Eddie Vedder, once lead singer of Pearl Jam, can still pack a house. Even with a ukulele.
At $20,000 per ticket, Vedder helped President Barack Obama find 85 supporters today for a Tampa fundraiser, where he broke out the Hawaiian stringed instrument for some songs.
“Yup, it’s made in Hawaii,” he said. “It has a little birth certificate.”
Obama dropped into the quiet Tampa fundraiser after getting grilled at a Univision town hall-styled forum in the Miami area.
“If Mitt Romney were to be elected, none of those 47 percent of the people will have a voice, because he has ascertained that they are victims,” Vedder said of Mitt Romney’s remark about people who pay no income taxes and are unreachable by his campaign.
Obama said: “At any given moment, all of us have challenges.”
Charlie Christ, the former Florida governor and former Republican who endorsed Obama at the Democratic National Convention, also was in attendance — a fact Obama acknowledged: “I am allowed to hug him if I want.”
Vedder played some of his own songs, as well as covers of others, including Neil Young’s “Rockin’ in the Free World:”
(“Got a man of the people,
says keep hope alive
Got fuel to burn,
got roads to drive.”)