Boss and Billy praise, raise for Obama

Bruce Springsteen and Billy Joel headline Manhattan concert and fundraiser for the "next president of the United States."

By Thomas Schaller
Published October 17, 2008 2:50PM (EDT)

At the Hammerstein Ballroom in Manhattan Thursday night Bruce Springsteen and Billy Joel headlined a big-ticket concert to raise money for Barack Obama from about 2,000 paying guests.

Joel sang 'New York State of Mind,' Springsteen played regular campaign theme song 'The Rising,' and they jointly performed Joel’s "Allentown" (think of that as something of a Joe Biden tribute) and Springsteen's "Glory Days."

The fund-raising concert benefited the Obama Victory Fund. No total estimate was provided, but tickets ranged from a balcony seat ($500, which sold out quickly) to a lounge ticket for $25,000. The ballroom's event manager said 1,959 people were on hand.

Except for that monetary detail, it would have been easy to forget that this was an Obama event at all. Until, of course, Mr. Springsteen took his microphone and, surrounded by the other singers said, "Ladies and Gentlemen, you want to bring on the next president of the United States, Barack Obama!"

"What a magical evening," Mr. Obama said, "which I will not spoil with a long speech."

Shut up and let the performers perform: Smart move.


Thomas Schaller

Thomas F. Schaller is professor of political science at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and the author of "Whistling Past Dixie: How Democrats Can Win Without the South." Follow him @schaller67.

MORE FROM Thomas Schaller

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

2008 Elections Barack Obama War Room