President Obama Tuesday evening raised approximately $4 million at a single fundraiser hosted by entertainers Beyoncé and Jay-Z, a huge dividend reaped after Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama spent years courting the music power duo.
Beyoncé and Jay-Z were memorably invited in March 2010 to a tour of the White House that included a stop in the super-secret White House Situation Room, a place normally way off limits to even the most VIP White House visitors.
While it is not possible to directly link the visit to the Situation Room to Tuesday’s fundraiser, that President Obama gave such unique access to people who went on to help him raise $4 million raises questions of appearance and propriety. And it recalls – though doesn’t exactly mimic – Bill Clinton’s willingness to let donors sleep in the Lincoln Bedroom.
The Obamas have taken great care to cultivate their ties to the couple.
Beyoncé and Jay-Z sang at one of Obama’s inaugural balls.
During last night’s fundraiser, a $40,000-a-head affair for about 100 people at New York’s 20/20 Club, Obama heaped praise on the duo:
Beyoncé couldn’t be a better role model for our daughters because she carries herself with such class and poise — (applause) — and has so much talent. And Jay-Z now knows what my life is like. (Laughter.) We both have daughters, and our wives are more popular than we are.
The event followed an earlier fundraiser which also raked in a large sum for Obama’s campaign, a reception at the Waldorf Astoria for 200 people where tickets started at “$12,500 per family,” according to the White House press pool report.