In the New York Magazine article, "Money Chooses Sides," note the composition of the photograph that accompanies it. I do not think it is accidental. I do not know if the photographer (or even Obama himself) intended the tableau, but of all the pictures doubtless taken of the event, this was the one selected by the magazine's editors to illustrate Obama's influence. Their motive may have been mockery of the guests or unintended adulation of Obama. That is irrelevant. The picture captures the essence of Obama's appeal.
Obama seems to descend the stairs, microphone in hand, looking very preacherly as he brings the "gospel" to the mortals below. All the mortals gape up at him with undisguised worship, as though he were indeed a messiah or savior, and are hanging on his every word. Remember that these are all Park and Fifth Avenue millionaires there by RSVP. A good political cartoonist could render the photograph to show Obama in Moses-like robes, one hand raised with an instructive finger pointed in the air, the other arm cradling two stone tablets with the Ten Commandments of socialism (the words, however, would be fuzzy and nearly illegible).
The only person not gaping at Obama is George Soros, seated directly behind Obama's left. He looks vaguely bored but also smugly content with what he is hearing and with the undivided attention of the other guests.
Then, another point I did not dwell on, for I wished to leave the reader to make his own inferences, is why so many wealthy people are throwing their money and support behind Obama. Basically, and this is connected to his making them feel good, it is a form of penance for and expiation of the "sin" of wealth, not unlike that being performed by Bill Gates and Warren Buffet. This picture was taken long before Obama "resigned" from Jeremiah Wright's church, but one cannot help but suspect that he and his campaign managers were consciously but subtly instituting the Obama Church of Hope, Change, and Salvation.
I end this postscript with a brief excerpt from Book II: Hugh Kenrick, of the Sparrowhawk series (pp. 115-116). Political and charity events to raise money from the wealthy and the politically influential are nothing new. The place is London, the time, 1755:
Bucklad House had undergone lengthy renovations, and the Pumphretts wished to mark their completion with a concert, to which were invited a list of London worthies. Lady Chloe, wife of Sir Henoch Pannell...was the mover behind this event. A donation of five guineas per person was levied, the receipts to be given to Lady Chloe's own organization, the Westminster Charity for London Waifs. "She's doing her penance early," confided Sir Henoch with sly derision to friends in the Commons who had been invited to the concert, "so that she may enjoy the rest of the season without the encumbrance of conscience. She is essentially a moral woman."