Financial gloom doesn’t halt glitzy Obama fundraiser

September 16, 2008

So what does Barack Obama do after a hard day of defending the common man during the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression?
 
Throw a $28,500-a-head fundraising dinner, of course.
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Followed by a $2,500-a-head reception featuring Barbra Streisand singing a song or two.

The Democratic presidential candidate spent the day Tuesday campaigning in Colorado, where he talked to supporters about the mortgage crisis that has reshaped Wall Street and caused many people to lose their homes.
 
Speaking a day after the stock market had its worst day since 2001, he assured a rally in the Denver suburb of Golden that he understood the impact the crisis was having from Wall Street to Main Street.
 
“Jobs have disappeared, and peoples’ life savings have been put at risk. Millions of families face foreclosure, and millions more have seen their home values plummet,” he said.
 
“These are the struggles that Americans are facing. This is the pain that has now trickled up.”
 
Then he jetted off to Los Angeles Tuesday evening for a pair of glitzy fundraisers that could be the biggest for Democrats during this election cycle.
 
Republican John McCain lost no time pointing out Obama was courting the stars instead of ordinary folk. 
 
“(He) talks about siding with the people, siding with the people — just before he flies off to Hollywood for a fundraiser with Barbra Streisand and his celebrity friends,” McCain told a rally in Vienna, Ohio, a critical battleground state. “Let me tell you my friends, there’s no place I’d rather be than here with the working men and women of Ohio.”

Streisand, a Democratic activist and Oscar-winning actress and singer,  initially endorsed Hillary Clinton but has embraced Obama since he won the nomination.
 
The Illinois senator has put together a formidable fundraising machine that has attracted hundreds of thousands of small donors, pulling in $66 million in August alone. That compared with $47 million for McCain.
 
Obama’s fundraising skill prompted him to forego federal campaign financing, despite earlier pledges not to do so. That enables him to raise and spend more than he could if he accepted federal money. But it also means he has to spend more time off the campaign trail raising money.

Click here for more Reuters 2008 campaign coverage.

Photo credit: Reuters/Rick Wilking (Obama speaks in Golden, Colorado)

54 comments

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He is out of touch. But after all he needs to fund the Alaskan witch hunt. He just “doesn’t get it”

Posted by Sandy | Report as abusive

What a pointless article. They campaign for $ all the time regardless. Win first…

Posted by dSoto | Report as abusive

$28,500 per plate? How can Barrack preach about knowing the common man then rub elbows with the elitists in Hollywood? Oh I get it, he’s Jekyll and Hide! The Hollywood stars are left wing liberals because their fortunes came so easy. It’s a little harder to give up more money to taxes when you actually have to work hard for a living, not make a hundred million dollars per movie, for acting. Obama should just stay out there in The Land of Fruits and Nuts.

Posted by peter eldridge | Report as abusive

When Mccain says the economy is sound just as Bush said many months ago,,,and Herbert Hoover said just after the STOCK MARKET CRASH of the GREAT DEPRESSION one has to wonder where is he? ,,but with a 200 millionaire wife one doesn’t have to know how many houses he lives in does he?,,,especially if he wants to run the biggest corporation in the world does he? ,,,wait his economic advisory said he could not run her corporation period one wonders ia this old man out of touch, or just too old .and his running mate needs to stay up in Alaska to boss the troopers

Posted by william | Report as abusive

What do you expect him to do… fail the US election. Of course he’s going to throw a fundraiser! Do you think McCain isn’t… or wishes he could throw one at 28 grand per head. A ridiculous story trying to put a spin on yarn that doesn’t exist.

Posted by giovanni | Report as abusive

Once again, a certain politician portrays himself as a champion of the “little guy” and then goes out to party and hobnob with the rich and famous. Nothing new here.

Posted by Douglas | Report as abusive

All politicians raise money like this. If President Bush was not so universally despised by the public, He would be the celebrity at many publicized RNC dinners.
BTW at least he gets it enough to know the economy is in trouble.

Posted by Reno | Report as abusive

Perhaps he can persuade some of his deep-pocketed supporters to send a few bucks to the Red Cross for the benefit of the hurricane victims. We’ll see if it comes up in the speeches tonight…

Posted by Gordon | Report as abusive

Both of them are out of touch.

