Obama Becoming Expert at The Low-Dollar Fundraiser: Empty Seats In Miami Underwhelm
June 13th, 2011
By CARRIE BUDOFF BROWN
MIAMI, Fla. -- A low-dollar fundraiser here Monday felt like a throwback to the 2008 campaign.
There was the same old soundtrack – including “City of Blinding Lights” by U2, the president’s 2008 anthem -- the enthusiastic organizers and the abundant appeals for supporters to rally behind President Obama.
The one missing element? Overflowing crowds.
Granted, it was a fundraiser, not a free rally. But the empty seats were hard to miss.
The top level of the 2,200-seat concert hall at the Adrienne Arsht Center for Performing Arts was entirely empty, as were the seats along the side of the second and third levels.
"The expectation was 900," a Democratic official said, and more than 980 tickets were sold.
Tickets for the Gen 44 event started at $44, the official said.
"This is going to be a very tough fight," said Alonzo Mourning, the former Miami Heat player, who spoke ahead of the president. Once Obama took the stage, a protester interrupted him at one point, repeatedly yelling: "Keep your promise, stop AIDS now." But the protester was quickly drowned out by the audience chanting, "Obama, Obama, Obama."
"The reason we’re here today is because our work’s not done," Obama said after hushing the crowd. "Our work is not complete. We're not at the summit. We’re just part way up the mountain. There is more to do."
He didn't directly address the protester's issue.
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