Barackaganda: Where Hollywood Meets Washington

Just weeks ago President Obama was hard at work delivering his Washington Correspondents’ Dinner stand-up routine and now we find him on the Upper West Side of Manhattan for what is being dubbed his “Checks and the City” tour, a play on words for actress Sarah Jessica Parker’s $40,000 a plate soiree featuring Michelle and Barack Obama.  Anna Wintour, editor-in-chief of Vogue magazine and screaming diva in the documentary film, The September Issue, will also be at the Thursday gathering.  For $40,000, that plate should come with a new Prius c.

The AP author of the article says that Obama has no choice but to hook his falling star status onto the ready cash of multimillionaire Hollywood actors and actresses like George Clooney, Cher, Matthew Broderick, Ellen Degeneres, among many others.  There is great potential for this money-raising tete-a-tete to backfire.  Americans have an ongoing love/hate relationship with Hollywood.  While we may like the product that comes out of the industry, we don’t think much of the lifestyles of many of the rich and famous.  These are not the Go Go 1980s anymore nor are these the “Yes, we can!” feelings of just a few years ago.  Granted, anyone who hates Hollywood isn’t going to vote for Barack Obama anyway, but he needs the Independents to beat Mitt Romney.

Is President Obama looking too closely aligned with Hollywood?  Do you think this close alliance between Hollywood and Washington will make any difference in the presidential election?  Or do you just want to know what they are serving for $40,000 a plate? 

7 thoughts on “Barackaganda: Where Hollywood Meets Washington

  1. President Obama may be clinging onto Hollywood stars in order to claim popularity among his voters, but I do not see this as a weakness for the upcoming election. I do feel that he is too closely aligned to Hollywood because it isn’t uncommon for Hollywood celebrities to talk about having dinner with President Obama. I was watching a re-run of The Ellen DeGeneres Show where Will Smith was the guest. He talked about going to the White House and visiting President Obama because his daughter was invited to sing the National Anthem at the White House. When I was watching this I did not think “Wow, Will Smith is friends with the President!,” but rather, “Wow, Obama is friends with Will Smith!” From this I felt that in my mind, Will Smith was more important to me than the President when I think it should be vice versa. However Obama’s connections show that he has a good reputation among Hollywood celebrities, especially with celebrities that young people view as “cool,” which automatically makes President Obama a “cool” president. With this image the President may be able to gather votes from the younger generation easily.

    Also, I am curious about what they are serving for $40,000 a plate.

  2. This stance that Obama is taking towards the voters in his attitude towards Hollywood is quite not what is needed from a presidential candidate at a time of economic crisis like this. I believe that this act will affect a certain amount of people who are interested in Hollywood or are uninterested in it, and criticize Obama for his somewhat easygoing attitude. But, the point of concern is that even if Obama does a thing like this, the central point of the presidential election will still be on the economical downturn, and I agree to the fact that the mentioning of the $40,000 a meal may backfire to some people as a rather arrogant stance on finances.

    Taking the fact that Obama took this stance, I feel that Obama is desperate to get support from almost anybody, and he is likely to continue on with this stance even if it may be the thing that may end his presidential term in the long term. I feel that his stance may have worked well at a financially and economically healthy time, but I think Obama missed the down effect that this would cause as a controversial topic for a presidential election.

    I too am still curious about what kind of meal they would prepare for $40,000.

  3. I am not sure if President Obama is too closely aligned with Hollywood but I think it is obviously effective to get attention from those who are not so interested in the politics or the presidential election. If AKB48 or Arashi (they are very popular idols) were invited to the Prime Minister’s Cabinet and had dinner together, many young people would get interested in politics. Just the same as this, those who gathered at the campaign must attract more people. It does not motivate people to vote for President Obama but it is surely useful to make people get interested in the election.

  4. It is taken for granted, if Mr. Obama is closely aligned with Hollywood, his popularity will grow. However, Mr. Obama isn’t a celebrity. He is one of the greatest powers of all who is leading the US. In my opinion, having charisma and popularity is a different thing. In terms of political speaking, Mr. Obama should have charisma. It is not necessary for him to show off how popular or rich he is. (Needless to say, he will lose votes.) Although, having the charisma of leading his citizens, this is the way he will acquire votes and many people should vote for him because he will be suitable for his own job.

    We all tend to think Hollywood is the dream place where we all want to step foot once in our lifetime. But, I once saw this article of the First Lady, Michelle Obama. (US Today) She was caught in one of the biggest stores in the US, which was Target, shopping like the normal housewives do. People think that this was a set-up in order to make people think that even the first lady shops at Target. Frankly speaking, I think so too. That picture might have just been taken in order to achieve popularity from the citizens. But this will be the wrong action. Nevertheless, people who are joining the government must think about the charisma, not the popularity like Hollywood stars.

  5. I completely agree with you about Michelle Obama’s casual trip to Target. How come a press photographer was there? It was obviously a tip-off to some of the media to show how President Obama’s wife Michelle is just one of the people. You are separating personal charisma from Hollywood pandering. Good point here.

  6. I always notice that Obama-san tends to be at social events more often than usual. When I lived in the US, I would see him on the news at events such as a basketball game. I had a friend whose parents hated Obama-san. They always thought that he wasn’t suited to be a president since it seemed to them as if he maintained his focus on social matters rather than politics. So I could see why people who oppose the value of the importance of social matters might dislike Obama-san.

    Personally I think Obama-san’s involvement with Hollywood is fine, as long as he is able to deal with serious issues if anything comes up. But the whole thing proves that we are in a peaceful era. Yes, there are issues all over the world, but comparing to the time when WW1 or WW2 was taking place, it’s safe to say that we are in a safe era globally. And even if it seems as if he is too involved with social matters, he is actually dealing with economic matters as well. It’s just what media decides to present to people.

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