Tag Archives: Runway to Win

Can Jay-Z and Beyoncé’s Friendship with the Obamas Survive PepsiCo?

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Originally posted at Breitbart BIG Hollywood

Since Obama’s election in 2008, Jay-Z, aka Shawn Corey Carter, and his bodacious bride Beyoncé have been right at the top of the list of Obama darlings.  After all, at the 2009 Inauguration Ball, it was Beyoncé who serenaded the slow-dancing duo into the White House with her own rendition of Etta James’ “At Last.”

The Jay-Zs and the Obamas are so cozy as couples that the President even allowed them to enter the inner sanctum of the Situation Room, situated somewhere in the bowels of the White House.  Once there, the awestruck couple looked like little kids sitting inside Saddam Hussien’s mansion following the occupation of Iraq.

In addition to foursome events, over the past few years Beyoncé has been right there beside Mrs. Obama and her “Let’s Move” initiative to get children to move more and to eat smaller, healthier portions.  The first lady relied so much on the booty-licious pop star that she recruited Beyoncé to teach corpulent school children how to dance around in hot pants and lime green high-heeled sneakers.  Michelle must have had so much confidence in the abilities of “Move Your Body” Beyoncé, she trusted that even the clumsiest kid would emerge from the videotaping session unscathed.  Now that’s a sign of a true and lasting friendship.

Mrs. Obama told People magazine that if she could be anyone in the world it would be Beyoncé. Not long after, Beyoncé wrote a gushy letter to Mrs. Obama thanking her for her dedication to “All the Single [and otherwise] Ladies” of the world.  Then, the first lady took Sasha and Malia to Revel Resorts in Atlantic City to support Beyoncé at her back-from-maternity-leave concert.

Beyoncé agreed to design a T-shirt for the Obama 2012 “Runway to Win” clothing line, and the entrepreneurial Carter twosome hosted a $40K-per-head fundraiser for Obama at their tony Manhattan 40/40 club.  It was there, against a backdrop of 350 bottles of $300 Armand de Brignac Brut Gold, the President discussed with donors how the two couples shared humble beginnings.

Although the relationship by and large has been idyllic, there have been a few bumps in the road. One time Jay-Z had the audacity to express the opinion that he preferred less government. Gazillionaire and part owner of the New York Nets Jay-Z said that he didn’t mind paying more taxes, but wished more of the monies went toward things he believed in.

The high-profile Obama supporter also said that “politics” is a word he doesn’t like because “It implies something underhanded and I think we need less government.” So, the Brooklyn-born rapper desires “less government,” but supports big-government Barack Obama’s big government vision?

Yet despite the contradictory messages, during the first term the friendship has endured the test of time.  However, that bond is about to endure an even greater test.

Seems Mrs. Jay-Z, the woman who supported Mrs. Obama’s healthy-eating initiative and who lives in New York Mayor Bloomberg’s anti-soft drink city, just signed a $50 million dollar deal with corporate America biggie PepsiCo.  After the first of the year, Beyoncé will be the new face of sugary, caffeine-laden soda pop.

PepsiCo is a world leader in snacks and beverages.  The company has made its billions administering 12-ounce/42-gram sugar highs.  To put it bluntly, PepsiCo sells carbonated caffeine-and-sugar water.

Moreover, in addition to contributing to soda-induced caffeine addiction, obesity, and Type II diabetes, PepsiCo also manufacturers Lay’s and Doritos, two of the vending machine snacks that Michelle Obama made sure were replaced with carrot sticks.

Tropicana, Gatorade, and Quaker are also under PepsiCo’s mantle. And as if Beyoncé aggravating Michelle by undermining her “Let’s Move” initiative and selling limited-edition soda with her mug on the can wasn’t enough, PepsiCo has “revenues of $60 billion and employs 285,000 people.” Therefore, the same type of conglomerate Barack Obama has spent the last four years portraying as selfish, abusive, and evil is about to be internationally promoted by global partner and Obama familly BFF Beyoncé.

Can the camaraderie survive Beyoncé being the new face of a snack-and-soda company after showing up on a “Let’s Move” video for a first lady whose signature issue disses salty snacks and sugary soda?  How is the Michelle Obama going to explain to the kiddies why the pretty lady with the big hair dancing in the “Let’s Move” video can drink Pepsi and eat Doritos, but they can’t?

Moreover, can the foursome’s pop/political partnership outlast Ms. Pepsi-licious Beyoncé’s decision to accept $50 million from a corporate giant?  And when the President confiscates half of that $50 million to finance altruistic efforts that are likely different than the causes Jay-Z supports, will Jay-Z restate more firmly his desire for “less government?”

If Beyoncé feels it may be necessary to recycle her Pepsi soda cans for spare change to pay Obama’s exorbitant taxes, will she even want to sing at the next inaugural ball?

There’s a lot at stake here.  Like, what’s the couples’ bowling night going to be like after ‘big government’ Barack Obama taxes ‘less government’ Shawn’s wife’s hard-earned PepsiCo dough into oblivion while denigrating the CEOs that will be signing Beyoncé’s $50 million paycheck?  Is that what Jay-Z means when he says he dislikes politics because they are “underhanded?”

