'Jay and Bey' Fete Barry
Forget the White House Honey Ale beer. While cash-strapped Americans were attempting to squeeze two cups of tea out of one Lipton tea bag, Barack Obama was fundraising in a ritzy Manhattan nightclub that features an 18-foot tower of gold-bottled French champagne.
"It's floor-to-ceiling gold bottles in the entire space. It's beautiful - breathtaking," a rep for the Flatiron District hot spot told The New York Post. "It's the first thing you see when you walk in."
That's right -- on behalf of your everyday middle-class American, Barack Obama was out stumping for dollars at hip-hop mogul Jay-Z and his diva wife Beyoncé's 40/40 nightclub, which features "a custom-designed tower of $800-per-bottle champagne." Three hundred and fifty bottles of Armand de Brignac at $800 a bottle comes to a $280,000. Allegedly, the "dazzling tower" was covered by a black drop cloth so the president could mock his wealthy competitor for being out of touch with Middle America without looking like a complete hypocrite.
Following a hard-hitting interview with David Letterman where Barry and Dave discussed pressing issues like the president's weight and how good he looks and the misfortune of Obama never having seen the late-night comic in the buff, the president's motorcade zipped over to a 200-person, $12,500-per-family Waldorf reception. From there the entourage proceeded to the Flatiron District to raise money at a $40,000-per-person fundraising dinner with "Jay and Bey," as Obama likes to affectionately call the power couple.
Once there, Barry thanked his former Situation Room guests for their friendship and acknowledged the similarities he shares with Jay-Z. Taking a cue from David Letterman, Obama exercised his stand-up comedy routine, saying, "Jay-Z now knows, you know, what my life is like. We both have daughters. And our wives are more popular than we are."
The president further addressed the crack dealer-turned-music magnate directly when he added, "So -- you know. So we've got a little bond there. It's hard, but it's OK."
In a red cocktail dress, the bodacious Beyoncé was also thanked by the president for being a role model to daughters Sasha and Malia. Barack Obama must believe that gyrating around in your underwear, pole-dancing, and slithering along the ground in a leopard body suit are examples of "class ... poise[,] and ... talent," because in the oh-so-very-talented Obama's estimation, Beyoncé "[c]arries herself with such class and poise and has so much talent."
Mrs. Shawn Corey Carter reciprocated with a compliment by telling the hundred or so multimillionaires that "I can't tell you how proud we are to host tonight's event with President Obama. ... We believe in his vision." It would be interesting to hear Beyoncé share exactly what she understands that vision to be.
While Obama spoke, the tony crowd sat on plush couches munching on hamburger sliders and sipping champagne. Some crowded the overhead balcony and listened as Obama talked about the "choice voters face this fall as they decide whether to give him a second term or elect Republican Mitt Romney. It is a choice, he said, that will determine the long-term direction of the country."
The president said, "So, I don't want people to be complacent, but I also don't want people to be discouraged. We're on the brink of an election, but more importantly, we're on the brink of moving America in a direction where we're going to be more just, more fair."
We're on the brink, all right. As for the "fair" part -- how fair is fair? Are we on the verge of being so fair that all Americans will one day also be able to pay $40K for a teensy-weensy burger and some bubbly?
Either way, as unprecedented tornadic wind gusts and sideways rain beat against the side of the New York City nightclub, the Pharaoh -- I mean Obama -- promised the group that although the economy tanked during the last four years, he plans on doing exactly what he's been doing, fully confident that "[t]he economy's going to grow in a way that includes everybody."
Wait -- "the economy's going to grow in a way that includes everybody?" If the $40,000 40/40 club group gave any thought to what including "everybody" could mean for them, after gagging on those cheeseburgers, Jay-Z, Beyoncé, and the donors would think twice before giving Barack Obama another turn at bat to level the playing field.
Nonetheless, in the shadow of the shrouded 18-foot champagne tower, the president declared that, despite his failed attempts at kowtowing to Islam, his being burned in effigy in India, and the ever-increasing anti-American sentiment in the Middle East, re-electing him guarantees an "America that's respected around the world, because we're putting forward our best values and our best ideals" -- whatever that means.
And in the end, Barack Obama's ninth New York campaign haul, give or take an $800 bottle of champagne or two, came to a paltry regular-Joe total of $6 million.
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