Posted by ruben | Report as abusive

He’s out of touch for raising money?

“Please don’t give me money. The economy’s in bad shape.” What?

Talk about out of touch, McCain’s the one who says everything is just okay right now financially.

“$28,500-a-head dinner”. Wow! Does it say that Obama is in the pocket of the rich?

Posted by Mary | Report as abusive

Obama keeps crying about how bad the economy is,
but if Americans are hurting so bad, how come they
were able to send Obama 66 million dollars last month?
… And, tonight Obama is asking Americans to give him
$28,500.00 each for the Obama/Streisand fund
raiser dinner. Two faced Obama has no credibility.
No Wright, no Farrakhan, no Pfleger, no Rezko,
no Ayers, no mean Michelle, and, NOBAMA !!!

Posted by Ben | Report as abusive

Am I the only one who is sick of the the conservative LA Times’ BS? McCain offers no solutions to any of our economic problems, yet they insist that Obama is out of touch when he holds a fundraiser. The ‘formidable fundraising machine’ that Obama has put out has consisted mainly of average Americans struggling to make a living, while the McCain campaign is in bed with corporate lobbyists.

This despite the fact that Obama was one of the few politicians paying attention and speaking out against those offering subprime mortgage loans.

Now they want to discredit the movement because a few Hollywood high-profilers are on-board with the campaign.

I don’t know what the LA Times and its reporters have against the Obama campaign, but they are the ones who are out of touch with the interests of average Americans, and they are no longer needed.

Posted by Kevin Kud | Report as abusive

First: this article is written in such a biased way toward the McCain camp as to make it almost useless. For a moment, I thought I was reading a FOXNews blog.

Second: lots of nerve for McCain to criticize considering her held a fundraiser just yesterday, and Palin was set to do a $25,000/head fundraiser this afternoon (which was only canceled due to the windstorm NOT the state of the economy).

How disingenuous of McCain. Frankly, if he would focus on the issues at hand and prevent his campaign from engaging in the negative and deceitful practices it has been thriving on, the other camp wouldn’t have to spend so much money to combat false claims. Then again, that’s their entire strategy to begin with. Can’t win on the issues, so they will bring out the lies, deception and deflection.

Wake up, Americans! Vote with your brains! Please…the folks that don’t may “deserve what they get,” but we all have to continue to live her with them. Wise up, people.

Posted by ilia | Report as abusive

Either John McCain doesn’t have much of a memory–two nights ago he was raising $5.1 million at a fundraiser in Miami–or he is jealous because Obama’s fundraiser is making almost twice the amount…

Posted by Chuck | Report as abusive

Somehow I doubt the fundraiser was scheduled to coincide with a really bad market day. And can anyone believe that McCain and Palin have not held their own share of pricey fund raisers. That is what the Republicans are good at. Nobody accused McCain of anything when he brought popular Latino stars to his events, or held fund raisers with John Voit. McCain thinks he can stop Obama from raising tons of money because people support him, but he is wrong. It sounds like his Paris Hilton line, sour grapes because Obama was attracting crowds. Then he went out and got his own celebrity in Sarah Palin.

Posted by Sandy Sadow | Report as abusive

Who cares about this stuff?

Let’s REALLY talk about our financial markets, the war, the environment, etc. It seems as though the only party wanting to discuss the issues is the Dems.

Posted by wolf | Report as abusive

Give me a break. No, I’m not a Barbara Streisand fan, but if someone has the power to attract an audience that can afford to give big time, then, yes, and amen, go and get it. This party doesn’t have the RNC’s wealth protection fund at work. Its outraised the other party every step of the way, and hard as they find it to admit, its been through an incredibly well organized campaign and the ability to attract the Obama untaxed- not the $250,000 plus per year folks who are really feeling the sting from the “worst day since the Great Depression”. Yes the folks who go to hear Barabara can afford it; but they’re not the beneficiaries of the Obama platform. They’re wealthy enough to care about things other than Toll Brothers McMansion mortgage payment but not so unwealthy as most Americans that their retirement wealth is not jeopoardized by a stock market fall since they don’t have that much to begin with.

Posted by sean o | Report as abusive

You forgot to mention the $5.1 million McSame raised in Miami on Monday.

Posted by David McCormick | Report as abusive

Thanks for telling it like it is. I wonder how many mortgages he could bail out with all his cash!

