Thursday's swanky New York City fundraising dinner that filmmaker Spike Lee and wife Tonya Lewis hosted in their Manhattan Upper East Side brownstone on behalf of President Barack Obama contradicts campaign manager Jim Messina’s claim that rumors about a billion-dollar reelection effort are “bulls**t” since the president’s push is supposedly being funded by individual, grassroots $3-5 contributions.
This exposes the double standard of an administration that has supposedly taken a populist stance by publicly demonizing the rich but cuddling with them in private.
The lavish New York event, in which an estimated 60 guests paid $38,500 “per head” or $71,600 per couple for the privilege to share dinner with the president and film legend Spike Lee, started at 6:00 p.m., right after another upscale gathering in which leaders of the New York City Jewish community paid $25,000 each for greeting and taking a picture with Obama.
The business-as-usual fundraising events also fly in the face of Obama’s claim that he had embraced the Occupy Wall Street movement’s message of economic inequality. Obama and Democrats have sought to portray themselves as champions of the middle class, trying to differentiate themselves from the GOP, Wall Street, and other “1 percenters” targeted by an increasingly heated class warfare rhetoric.
In addition, Obama’s star-studded gatherings lend legitimacy to at least one of Jodi Kantor’s claims in her recent tell-all book The Obamas. The book, which the White House has been publicly dismissing as fictitious, says that in 2009 Obama threw an “Alice in Wonderland”-themed White House Halloween party in which director Tim Burton allegedly transformed the State Dining Room in one of his signature “creepy-comic style” fantasies while actor Johnny Deep entertained visitors in character, George Lucas lent the original Chewbacca costume, and First Lady Michelle Obama greeted guests in a leopard-print sweater and cat ears.
Watch Jim Messina’s blipped “bulls**t” moment at 2:48 on the video below. Do you think the White House has a double standard on fundraising?
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