It's not exactly as though Los Angeles Democrats were forced to "paper" the house for their party leader's fundraising visit tomorrow, or offer discounted tickets on Price Line.com. Nor, on the other hand, has the event been a scalper's dream. Admission to a pre-dinner reception for President Barack Obama at the Beverly Hills Hilton was cut 60 percent, according to Associated Press, from $2,500 to $1,000. The reception includes a sidewalk demonstration by gay activists and their supporters, who are calling on Obama to repeal the military's Don't Ask/Don't Tell policy.
Obama's public opinion ratings have remained stratospheric since his inauguration, so it's difficult to believe the slow ticket sales were the result of any diminished star power. Rather, it's more likely a more vivid indicator of uncertainty about the economy than any of the dry statistics coming out of Washington these days.
The official word about the reception's ticket price cut, AP says, was that organizers wanted to open up the event "to a broader range of folks."
The reception is now sold out, avoiding the potentially embarrassing image
of the President looking for hands to shake. Obama
will later appear at a $15,200-a-plate dinner hosted by Hollywood moguls
Steven Spielberg and Jeffrey Katzenberg, and others.