Posted by Thomas | Report as abusive

Guess he forgot about that 5 something million he raised at that swanky hotel in Miami on Monday. Whoops!

More power to Obama. He’s going to need plenty of money to fund ads that debunk McCain’s appallingly slimy campaign ads and statements filled with half-truths, distortions, and flat-out, pants-on-fire lies.

If McCain thinks so highly of us working-class Ohioans, perhaps he should treat us like intelligent, discerning adults.
There are distortions on both sides. That’s what politicians do. What matters in the end is what they distort, and how often they do it.

If the McCain campaign believes we are so mentally bereft and logically bankrupt as to believe that Obama supported teaching kids to use condoms before learning how to read (that rascal Obama, supporting teaching 5 year olds how to protect themselves from child molesters and other AGE-APPROPRIATE good touch/bad touch educatation!), then I believe McCain is running a swiftboat campaign unworthy of the office he’s pursuing at all costs, his integrity included.

It’s pretty clear he sees us as a bunch of slack-jawed yokels opposed to checking the facts. I, for one, intend to prove him fatally wrong this November.

Posted by Matthew Hunsaker | Report as abusive

This is a great moment for us in American. Change we can believe in. I saw a site that represents something greater than dinner, Tee-shirts, Caps and Mugs. Please let’s help do the right thing. Vote on the person of your choice. This is America, we all have the right to vote as we wish to. It’s so easy to recognize those who don’t have and those who do. If you support OBAMA than go to “forobama.us”. Share the site with supporters who want a special memory for this golden moment in history.

And if you are not a Obama supporter, than why would you visit the site? It’s not for you. As per how much the fundriser dinner and reception cost…Why are you so concerned. Did you pay for it? Did you go?

Posted by D Ancrum | Report as abusive

“Thanks for telling it like it is. I wonder how many mortgages he could bail out with all his cash!”

Probably not as many as he could by changing all of the current failing economic policies in office. ;]

Posted by Matthew Hunsaker | Report as abusive

HA HA HA! Talk about BIASED reporting. Wasn’t John McCain recently at a swanky Miami location raising money for his campaign? McCain (and his puppeteer Karl Rove) would drool all over Barbra Steisand for a fundraiser. Instead, McCain is stuck with celebrity the likes of Ted Nugent and Chuck Norris. The Republicans are PATHETIC! Nothing to go on but lies and slinging mud.

Posted by Stefanie | Report as abusive

[...] Looks like the Democratic presidential nominee is doing what he can to get that story line out there. Reuters’ David Alexander asks, “So what does Barack Obama do after a hard day of defending the common man during the worst financial…“ [...]

What a one-sided article. As the Wash Post noted, “The $5.1 million McCain raised Monday night at a swank Miami hotel is apparently a distant memory…” McCain is the one flip-flopping on the economy, trying to sell us on the lie that by saying the fundamentals were strong, by “fundamentals” he meant “workers.” That’s at odds with what he has said previously.

But that’s not new. As the Post also noted:

“McCain also used a little selective history in saying that while Obama praises the economic stimulus Congress provided, ‘he didn’t even show up to vote.’”

“McCain is right that Obama was not there when the bill passed 81-16 last February. But the Illinois senator had voted for it the day before, when Senate Republicans blocked a final vote. Obama and then-Democratic rival Hillary Rodham Clinton were campaigning when the final vote was taken.

“McCain voted yea on the final round, but missed the procedural vote Obama made.

Posted by Shunna13 | Report as abusive

I like how McCain is attacking Obama for his “celebrity friends” especially since John McCain was celebrating his 70th birthday on convicted felon Raffaello Follieri rented yacht with starlet girlfriend Anne Hathaway: http://exiledonline.com/the-mccain-folli eri-bang-boat/

Posted by Tyler Durden | Report as abusive

Today AIG was bailed out by the taxpayers, the Republican party was so sure that social security should be in the hands of the criminals on Wall street. We must wake up and stop this party of Tom Delay, Dick Cheney, Rush Limbaugh and George W. Bush!

Posted by Edward | Report as abusive

“Let me tell you my friends, there’s no place I’d rather be than here with the working men and women of Ohio.”

