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Tipsheet

Obama to Celebrities at Glitzy Fundraiser: I Heart the Middle Class!

Ah, yes. The speed at which our nation's leader can go from Barack Obama: People's President to Barack Obama: Celebrident (Preslebrity?) boggles the mind. Witness: yesterday, he gave a speech in America's heartland in which he whined about how all of middle America's problems are not his fault. Mere hours later, however, he stood in front of the wealthiest people America has to offer at two fancy fundraisers in New York City and professed to be a champion of the middle class.

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Fresh from giving an economic speech in America's industrial Rust Belt, President Barack Obama headlined big-dollar campaign fundraisers at the home of "Sex and the City" actress Sarah Jessica Parker and in a landmark New York hotel.

Obama has shaped his re-election message around appealing to middle-class voters, many of whom continue to struggle to find work and afford their homes years after economic recession hit.

But the Democratic president, like his Republican opponent and candidates before them, is also targeting wealthy supporters to help fill his campaign coffers as he seeks to win a second White Houseterm on November 6.

The contrast was especially sharp for Obama on Thursday.

In a speech at a community college in Cleveland, Ohio, he said that Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney would hollow out the middle class with his policies favoring the rich.

Hours later, he was holding court in the elegant dining room of Parker's four-story brownstone in Manhattan's West Village, where 50 guests including actress Meryl Streep and designer Michael Kors paid $40,000 a plate for dinner.

Then he spoke to a $10,000-per-person fundraiser in a lavish ballroom of the Plaza Hotel featuring singers Mariah Carey and Alicia Keys, telling the well-heeled crowd that he was committed to ensuring economic opportunities for all Americans.

Forgive me, but I don't really see how a room full of people who can afford to drop a cool $40,000 for a seat in Sarah Jessica Parker's house can sympathize with their fellow countrymen in the "flyover."

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It'll be interesting to see how the rate of small donations to Obama's coffers this election compares to last time. He was very proud of the fact that about a quarter of his fundraising efforts came from individuals who gave under $200; this time, it seems like the little people aren't quite as inspired to donate, especially given that so many are struggling to pay bills, much less make political contributions.

Just think: the next time you in Iowa or Ohio see an Obama 2012 ad featuring all the wonderful things he's done for ordinary Americans, you can rest comfortably knowing that the whole thing was bankrolled by people who paid for a dinner that cost about as much as the average American salary. The irony...oh, the irony...

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