A racy fundraiser for President Barack Obama in Manhattan featured male dancers collecting tips. The event was called "Gogo for Obama."
"The fundraiser, hosted by a gaggle of models, fashion editors and socialites, is just one of hundreds of such small, grass-roots events organized by individual donors and held throughout campaign season in private homes or during backyard barbecues," the Washington Post reports. "Saturday’s soiree proved that with broad support from new interest groups comes a new breed of campaign fundraiser — a kind that might make some buttoned-up campaign types wince."
The details teeter on the absurd.
"The crowd of about 150 Obama supporters was cordial and relaxed, a mix of friends and fashion types, partying alongside male dancers wearing Obama ’08 boxer briefs (or, as one did, an American flag-themed thong) stuffed with the requisite $1 bills. (Only door proceeds went to the reelection fund; dancers kept their tips.)"
According to the Washington Post, the fundraiser was done with guidance from the Democratic National Committee:
“We do these parties for gay porn stars at Eastern Bloc whenever [they’re] in town from L.A.,” said Boardman. “It’s always a room of Village gays, socialites, porn stars, fashion people. . . . We thought, ‘Why don’t we do a go-go thing at Eastern Bloc for [Obama]?’ ”
Still, organizer Will Wikle said the group recognized that the event could make campaign organizers uncomfortable, so they toned down promotional materials. “We didn’t put a go-go boy on the invitation for that reason,” he said. “We didn’t want any Republicans to jump on it and view it as some sex party.”
And Wikle said the host committee was diligent in its two months of planning, working with Democratic National Committee officials to navigate campaign finance law, something that the organizers knew little about. Wikle said officials told the host committee it couldn’t have liquor sponsors or an open bar.
The go-go party highlights the fashion industry’s newfound interest in political fundraising. With Anna Wintour, the Vogue fashion editor, as a top Obama campaign bundler in 2012, many designers have followed her lead, designing for the campaign’s “Runway to Win” store and donating at smaller industry events such as “GoGo for Obama.”