The White House wants you to see President Obama bash the rich, and everyone in the press corps is invited to cover the various rallies and speeches where he claims average people can’t get a break and the wealthy aren’t paying their fair share of taxes.
What the White House doesn’t want you to see is Obama schmoozing the rich so that he can pocket some of their money for his campaign.
Nothing could be more ostentatious than a Los Angeles fundraiser, replete with movie stars, athletes, and cinema moguls who embody the very exclusivity and bejeweled abundance Obama is not supposed to be about.
So not surprisingly, news photographers were barred from both of Obama’s L.A. fundraisers Monday. The best the public could do was get bare-bones written descriptions of the events that give only a hint of the lavishness that surrounded the president.
From the press pool report at the first fundraiser:
The President appeared at an intimate fund-raising dinner at the home of James and Mai Lassiter in LA’s Hancock Park area. He spoke softly to guests sitting at four tables, 8-10 seats per table. Tickets cost $35,800 per person.
Actor Will Smith, looking dapper in a three piece suit, stood near the back of the room and watched. Boston Celtics nemesis Magic Johnson sat at a table to the president’s right.
Pool was ushered out after 10 minutes, as potus opened it up for questions . . .
Pool is holding contentedly near the Lassiter’s lighted backyard pool, enjoying a cool LA breeze and snacking on individual-size pizzas.
And from the second:
About 8:20 p.m. local time, pool was led to the rear of the imposing Spanish-style mansion of Antonio Banderas and Melanie Griffith and into a large white tent where about 200 people sat in folding chairs, just as someone said “the program” would continue soon. That gave the crowd, who paid at least $5,000 each, time to ogle the riff-raff of the Fourth Estate as we took our seats at the rear.
Soon, to enthusiastic applause, the hosts and POTUS entered with Eva Longoria, who introduced the president, as folks stood holding cameras and cellphones above their heads.
Meanwhile, news photographers were welcomed earlier in the day when Obama made an unscheduled stop at Roscoe’s House of Chicken ‘n Waffles in West L.A., where he ordered the No. 9, “Country Boy” – 3 wings with choice of waffle, potato salad or French fries for $8.90.
Because that’s who Obama is supposed to be.