WASHINGTON--Feminist icon Gloria Steinem--the subject of a fascinating HBO documentary about her storied career--is teaming up with First Lady Michelle Obama and other key abortion rights activists to raise money for President Obama's re-election drive.
The event, in New York on Sept. 20, offers a unique fund-raising and messaging opportunity for the Obama team.
Joining Steinem and Mrs. Obama will be Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards, and Stephanie Schriock, named president last year of EMILY's List, which supports politically viable abortion rights backing female Democratic candidates. Democratic National Committee Chairman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who attends most major fund-raisers, will also be at the Park Ave. funder.
This will be the must-attend event for the New York area feminist crowd.
The Obama White House, some might say, has not sent a clear enough message to the womens community--about its accomplishments and what a GOP White House may mean for the cause. This type of event gives Mrs. Obama a chance to send a message in a loud and distinct voice. There have been attempts in the Republican controlled House to strip Planned Parenthood of federal funding it uses to provide health services for women--not abortions.
Mrs. Obama is not exactly an outspoken feminist--she uses her bully pulpit very selectively--but she is supportive of the missions of the activist women she will appear with in Manhattan. The fund-raising event is a lunch; later on Sept. 20 Mrs. Obama is joining Obama in headlining a "gala dinner" fundraiser for the 2012 election where Alicia Keys will perform.
The Steinem et al funder has a sliding scale and an interesting marketing pitch, encouraging mothers and daughters, mentors and mentees to attend. Mrs. Obama runs a low-profile mentoring program for young girls from the White House.
The price is $500 for an individual; $1,000 for a Mother/Daughter or mentor or mentee; a table of ten is $5,000. An event vice chair--raise or give $10,000-- gets a photo with Mrs. Obama and a lunch; an event chair--raise or give $35,800 gets a VIP pre-reception as well as the photo op and lunch. The contributions go to the DNC and the Obama 2012 re-election campaign.
The New York Daily News first reported the Steinem et al fund-raiser.