Sarah Jessica Parker sticks her nose into 2012 campaign
Wealthy actress and socialite Sarah Jessica Parker is the celebrity horse that Barack Obama’s 2012 campaign is betting on to win low-dollar donations, just two days after using Anna Wintour, the English-born editor of the fashion-industry nameplate, Vogue.
“We need him and he needs us,” Parker says in the 30-second web video posted June 3 by the Obama campaign.
Parker joined Wintour in touting a campaign lottery for two seats at a June 14 fundraiser in New York that is likely to include a roster of New York’s fashion glitterati.
“We’re saving the two best seats in the house for you, but you have to enter to win… Please join us, but just don’t be late,” Wintour teases in her June 1 video, which was released just as new federal data showed an increase in the official unemployment rate to 8.2 percent.
The upcoming high-society fundraiser has prompted scorn from the Republican National Committee, which released a new video June 4, contrasting the event’s fashion-stars with dismal unemployment numbers.
Wintour’s magazine advertises clothes and other fashion items at prohibitively high prices, targeting wealthy consumers looking to distinguish their wardrobe from ordinary people.
Parker is an actress who is famous for her role in the “Sex and the City” television series and movies, in which she played a single New York columnist who meets and sleeps with various men while living in the city. The role made her famous, and also won her a top place in New York City’s social circuit.
Obama’s lottery pitches seem to be working. The campaign continues to use the strategy after potentially raising millions of dollars from a similar lottery to attend a May fundraiser in Hollywood, hosted by actor George Clooney.
The use of Hollywood typically serves as a broad appeal for low-dollar donations. However, the support given to Obama by Parker, Wintour and much of New York’s fashion set clashes with the president’s efforts to portray his campaign as focused on the middle class. The lineup also belies his efforts to portray GOP nominee Mitt Romney as the champion of wealthy, heartless Americans.
The contrast was highlighted June 3 by the Republican National Committee.
“The Obama campaign showed once again how out of touch they are releasing a fundraising contest featuring Vogue chief Anna Wintour the same day as a dismal jobs report highlighted how millions of Americans continue to struggle,” said spokeswoman Kirsten Kukowski.
Juan Williams, a liberal commentator on Fox News, also ridiculed the pitch June 1.
Wintour’s pitch “was hilarious,” Williams said. “That looks like a parody,” he said. “It looked like the Romney campaign planted Dr. Evil in the house of Obama and he said, ‘you know on the day the grim job numbers come out let’s have someone who reeks of ornamental excess announce that the peasants can have a place at the table.’”
“It’s just unbelievable… [It is] just a mistake,” Williams said.
Watch Juan Williams call Anna Wintour’s Obama pitch ‘hilarious,’ ‘a mistake’:
The Obama campaign may be risking political expedience and ridicule over the videos in its attempt to pick fundraising back up from its rapid decline last month. The Obama campaign took in $43 million in May, down almost 20 percent from its $53 million take in April.
Since then, Obama has stepped up his record pace of fundraising.
For example, he held six fundraisers June 1 in Minneapolis and Chicago, and will attend three more June 4 in New York. Campaign officials have told reporters they fear the president’s campaign will have less cash than Romney.
Parker’s pitch, and Obama’s multiple New York fundraisers, may also spur donations from the wealthy gays working in New York’s culture industries, including fashion and theater.
Obama has pushed to win more donations from gay supporters since May 9, when he announced his support for same-sex marriage.
Parker highlighted Obama’s announcement in her June 3 pitch.
“O.K., the guy who ended the war in Iraq, the guy who said you should be able to marry anyone you want… President Obama and Michelle, are coming to my house for dinner on June 14, and I want you to be there too,” she said.