Did you and I miss our invitations to attend President Barack Obama’s appearance at Sarah Jessica Parker’s West Village townhouse at $40,000 per plate, or $10,000 for the Plaza Hotel last Thursday? Both combined raised $4.5 million toward Obama’s goal of a $1 billion re-election campaign fund. How ironic that Obama comes to the Big Apple at a time 9.7 percent of New Yorkers are out of work (with another 7 percent who have just given up looking resulting in a real unemployment rate of 16.7 percent). Is this the “Change we can believe in” (Obama’s 2008 campaign promise)?
This most recent visit to NYC resulted in disrupting travel for tens of thousands of PATH riders along with contributing to traffic gridlock for an equal number of Manhattan residents. Obama continues to enjoy building up his “frequent flyer” mileage with his 27th visit here for campaign re-election fundraising events. Each trip on Air Force One costs taxpayers a fortune for logistics and Secret Service protection. We are stuck with the tab for police and traffic support. White House standard operating procedure is to start with a public event such as a visit to the World Trade Center construction site. By fortunate coincidence, he is also able to use this visit as a vehicle to generate publicity for his re-election campaign. While conveniently “in town” for so called official business, he has an excuse to participate in a series of fundraising events later in the day. This trick has been repeated by Obama dozens of times during the year all over the nation. Perhaps his time might be better spent in Washington attempting to conduct the nation’s business rather than attempting to win a second term. No previous president has spent so much time away from Washington to participate in a record number of “public events” followed by fundraising events than Obama.
Do as I say, not as I do applies to Obama and Congressional Democrats. Bash the wealthy with one hand, but get the big bucks with the other hand. Those in attendance included the usual 1 percent crowd along with Wall Street, lobbyists, trial lawyers, real estate developers, Hollywood celebrities, special interest groups, millionaires and the Pay for Play crowd. At those prices, the 99 percent working or middle class people like us were hard to come by, except in the kitchen or serving. I couldn’t afford the price of a ticket, but was willing to park limousines, check coats or bus tables. What was that tired old refrain about the Democratic Party being the friend of the working and middle class while those nasty greedy old Republicans are the wealthy big buck fat cats? Seems like Obama prefers hanging out with the 1 percent.