Success often spawns imitators, especially when it comes to blockbuster movies, reality TV shows, and apparently now campaign fundraisers.
A couple of weeks ago 150 Hollywood stars and entertainment industry insiders showed up at George Clooney’s home and dropped a cool $6 million into President Obama’s campaign war chest.
To supplement the fundraising take, the Obama campaign came up with an idea of a nationwide contest, dubbed “Obama, Clooney and You,” where for a suggested donation of $3 participants would be entered into a raffle, with the ultimate winner of the contest being allowed to go to Clooney’s home and meet the star and his friend, the president.
The winners ended up being New Jersey science teacher Beth Topinka and Florida utility company employee Karen Blutcher. Both women came with their spouses, and the two couples were reportedly given seats toward the rear of the tent.
The fundraising tactic brought in an additional $9 million, and the resultant $15 million overall take was the largest amount ever raised in a single presidential campaign finance event.
Results such as these leave political operatives breathless.
Consequently, the fundraising format is being emulated. Sarah Jessica Parker is set to host an Obama fundraiser at the West Village home that she shares with husband-actor Matthew Broderick. The fundraiser will parallel Clooney’s record-breaking model.
Parker’s party will reportedly utilize the same kind of online raffle component as the Clooney fundraiser, with tickets even having the exact same suggested contribution of $3. Participants will be entered into a drawing, where one winner and his or her guest will be selected to attend the event and will also be given airfare and tickets to a Mariah Carey performance.
Obama and the first lady will appear at the “Sex and the City” star’s home next month in New York for the event billed as “A New York Night With the President, First Lady and Sarah Jessica Parker.”
Parker’s message in a campaign email pushed many of the Obama campaign themes, beginning with the actress touting her gender and business acumen as she evoked the “fair share” mantra, which has been a part of so many of the president’s speeches.
“As a woman, a mother, and an entrepreneur, I need to believe our country can be a place where everyone has a fair shot at success,” Parker wrote.
The actress reinforced the idea of a tax increase on the wealthy by suggesting that the upcoming election “will determine whether we get to keep moving forward, or if we're forced to go back to policies that ask people like my middle-class family in Ohio to carry the burden — while people like me, who don't need tax breaks, get extra help.”
At the last State of the Union address, the president criticized what he called the “corrosive influence of money in politics.” What a difference a re-election aspiration can make.
Parker, who has been a longtime Obama supporter, ended her email with the following message: “I hope you'll help me welcome President Obama and the first lady to New York. It should be fabulous.”
James Hirsen, J.D., M.A., in media psychology, is a New York Times best-selling author, media analyst, and law professor. Visit Newsmax.TV Hollywood. Read more reports from James Hirsen — Click Here Now.
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