Obama turns to celebrities in NYC for campaign funds
By Ben Feller and Julie Pace ,AP
June 16, 2012, 12:04 am TWN
NEW YORK -- Re-election-seeking U.S. President Barack Obama soaked in the support — and the campaign cash — of Manhattan's elite entertainers Thursday as his campaign team sought to fill its fundraising coffers.
The president and first lady Michelle Obama made a rare joint fundraising appearance when they visited the home of actors Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick. The intimate dinner banked about US$2 million, with 50 people paying US$40,000 each.
The dinner was the Obama campaign's latest attempt to bank on celebrities for fundraising help in countering the growing donor enthusiasm from Republicans supporting Mitt Romney's presidential bid.
Speaking in a dimly lit, art-filled room, Obama told supporters they would play a critical role in an election that would determine a vision for the nation's future.
“You're the tie-breaker,” he said. “You're the ultimate arbiter of which direction this country goes.”
Among the celebrities on hand to hear Obama's remarks were Oscar winner Meryl Streep, fashion designer Michael Kors and Vogue editor Anna Wintour, who moderated a private question-and-answer session between the president and the guests. Broderick, who was starring in a Broadway musical, was absent.
The president and Mrs. Obama also headlined a second glitzy fundraiser in Manhattan on Thursday night that included a performance from singer Mariah Carey and remarks by singer Alicia Keys. The 250-person dinner yielded the Obama campaign at least US$2.5 million.