President Obama's star-studded, five-stop fundraising swing may get him the cash he needs for his re-election bid, but Republicans aren't going to let him off easy for cavorting with the likes of Tyler Perry and Cee Lo Green while gas prices sour and the international scene spirals into conflict.
"Obama continues to fail the American people and families are wondering how they can afford to pay their mortgage, medical bills, or send their kids to college. If it's any indication of where President Obama's priorities are, special interests and campaign bundlers seem to be the only ones better off today than they were four years ago," said Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus.
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Obama will be visiting five fundraisers in Chicago and Atlanta on Friday, including an event at the house of movie producer and star Tyler Perry, who will also be hosting songwriter Cee Lo Green. The price for admission? As much as $10,000, according to some reports.
The image of Democrats as beholden to glitzy, liberal Hollywood celebrities has long been one of the right's favorite campaign lines. Elizabeth Warren, the consumer advocate and Harvard professor running for the Senate in Massachusetts, also came under fire from the GOP for support from Hollywood celebs like Barbara Streisand.
"That percentage will increase as the year progresses, and especially once there is a Republican nominee," White House spokesman Jay Carney said Thursday. "There will be a gradual increase in the amount of his time that he spends on political events. But we are a long way from the point where that becomes a significant part of his schedule."
Obama isn't the first president to face the conundrum of trying to look presidential while still raising the necessary cash for re-election.
"This is always a problem in re-election years for presidents—they look like the campaigner in chief rather than the commander in chief," says Larry Sabato, a professor of political science at the University of Virginia. "Most people understand that it's necessary, but that doesn't mean that it's pretty."
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