Especially after those few taxing hours in Michigan—of all places for our ever-upscale President— it’ll be a breath of fresh air tonight for the gallivanting Chief Executive to ease his way into the Battery Park Ritz Carlton to meet with 15 fervent die-hards, part of the 40% into whose mysterious psyches PJM’s Roger L. Simon delves today—the ones who just can’t seem to shake their Obama jones.
Then it’s off to another oh-so-burdensome event for the $400,000-a-year President, on his whirlwind night on the town in New York.
That would be dinner at Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein’s West Village hideaway in Manhattan for 50 of those same still-jonesed 40%. They will include, according to one report, Gwyneth Paltrow, Chris Martin, Quentin Tarantino and Alicia Keys. Those thrills are still running up some thighs, mine palpably excluded.
And just to put the icing, and I do mean icing, on the Presidential cake tonight, Harvey’s co-host will be Anna Wintour—yes!— the selfsame editor-in-chief of Vogue who saw fit to go into raptures with a fawning massive photo spread on none other than Asma al-Assad, wife of the optician-turned-butcher, the “President” of Syria, the one who’s slaughtered more than 2,000 of his fellow Syrians in just a few short months. How veddy elegant it will doubtless be to dine among Anna’s nearest and dearest, if an Antarctic ice queen with the political savvy of an ice cube (apologies to ice cubes everywhere; I was trying not to insult fleas everywhere) can be said to have nearests or dearests.
And where will the $2,509,000 raised in a few hours in Manhattan go? you may be wondering. To none other than the Hope ‘n’ Change-springs-eternally-named Obama Victory Fund (yeah, right) to be divided between the re-election campaign and the DNC.
Don’t think New York’s Democratic commuters won’t be delighted that the President has joined them on the island of Manhattan. According to the New York Daily News traffic report, it will be nothing short of New Agony City for the people who still have jobs and still have homes to which they’d like to return tonight. They can try, of course, but it won’t be easy:
President Obama lands at Kennedy Airport just after 5 p.m. to fund-raise. He’ll chopper to Wall St. and head through the Battery Park Underpass and onto Battery Place to attend an event at the Ritz-Carlton Battery Park. The FDR Drive below 14th St. and the West Side Highway below 34th St. could be frozen anytime between 4:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. Express bus service to Staten Island will be affected, and there will be several mile-long backups at the Battery Tunnel/Gowanus Expressway.
What concerns me most is the use of West St. for the presidential motorcade. Getting in and out of Battery Park City or accessing the Holland Tunnel will be a nightmare. I’ve asked the city to open the Hudson St. entrance to the tunnel Thursday night, given that the West St. approach will be frozen.
After Battery Park, the President will head up West St. and cut crosstown to the West Village below 14th St. to attend a fund-raiser. All avenues west of Sixth Ave. will be frozen, along with most local streets, including Greenwich Ave., Perry St., Hudson St., etc.
…the President is expected back at the Wall St. Heliport enroute to JFK between 9:30 p.m. and 10p.m. West St., the Battery Park Underpass, the FDR Drive and all avenues west of Sixth will be frozen once more. The allclear is after 10 p.m.
Good luck to all New York area drivers who will sit immobilized in traffic, with their $4.50+ per gallon gas just burning away, as Barry, Harvey and Anna paint the town red— no, make that blue.