Last week: film. This week: fashion. Doubling down on a strategy which incites critics as much as it seems to excite supporters, President Barack Obama will devote part of yet another busy week to soliciting endorsements and campaign dollars from America’s A-list.
The President will attend a series of high-profile fundraisers with key figures from the fashion industry, led by Anna Wintour, the British-born editor of Vogue magazine, who yesterday was tipped as a possible future candidate for US Ambassador to London.
Speculative reports suggest that Wintour, 62, is a candidate to succeed Louis Susman, America’s representative in Britain, who is set to retire later this year. The formidable editor, who inspired the film The Devil Wears Prada, has been named a “top bundler” for Obama, having raised more than half a million dollars for his “Victory Fund”.
In Chicago tomorrow, Wintour and supermodel Iman, who is married to David Bowie, will walk the red carpet at a fundraiser at Oprah Winfrey’s television studio in Chicago. On Friday, Wintour will join other key players at the New York home of Sarah Jessica Parker, the Sex and the City star, for a US$40,000 ($51,500) a head dinner attended by Obama and his wife Michelle.
The Obama campaign’s move to boost support in the fashion world comes days after he visited Hollywood for a fundraiser attended by key players in the movie business. He hosted a low-profile breakfast for 25 young Hollywood stars, including Jeremy Renner, Jessica Alba, and Zachary Quinto.
Democratic strategists hope the President can use celebrities to once more spark the enthusiasm of younger voters, who turned out in such huge numbers to support him in 2008, and must be persuaded to return to the ballot box this November if he is to succeed.
To that end, Obama’s first national campaign video aired last week, during the MTV Movie Awards. It featured Sarah Jessica Parker calling Obama “the guy who ended the war in Iraq; the guy who says you should be able to marry anyone you want; the guy who created four million new jobs … That guy!”
The video sparked criticism from Republicans, who have used Obama’s relationship with the red carpet crowd to suggest he is behaving inappropriately at a time of hardship for many voters.
Republicans say a raffle to win tickets to Parker’s dinner party is “frivolous”. But Republican supporters are being asked to buy tickets to win a dinner with Mitt Romney and backer Donald Trump.
By Guy Adams