Apparently, the Obama reelection campaign is afraid the president might say or do something regrettable.
More than 60 VIP donors who attended a fundraiser at the home Blackstone CEO Hamilton James on Monday night were told they had to place their phones in a plastic bag before being allowed admittance, ABC News reports.
While one campaign aide called the move “standard operating procedure,” Zeke Miller of Buzzfeed reports that several campaign veterans (including aides to Hillary Clinton, Rick Perry, and Jon Huntsman) have never “heard of the practice, which is common in secure White House spaces where there are concerns of espionage, but unknown in contexts in which only political secrets are discussed.”
And despite the fact that each donor paid $35,800 to attend the ultra-swanky event, it still wasn't enough to win the trust of the president's campaign aides. Apparently, they're terrified enough that the president will make an offhand, awkward remark (the type that people bitterly cling to) that they're willing to confiscate the phones from some of his most powerful supporters.
“The potential for awkward moments was particularly high last night, as Obama spent the morning calling for more Wall Street regulation [and then] released an ad calling Mitt Romney's private equity firm a ‘vampire,’” Dashiell Bennett of the Atlantic Wire writes.
“[He] then entertained Wall Street guests at the home of the man who runs one of the most successful private equity firm in the business. Now we'll never know just how awkward it got,” Bennett adds.
Oh. That is a little awkward.
But why wouldn't the president want everyone to hear the great things he has to say members of the “1 percent”?
“Why wouldn’t the Obama campaign want everybody far and wide to know what he’s telling those rich people attending his high-dollar fundraisers?” conservative blogger Doug Powers asks.
“You’d think Obama would welcome the use of cell phones as he lectures the greedy one-percenters about how they should be sharing the wealth, demanding a tax increase and stop being eco-hypocrites by getting rid of their planet-destroying private jets in favor of algae-powered go-karts so the video could hit the web just as fast as possible,” he adds.
But seriously, the decision to have phones confiscated from high roller donors has more than a few people scratching their heads.
"What is he hiding? Candidates should be for and against the same issue in private as they are in public," said former Perry campaign manager Rob Johnson, according to Buzzfeed.
"This shows just how uncomfortable the Obama team is with their message an their candidate. And in addition to religion and guns, voters like to cling to their cell phones," Johnson adds.