Wait a minute. Is McPalin saying that even if he did get elected (excuse me while I laugh uproariously), he would be hanging out with working folks in Ohio rather than attending to duties in the Oval Office (kind of like Shrub cutting brush in Crawford), preventing people from getting any work done, thus getting them fired, adding further to unemployment, just because they are his “friends”?

Something seems amiss here . . . hmmm . . . oh, I get it! He’s lying again!! Well, at least he is being consistent, no flip-flopping on that liar-liar behavior. And by adding to the unemployment stats, he is continuing the sound policies we have Shrub and his ilk to thank for.

Follow the money. Both McCain and Obama will go to whatever fundraiser they will get large donations from. They will also hold back their individual leanings to appear moderate in order to get the average guy/gal vote. This is politics from the ancient Greeks to today. We should not be surprised by where they get their campaign funds nor from who.

Posted by John | Report as abusive

Do you not think that McPalin in out rubbing elbows with the corporate rich? Of course he is! They both have to raise money and if anyone blames Obama for this fundraiser, well then it is because it wasn’t your candidate, McPalin. Regardless, there is a reason that Obama is raising more than McPalin and that is because he is winning in this race handidly! Watch out, the Dems are coming back full force!

Posted by Mary Ann | Report as abusive

Biased story – if anything it reveals his fundraising and managment abaility!

New low for McCain! Palin does a close-door fundraiser in Ohio with some sleazy corporate interests while Johnny Mac takes a cheap shot at Barack. So, he and Palin are attending the same kinds of fundraisers — including the Beverly Hills fete he profitably attended last month — and he pretends outrage about Mr. Obama’s “elitist” party. All while his Champion Snob Elitist Adulterous Wife/Nurse applauds behind him???

Who IS this guy??? What happened to John McCain?

Posted by SueP | Report as abusive

this was a cheaper entry than Monday night in Miami to see McCain — that was $50,000 a person and those attendees were corporate heads, gas company executives and wall street powerbrokers

So tell me – who poses a bigger risk in the access to power conversation

The president of Exxon-Mobil or a movie star

Priorities people — please

Posted by alison | Report as abusive

Barack Obama raises $9 million at glitzy Hollywood fundraiser…

… just hours after he accused Senator McCain of being out of touch with middle class America during challenging economic times.
Chutzpah, anyone? Blogger Richard Horton at BCB’s blog quipped in the comments section:
Maybe Hollywood needs…

I recalled that Senator Obama defined “the rich” as income over $250,000. I guess, most of the riches by his definition will never be able to pay $28,500 for a meal. It is nice for his to accept the checks, that is called the “neighborliness”.

given Senator’s own records of handling his own money, for example: unable to pay back student loan 15 years out of school, I am not sure it is safe to trust him and his team with Americans’ money.

Posted by wuming | Report as abusive

I wonder if these well to do elitists, “The Cal Crowd” and Senator Obama would really show their charitable side and direct that fundraising money down to the Texas hurricane victims. Or is that asking too much to really show that they care?

Posted by BETH | Report as abusive

This is an Election Year ! Even in a time of crisis, the canidates have to trudge on, for God Sakes , fundraisers are a necessary part of campaining… I wish people would grow up and concentrate on who the best candidate is, and how they can bring some desparate change to this country…Nit Picking is so immature…This is probably the most important election in our history.

Posted by susan hardwick | Report as abusive

Obama is touch with the little people alright – in touch with their wallets.

Once elected these people think he will invite them all to the white house for chicken dinner.

Sorry – he is going too be too busy repaying all his media giant Viacom’s payback for their “support”.

Posted by robt | Report as abusive

Why would Obama punish his supporters with Babs? Oh, I guess you could just pay the $28,500, forgo the additional $2,500 and scoot out the back before the maudlin caterwauling begins. Does anyone know how many celebs headed for the exits right after the dinner?

Posted by Fallon | Report as abusive

Raising money is a necessary part of running for President of the United States. Why don’t we stop focusing on “who is out of touch” and focus on each candidate’s plan for getting our country out of the situation we find ourselves in right now. If you take the time to go to each candidate’s website and read their policies, I think the facts are right there. Obama is the man with a plan that makes sense. Wake Up and fire the Republican bums who are spending our future!!!

