One month ago, President Barack Obama took one of his more fashionable visits to New York. After an event at Waldorf-Astoria, Mr. Obama headed over to a second star-studded soirée hosted by Beyoncé Knowles and Jay-Z at the 40/40 Club in Midtown. There, a hundred guests who paid $40,000 for the privilege, lounged on sofas in a dark, glassy room to watch Mr. Obama pitch the importance of reelection. But Mr. Obama wasn’t there to ask for votes.
No, the president was in New York City, as is almost always the case when he visits, to fundraise among the city’s moneyed elite. And those individuals–the ones who sat at the 40/40 Club next to a tower of 350 bottles of $300-plus Jay-Z-endorsed Armand de Brignac champagne–represent the New Yorkers Mr. Obama cares about. His Republican adversary, Mitt Romney, is exactly the same.
But it’s not their fault that New York has been relegated to be the A.T.M. of the presidential race; nor is it anything new or special. Thanks to the winner-takes-all system by which the heavily Democratic state awards its presidential delegates, Mr. Obama is guaranteed to win the Empire State no matter how much time he or Mr. Romney campaign in Elmira or El Barrio. Read More