Before introducing the first of the fundraiser’s featured performers, West Hollywood mayor John Duran gave props to his city’s proud embrace of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered communities: “Welcome to the home of the Sunset Strip. Welcome to the home of Boystownm—the LGBT epicenter of the world.” He then brought on the Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles who performed rousing covers of two ‘80s pop standards: Cyndi Lauper’s “True Colors” and Pat Benetar’s “We Belong,” both repurposed for this context as an empowerment anthems.
The event’s second headliner, the chart-topping, multi-Grammy nominated rapper B.o.B., flat-out bombed. You could blame the lackluster response on the same kind of apathy that makes attending L.A. sporting events an exercise in tedium. But running through a short set that included his smash hits “Airplanes” and “Nothin’ on You,” the crowd stood almost bolt still despite repeated entreaties by the rapper’s hype man to put their “hands in the air.” At which point an elderly woman fainted. And worse still, B.o.B. neglected to give Obama the requisite shout out on stage. Instead of something like, “Barack Obama 2012, y’all!” the best B.o.B. gav Monday night was, “Thank you to Obama, everybody for inviting me out here.”
So much for rocking the vote.
The evening’s master of ceremonies, Jesse Tyler Ferguson of the Emmy-winning ABC comedy Modern Family, lavished praise on the president for his recent repeal of the military’s Don’t Act, Don’t Tell policy, hailing the move as “the signature civil rights accomplishment of our time.”
And reaching the podium around 6:00 p.m. to finally galvanize the audience, Obama returned the compliment. “Michelle and the girls love them some Modern Family,” he told the crowd. “They love that show.”
Barely a minute into the president’s arrival at the podium to thunderous applause, however, he was interrupted by the sweaty, bearded man who began shouting “The Christian God is the one and only living God!” before referring to Obama as an anti-Christ and being hustled away by security.Sounds like a blast; sorry I missed it.
The Obamas--Barry, Michy, Bo and the girls--out of the White House and the newest mishpacha on Modern Family: I'll drink to that!