Posted by Linda Hooper | Report as abusive

McCain gave a fundraiser last month at $50,000 per person and nobody said a thing. He’s a hypocrite. As for the economy his former?top adviser Graham is the one who halted regulation controls(you idiots)Also McCain was on the on the Senate Commerce Committee and he didn’t learn a thing about the economy.Folks! Wake up before it’s to late………..Sarah Palin is a JOKE..

Posted by wendy washington | Report as abusive

Here we go again, Senator Obama needing help from His ELITE upper class California’s to help his campain….He’s just trying to get his *STAR* statis back…
Never forget Who his friends are, boming their country, or shouting, in a Church ????? “GOD DAMN AMERICAN” !!!!

He’s say’s he’s for change but what kind of change…Hasn’t anyone heard of Congress??? everything both canidater are saying must go through Congress first, the House and the Senate, which has a 9% approval rating. Try watching CSPN sometimes.

But then again, I’m one of those middle class folks who hold on to my guns, church, and I’m an AMERICAN, who is better off now than 8 years ago. Who does not belive the, News Norks,. I’m an AMERICAN who will NEVER forget 9/11…Or WWII, where my father sat in the glass turent under a B-17, {just like the Memphis Bell} to stop the mass murders and maintain your FREEDOM!!!!!

Posted by liberty | Report as abusive

Why not report the rest of the facts about Obama’s Hollywood fundraiser? That he could not stay for dinner, that he showed up very late, that he left to continue working and that when he thanked everyone who came to hear him speak, he reminded them that the campaign is “about those who will never see the inside of a building like this and don’t resent the success that’s represented in this room, but just want the simple chance to be able to find a job that pays a living wage.”

One of the most cynical things I’ve ever heard John McCain say is that he’d rather be with the good working people in that diner last night, than hob nobbing with celebrities. For the vast majority of his life, John McCain has lived a life of privileged luxury. We hear constantly about his POW years, which you’d expect would have motivated him to come home and do EVERYTHING he could to improve the lot of brave servicemen, yet he did worse than nothing, he voted against substantive reforms. His life’s political work has been to serve and protect the rich elites who keep him where he is – that’s how he votes and that’s what he believes in. Trying to tarnish Obama with that same brush is untruthful and kind of sinister. Every child is told this is the land of the free, where anyone can achieve anything. That’s what Obama has done and now it’s clear from the way he’s being attacked that the so called dream that is America is intended only for those who are the right color, or who come from the right elites.

Don’t journalists have some kind of obligation to be balanced, fair and truthful?
Are you a qualified journalist Mr. Alexander, by that I mean, did you actually go to an accredited University to study the rules of your craft, or are you just a Republican delivery boy?

Posted by Audrey | Report as abusive

Obama is going to need every single cent he can raise to bring down McSame and Bush-in-a-skirt! I for one am sick of their politics – I want change. Real Change. No to McBush!

Posted by Sandra | Report as abusive

I see the screeching commentary is alive and well here. Oh well: the perils of democracy!

For those who mock the lazy Hollywood stars as opposed to the hardworking public: who made those stars rich in the first place? Why, the hardworking public with their $10 here and $10 there (incidentally about the amount that the average everyman contributes to Obama to help make the millions – it’s not all huge corporate donatios, though they do exist). So exploration of this point does not enlighten.

For those who mock a $28,000-per-plate fundraiser as a sign of the candidate being “out-of-touch” it would be best to consider the personal histories of both candidates to see which one is truly out of touch – and even more importantly to compare the candidates’ relevant statements about the economy to see even further who is out of touch. Obama has spent part of his life working the “social trenches” and does not even approach the personal wealth that McCain’s estate possesses. But it is hard to avoid McCain’s own sense that he doesn’t think that the economy is in the kind of trouble that Obama correctly perceives.

The fundraiser per se – no matter the amounts of cash involved – say nothing about either candidate being out of touch, as such activities are the nature of the campaign beast today, a beast that the American public refuses to tame.

Posted by DCEsq | Report as abusive

What is wrong with raising money to pay for television time to inform the American public about the issues that are relevant to all of us? Now I remember, only Republican McCain is allowed to do that so that he can inform Americans that he was a POW and his pathetic running mate said “No” to the bridge to nowhere. Where is the liberal press we continue to hear about? Now I remember – corporations and right wingers own it all. What BS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by Victoria Epstein | Report as abusive

Very confused and wondering no end how the Hollywood elite could promote and contribute money and share their fame to Baracko with his uncertain position for Israel and its never ending conflict with the Palestinians and Arab Muslims. His bio and many say he is not a Muslim. Many also are very wary of his ever changing position on Israel and Jerusalem. Understandable because of his Muslim relations from his dead Kenyan father, Indonesian stepfather and Kenyan grandmother, half brothers half sisters, uncles, cousins, etc.

