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Obama Alone, Save Celebrities

8:54 AM, Jun 8, 2012 • By DANIEL HALPER
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Matt Continetti, writing for the Washington Free Beacon

The Washington Examiner counts no less than 28 celebrity fundraisers for Obama held over the last year. Indeed, the incumbent’s reliance on celebrity money, endorsements, solicitations, and other forms of that self-congratulatory alternative energy known as “star power” not only reveals the financial and ideological core of the Democratic party, but also the attitudes and agenda of the milieu in which Obama is most comfortable. Those attitudes are obnoxious and that agenda is totally unrelated to the daily struggles of millions of Americans—which is why no amount of bleating from Carrie Bradshaw will help the president in November. ...

The very idea of raffling off presidential dinners using celebrity videos is un-republican. The argument the video stars make is largely an argument from power: All the cool kids are supporting Obama, they imply, so you should, too. The contest, moreover, emphasizes luck over merit: Donate $3, and maybe, just maybe, you will be rewarded with a trip to the summit of Mount Olympus. Such a dubious prize exploits the inequalities of status and wealth that are at the heart of so much contemporary American anxiety.

The frenetic and panicked donation-grabbing shows how much Obama has been weakened. There was a time when he could fill stadiums on his own, raise great sums on his own, get a dinner companion on his own. That time is long past: Nearly 90 percent of Obama’s individual donors in 2008 have not contributed in the current cycle, Buzzfeed reported this week. Obama has become a prop in his own play, an empty suit that trails Robert De Niro or Jack Black or Tobey Maguire or Salma Hayek or whichever other famous, chic person Jim Messina and David Axelrod think might bring in some dough or inspire a Millennial to vote.

In his conversations with actors Obama must have learned that fame can be fickle and cruel. What William James called the “bitch-goddess success” has not treated him any differently. “With enough care and effort you can grow your own Barack-oli,” Michelle Obama said as part of her Late ShowTop 10 List.” She held up a hideous green sculpture of her husband’s face carved into a gigantic broccoli head. The audience laughed, but the import of the moment could not have been clearer: Obama, like so many of his Hollywood friends, began as a shiny bauble—and he has ended up as kitsch.

Whole thing here

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