On June 4, the Republican National Committee released a Web video called “Meanwhile,” which flashes unemployment numbers for various groups — women, Latinos, African Americans, youth — under clips from a video released on June 1 by the Obama campaign. It video featured the British and elegantly attired editor of Vogue magazine, Anna Wintour, who boasts about her friendship with Michelle Obama and “Sex and the City” television star Sarah Jessica Parker. As the sounds of New York City’s clamor recede in the RNC version of the video, the sound of chirping crickets emerge, along with the question “Obama’s focused on keeping his job. But what about yours?”
The RNC version simply replayed the original Obama video in full—along with a caption that reads, “Actual Obama Campaign Video”—alongside some of the dismal employment figures that came out the same day the video was released.
Moviegoers are quick to point out the resemblance of Wintour to the fictional character played by Meryl Streep in the hit movie ‘The Devil Wears Prada’, which featured an overbearing and malicious magazine editor. Another comparison that can be drawn between Obama and Hollywood would be the ‘golden tickets’ of the movie ‘Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory’ where a creepy and eccentric millionaire boosts the sales of his chocolates and gives six lucky children the chance of a lifetime to see his factory.
The GOP is seeking to capitalize on the Obama video and its timing. The video “highlights how out of touch President Obama and his campaign are after releasing a glitzy fundraising video featuring Vogue chief Anna Wintour the same day as a dismal jobs report,” RNC spokeswoman Kirsten Kukowski said, referring to the Labor Department report that showed the economy added just 69,000 jobs in May.
Wintour speaks on the video of an upcoming gala fundraising dinner, and offers a chance for two lucky people to join President and Mrs. Obama, along with the glittering guests. The fundraiser featuring Wintour and Parker is all part of Obama’s effort to appeal to women. So, for just $3, ordinary Americans can win a raffle to attend the New York City soiree. In an email to supporters, Michelle Obama gushed about Parker, the wife of actor Matthew Broderick, as “a loving mom, an incredibly hard worker, and a great role model,” adding, “She’s one of those people you can’t help but admire.”
Obama, as a candidate in 2008, relied on significant Hollywood endorsements and fundraising and appears that he is relying on the same strategy for his re-election campaign. For example, musician Will.I.Am produced viral campaign videos that successfully targeted key constituencies. Even while Obama was stung by the RNC spoof of his latest campaign video, on the same day he had rocker Jon Bon Jovi flying with him on Air Force One. Last month Obama dined with 150 guests at the California home of George Clooney, who also owns a mansion in Italy. In January of this year, Obama joined movie director and outspoken Democrat Spike Lee at the latter’s home in New York City. Last year, Obama had the extravagant Lady Gaga at a Silicon Valley fundraiser. His campaign seeks to mobilize its enormous apparatus to fill its coffers with $1 billion in cash.