Last Friday, we found out that U.S. employers added only 69,000 jobs in May, a dismal number far below the 150,000 jobs analysts predicted. On the same day, the White House released a web video ad featuring Anna Wintour, doing her best to look approachable while inviting viewers to compete for a chance to eat dinner with her and the Obamas at Sarah Jessica Parker's house.
"It'll be a fantastic evening, and you can join us," she says of the fête. "Please join us. But just don't be late."
Well, that's kind of like shooting fish in a Prada-designed barrel: predictably, both Republicans and Democrats felt the ad's timing was ill-planned. "The Obama campaign showed once again how out of touch they are, releasing a fundraising contest featuring Vogue chief Anna Wintour the same day as a dismal jobs report highlighted how millions of Americans continue to struggle," said Republican National Committee spokeswoman Kirsten Kukowski. Juan Williams took the laugh-it-off attempt: "That was hilarious," he said. "That looks like a parody. It looked like the Romney Campaign planted Dr. Evil in the House of Obama.... on the day the grim job numbers come out, let's have someone who reeks of ornamental excess announce that the peasants can have a place at the table. It's just unbelievable."
Last night, Sarah Jessica Parker's ad promoting the same competition aired three times during the MTV awards. "OK, the guy who ended the war in Iraq; the guy who says you should be able to marry anyone you want; the guy who created 4 million new jobs. That guy - President Obama - and his wife Michelle are coming to my house for dinner on June 14th," she explains, ostensibly in an attempt to appeal to younger viewers who want to hang with "that guy." Will it work?
It's worth mentioning that it's not just Democrats who offer celebrity dinners to supporters: Romney's campaign recently promoted a "Dine with the Donald" fundraiser. And it's also worth noting that the Obama campaign claims last month's similar George Clooney fundraiser brought in millions of dollars in ticket sales. But given Friday's depressing economic news — and Obama's tendency to seem "out of touch" (and, moreover, the Republican party's tendency to portray him as hopelessly so) — you'd think the White House would think twice before releasing "The Devil Supports Obama."