Posted by Zee P Bee | Report as abusive

Well, it’s official, McCain has completely lost touch with reality. The last time I checked, Barbra Streisand was a working American woman. And yet I wonder how McCain affords all of his expensive luxuries on his senate salary…oh, that’s right I forgot, he doesn’t pay for them, he married for money! I guess Chuck Norris (an outspoken republican) is just as lazy and rich as Streisand, huh John? Republicans no nothing but hypocrisy. And to the fools out there who keep indicting both these guys for raising money to campaign, what freakin solar system are you living in? How do you think it gets done?

Posted by Chibri | Report as abusive

[...] Reuters Blog:: The Democratic presidential candidate spent the day Tuesday campaigning in Colorado, where he talked to supporters about the mortgage crisis that has reshaped Wall Street and caused many people to lose their homes.   Speaking a day after the stock market had its worst day since 2001, he assured a rally in the Denver suburb of Golden that he understood the impact the crisis was having from Wall Street to Main Street.   “Jobs have disappeared, and peoples’ life savings have been put at risk. Millions of families face foreclosure, and millions more have seen their home values plummet,” he said.   “These are the struggles that Americans are facing. This is the pain that has now trickled up.”   Then he jetted off to Los Angeles Tuesday evening for a pair of glitzy fundraisers that could be the biggest for Democrats during this election cycle. [...]

Does anyone care to remember that John McCain was involved with the “KEATING 5″? If you don’t know about
it look it up !

Posted by wendy washington | Report as abusive

Mccain’s complaints and retorts are so hollow, he has been one step behind this whole time, when did Mccain dedicate any of his life to help those less fortunate than himself, Obama gave up big money as a lawyer for many years to help others.

READ THIS MCCAIN SUPPORTERS – REALITY CHECK

Obama has walked the walk his whole life, deal with it – and he is smart. Mccain graduated at the bottom of his classs and got elected to the Senate due to his rich wife.

Posted by Scott Stevens | Report as abusive

Don’t worry about these little facts:

September 17 Wall Street Journal (Brody Mullins and Glenn R. Simpson): “Many of the fund-raising events that Republican rival Sen. McCain attends, including one in Miami on Monday, begin with a private cocktail hour with the Arizona senator for contributors donating about $25,000 each. Some events that Sen. McCain held this summer for his campaign and the Republican National Committee offered special treatment for couples who wrote checks of up to $100,000.”

But who cares?! It wasn’t with Streisand!

Posted by Del Scemito | Report as abusive

Bad timing . . . very very bad Mr. Oh-I’m-so-close-to-the-common-man! Hello!? He’s so common that he’s hanging with the Hollywood liberals! He should have cancelled or sent a proxy…remember how the Republicans curtailed their convention because of the hurricane?! Guess what Senator Obama . . . there’s a hurricane on Wall Street and you should be hanging out on main street! Shame on you! I’m embarrassed to admit I almost voted for you! Thankfully you’ve helped me see what a stupid decision that would have been.

Posted by LFforMcCain | Report as abusive

The Dow crashed… He threw a party… But who wouldn’t? With guests paying $28k for the pleasure to rub elbows with him and Streisand herself singing for him – damn the Dow with S&P and NASDAQ, damn the torpedoes, the party must go on. Obama is so unstoppable now that probably only the repeat of 9/11 would stop him from flying off to the party – and even that only because it would ground all the jets, including his private jet.

Posted by Anonymous User | Report as abusive

What a bunch of Morons! How do you think he raises money to pay for the campaign. Of course he has to hold fund raisers! Ther are a bunch of notwits here!

Posted by John | Report as abusive

My bet is that that these over paid, over rated, hypocritical, idiots who paid $28k had a great time riduculing those of us who are clutching our guns and clinging to our religion? What a bunch of hateful morons posting pro Obama comments! Does anyone know if the guest list is available on line?

Posted by Joey | Report as abusive