Yesterday, the Obama campaign released a list of its top fundraising "bundlers," and the list, not surprisingly, included Vogue EIC Anna Wintour, who raised over $500,000 for Obama's re-election, WWD reports. Of course, she's been known to raise as much as $1.5 million at a single dinner, so this comes as no surprise. She was one of 61 people to "bundle" at that level (Hollywood media moguls Harvey Weinstein, with whom Wintour has hosted a fundraiser, and Jeffrey Katzenberg were the other big names), meaning she's a pretty influential lady, and not just within the fashion community.
Wintour hasn't been secretive about her support of Obama: She's hosted multiple fundraising events for Obama and the DNC. She put Michelle Obama, who she's said she looks up to, on the cover of Vogue in 2009. And most recently, she helped put together Runway to Win, wherein big-name American designers like Marc Jacobs and Alex Wang designed exclusive items to be sold on Obama's campaign website, to benefit the campaign. She'll host another fundraising event in conjunction with RtW with Scarlett Johansson at the Theory store next week.
She's also been vocally supportive of gay rights and is even being honored for it by the HRC on Saturday. It's a big month for Wintour. Fashion Week, which starts next week (omg what), must seem like an afterthought.
We did a little digging into her political donation history and according to this site, she's issued multiple donations to the DNC and Representative Tim Bishop's campaigns. The earliest donation shown was $2,000 in 2004 to John Kerry's presidential election, which obviously didn't go her way, followed by $1,000 to Hillary Clinton's senatorial campaign in '05. Then nothing until the Democratic White House Victory Fund in 2008, to which she donated $10,000.
So why is Wintour suddenly so political? She's never been so actively and visibly supportive of a politician but, then again, neither had a lot of people until Obama came around (Oprah comes to mind). Maybe she just decided she wants to start using her power and influnce to benefit more than just the fashion world. Still, some have speculated that she hopes to nab a White House job, which she flatly denied to WSJ last year, saying,
With all the new media outlets out there, with all the noise, a voice of authority and calm like Vogue becomes more important than ever. The more eyes on fashion, the more opinions about fashion, the more exploration of fashion around the world, the better it is for Vogue. Vogue is like Nike or Coca-Cola—this huge global brand. I want to enhance it, I want to protect it, and I want it to be part of the conversation.
This also shows that the Obamas aren't opposed to having ties to the fashion world the way other politicians might be. For example, Hillary Clinton pulled out of a Vogue shoot when she was a presidential candidate for fear of appearing too feminine.