Obama a Smash Hit on Broadway; Stars in N.Y. to Help President Raise Funds

Article excerpt


The unemployment rate is up, but the neon lights are still bright for President Obama on Broadway.

He knows there's always magic - and campaign cash - in the air.

Mr. Obama was holding three star-studded fundraisers in New York with the theme Barack on Broadway on Monday night, with former President Bill Clinton helping him rake in millions for his re-election campaign. Among the celebrities expected to party with the president are James Earl Jones, Angela Lansbury, Stockard Channing and Patti LuPone.

There's even a fundraiser at the home of a wealthy hedge fund manager, Marc Lasry, who's of the private-equity ilk that Mr. Obama often questions when he talks about the career of presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney.

Mr. Clinton told supporters at Mr. Lasry's home that a Romney presidency would be calamitous for our country and the world. He said the GOP is adopting Europe's economic policies.

Their economic policy is austerity and unemployment now, and then a long-term budget that would explode the debt when the economy recovers so the interest rates would be so high, nobody would be able to do anything, Mr. Clinton said. So the politics is wrong on the Republican side; the economics are crazy.

Mr. Obama's big-money Broadway blitz, coming on the heels of six Midwestern fundraisers crammed into eight hours on Friday, prompted criticism from Republicans that Mr. Obama is tone-deaf to the dismal economic reports that came out late last week.

The jobless rate rose to 8.2 percent, from 8.1 percent. The stock market lost all of its gains for the year in one day of trading.

The Republican National Committee argued that Mr. Obama and his campaign are out of touch, citing the Democrats' use of a fundraising video featuring Vogue magazine chief Anna Wintour on the same day as the disappointing jobs report. …