In the 1994 chart topper “Wanted Dead Or Alive,” Jon Bon Jovi boasted of riding on a steel horse. His mode of transportation has changed. On Monday, the rocker flew to New York on Air Force One.
A White House official said that Bon Jovi was a “guest of the President.” Bon Jovi’s trip was paid for courtesy of the Obama campaign because he was scheduled to play at a fundraising event held in the Waldorf-Astoria hotel.
Since reaching the national stage, Obama has been criticized by conservatives for his affinity for celebrities. Obama’s plane ride with Bon Jovi comes a month after a dinner with George Clooney. Earlier in the year, Obama held a fundraiser at director Spike Lee’s New York townhouse.
On June 14, “Sex and the City” star Sarah Jessica Parker will be hosting a fundraiser for the President alongside Vogue editor Anna Wintour.
The first nationally televised Obama campaign advertised the fundraiser Sunday night during the MTV Movie Awards. Parker touts her support of “that guy” who “ended the war in Iraq… and who says you should be able to marry anyone you want… and who created 4 million new jobs.”
But Obama’s celebrity socializing may not land him as many votes in 2012 as it did in 2008.
“All our polling shows an increased level of frustration with the pace of change, with the control of money and corporate interests in our political process,” said Heather Smith, president of Rock the Vote, an organization that organizes young people to participate in politics. “The question for the president will be not whether he uses celebrity spokespeople, but how he uses them and what kind of message they convey. People are worse off than they were four years ago. So it’s not just a straight to camera ‘go vote’ campaign. They need to leverage celebrities to actually talk about the issues.”