Muckraker Miller: Obama and Vogue's Anna Wintour Posh Partnership

President Obama is so out-of-touch with the economic struggles of Americans that he spent taxpayer dollars on Wednesday to fly to New York City to attend a fancy fundraiser at the Soho house of Vogue Magazine’s Anna Wintour. The Democratic National Committee benefit hosted by Wintour cost attendees $30,400 per ticket.

Vogue Editor-in-Chief Wintour is a “bundler” for Obama, meaning she collects checks from donors and bundles them under her name. For the 2008 election cycle, she bundled $100,000 – $200,000 for Obama (the campaign did not provide exact figures.)

Wintour has also donated large amounts of her own money to the Democratic Party since the last election. She gave $30,400 to the DNC in July 2009. Wintour is British and Vogue’s parent company Conde Nast would not respond if Wintour is an American citizen.

Days after the November 2008 election, President-elect Barack Obama and wife Michelle Obama granted Vogue a photo shoot with celebrity photographer Annie Leibovitz. The glamorous photos were published in the January 2009 issue of Vogue along with an unapologetic article idolizing Obama.

                              Photo – Vogue

“We recognize in our new president an actual rather than a notional compassion, an impressive and unapologetic intelligence, and the self-assurance of a natural leader,” the unnamed editors of Vogue penned.

In addition, Wintour’s close deputy, Vogue’s Editor-at-Large Andre Leon Talley, bundled $100,000 – $200,000 for Obama in 2008. Two weeks before Obama’s 2009 inauguration, Talley landed an exclusive interview with Michelle Obama.

“I first met Mrs. Obama at an impromptu dinner at Oprah Winfrey‘s house in Santa Barbara, California, on the eve of the divine Ms. O’s Legends Ball in 2005,” writes Talley in the story. “And when she said she actually knew who I was, I was so flattered my jaw dropped.”

Talley’s uber-flattering article accompanied the First Lady’s cover picture taken by celebrity Leibovitz.  The March 2009 issue with Michelle Obama on the cover in a sleeveless, pink dress sold a reported 560,000 copies. (Vogue cites its circulation is 1.2 million and total readership is 12 million.)

                         Photo – Vogue

The Vogue-Obama love fest continued with then-White House Social Secretary Desiree Rogers granting an exclusive interview during the weekend before the inauguration. Rogers profile and glamorous photograph were featured in the February 2009 issue.

                              Photo – Vogue

The President’s UN Ambassador Susan Rice took time out from her diplomatic duties to sit down for an interview with Vogue in April 2009. The story landed in the June 2009 issue, complete with a Leibovitz photo of Rice in a body-hugging, white dress lounging in the UN Security Council.

                           Photo – Vogue

A spokesman for Conde Nast would not respond to questions about Vogue’s coverage of the Obama administration. When asked if Vogue plans any coverage of Republicans in the magazine, he referred me to the DNC.

In November 2009, President Obama appointed Wintour to serve on the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities. Obama’s other appointees include Hollywood types, including Sarah Jessica Parker, Ed Norton, Kerry Washington, Forest Whitaker and Alfre Woodard.

Wintour is the real-life model for the book The Devil Wears Prada, which was written by her former assistant. Her character is a heartless and cruel boss who cares more about her designer wardrobe than the people in her life. The movie (2006) of the same title starred Meryl Streep, who was nominated for an Oscar for the role.

The documentary “September Issue” (2009) about Wintour in 2009 gave a more nuanced portrayal of her personality, but maintained her openly elitist views and upper-class lifestyle. Talley was also featured in the documentary, most memorably as playing tennis in head-to-toe Louis Vuitton designer wear.


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