folks who felt connected during the 2008 campaign when Obama remarked in a famous off-the-cuff quip, after going to a supermarket, "Did you see what they charge for arugula?" But just don't make that Whole Foods, since its owner is a libertarian who publicly opposes ObamaCare. Just kidding — you really don't expect them to give that privilege up and consider going to a Costco. Some things are just too important to abandon, even for principle.
Ronald Radosh is an adjunct fellow at the Hudson Institute; Prof. Emeritus of History at the City University of New York, and the author of many books, including "The Rosenberg File;" "Divided They Fell: The Demise of the Democratic Party, 1964-1996," and most recently, "Commies: A Journey Through the Old Left, the New Left and the Leftover Left."
Home | Learn About Hudson | Hudson Scholars | Find an Expert | Support Hudson | Contact Information | Site Map
Policy Centers | Research Areas | Publications & Op-Eds | Hudson Bookstore
Hudson Institute, Inc. 1015 15th Street, N.W. 6th Floor Washington, DC 20005
Phone: 202.974.2400 Fax: 202.974.2410 Email the Webmaster
© Copyright 2013 Hudson Institute, Inc.