In the end, it will be interesting to see whether or not Michelle Obama will support her good friend Beyoncé’s creative endeavor/business choice with the same energy and dedication that Beyoncé extended towards Michelle Obama’s – and whether or not Shawn Corey Carter, over a beer at a Net game, will be able to pry his buddy’s sticky fingers off some of the money Beyoncé earns

Obama Fundraiser: Fashion’s One-Percenters Sell Overpriced Garb to Fellow One-Percenters

Originally posted at BIG Hollywood

Just like four years ago, another group of legendary Obama 1 percent supporters have stepped forward to lend a creative hand to help the President raise money for his 2012 bid for reelection. Last time around it was “Runway to Change.” This time the design-for-Obama group effort has been dubbed “Runway to Win.”

Anna Wintour, the Vogue editor that hosted Obama’s supporters in her New York townhouse and who recently co-hosted a $35,000 per person fundraiser at Hollywood movie mogul Harvey Weinstein’s home, is heading up the venture. In the past, Wintour’s tony political functions were attended by the likes of Alicia Keys and $70,000 dinner power couple Coldplay singer Chris Martin and his actress wife, the “suddenly everywhere” Miramax “muse,” Gwyneth Paltrow.

So with Wintour now raising reelection funds, you can just forget the $5 raffle tickets for a hot dog dinner with Barry and Shelley. Instead, the campaign will be hawking designer duds to people who, last time around, were in such dire straits they hoped the new president would fill their gas tank and pay their mortgage.

For her latest effort, Anna Wintour has recruited Hollywood notables, designers, pop and hip-hop artists, and other all-around really rich people to raise money for Barack 2012 by designing overpriced T-shirts, tank tops, scarves, wristlets, and bags to sell at inflated prices to people who, in the midst of an Obama recession, really can’t afford them.

Thus, “Runway to Win” is yet another example that Barack Obama and his helpful circle of elite Hollywood friends and Seventh Avenue designer devotees are all pretty much insulated from reality, out of touch, and oblivious to the plight of the common man.

Recently, in order to make a point that a $40 tax cut is needed in order to feed starving American families, Obama asked the question: “What does $40 Mean to You?” Most Americans were probably thinking warehouse club paper towels and lunch for two at Taco Bell, not $45 T-shirts.

Unlike them, Obama was thinking T-shirts!  Apparently, the budget-minded President is comfortable with Mrs. Jay-Z, barely off the delivery table and out of the special maternity suite with the 10-man security team at Lenox Hill Hospital, designing cotton tee jerseys for impoverished Americans.

Beyonce’s creation stands to pull down a hefty profit for merchandise that’s actually worth no more than $5. For 45 bucks, clotheshorses all along the “Flaws and All” campaign trail, instead of buying groceries, will have a chance to wear a cheap quality “Yes we can… Greater Together” T-shirt.

New mom Beyonce is only one of many slobbering Obama supporters who will be joining forces to produce a trendsetting Barack Obama clothing line for 2012.

Thanks to all the participants, Obama for America supporters will have an opportunity to parade around with an Obama-logo tote bag while wearing clothing that shouts to the world that just because a person’s been unemployed for more than three years doesn’t mean they don’t want to contribute to four more years of watching Michelle Obama wear $2,000 sundresses.

For most Americans, splurging means shopping at Target. In the meantime, while the 99% eat Spaghetti-Os for dinner, the “Runway to Win” list of designers reads like a Who’s Who of attendees at White House Wednesday-night Kobe-beef Conga/cocktail parties.  The list is a couture catalog of who dresses Mrs. Obama in outfits whose one-year cost, when totaled, tallies to an amount that could save 1.2 million American homes from being foreclosed.

Some of the 22 designers participating in the effort are: Russell Simmons, billionaire business magnate of Def Jam fame; Sean “Diddy” Combs, another billionaire, rapper, and record producer who’s also recognizable by the names Sean John Combs, Puff Daddy, and P. Diddy; and even Tory Burch, the designer of the $500 boots Michelle wore to turn over the White House lawn when instructing Americans on the money-saving benefits of planting an at-home organic vegetable garden.

Many of Michelle Obama’s highbrow clothes designers will also be contributing to the effort: Narciso Rodriguez, Jason Wu, Alexander Wang, Joseph Altuzarra, Rag and Bone, Rachel Roy and Tracy Reese.

For those wanting a “first access pass,” on the tongue-in-cheek “Proudly made in America” campaign blog is the following announcement:

We’re launching something new, and a little different, over the next few weeks: Runway to Win, a collaboration by some of the country’s top fashion designers in support of Obama 2012. In the coming weeks, we’ll be rolling out Obama-inspired designs by everyone from Tracy Reese to Jason Wu to Tory Burch at runwaytowin.com. The details are still under wraps, but sign up for your First Access pass to get updates—and a first look at the new designs. Then invite your friends and family to do the same.

The truth is, any designer invested in Obama winning another term is probably secretly hoping their names will continue to be printed on the tags of what fills Mrs. Obama’s sartorially-stuffed clothes closet.

On the other hand, previous Obama supporters like Donna Karan, who participated in 2008, decided this year their idea of change would be to put Republican customers and capitalism first. Apparently, some decided to bow out because maintaining a customer base means more to them than being introduced by Scarlett Johansson at an Obama 2012 fashion show/fund raiser.

So, while Americans continue to suffer, big-name fashion designers and a diverse group of entrepreneurs like ‘Let’s Move’-Beyonce will be directly involved in “Runway to Win.” And yet, aside from the all the glitter and glamour, in light of 2008’s “Runway to Change,” the whole thing is really a bit scary. Why? Because if “change” is any indication of what four years of “winning” will be like, instead of walking the runway, if Mr. Fashionista manages to win a second term, America will more likely be walking the plank.

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