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Stars Come Out for L.A. Fundraiser

By Scott Wilson

LOS ANGELES -- President Obama shook the money trees hard here tonight, this time on behalf of the Democratic National Committee. Before a rapturous crowd studded with movie stars, he said that the economy is starting to recover, thanks in part to his stimulus package, and that "I would put these first four months up against any prior administration since FDR."

The event at the Beverly Hilton was expected to raise $3 million to $4 million for the party in power, which has been lagging behind Republicans in fundraising for the 2010 election cycle. The haul added to the DNC's bottom line of $9.1 million.

The Republican National Committee has $24.4 million on hand.

The president headlined the event, which also featured singer Jennifer Hudson and Earth, Wind and Fire. About 1,000 people attended, with tickets running $1,000 to $2,500 each. In addition, 125 couples paid $30,400 each for a dinner and a photo with Obama beforehand.

Hollywood was on hand, with guests including actors Seth Rogen, Kiefer Sutherland, Jamie Foxx, Tyler Perry, Marisa Tomei, Antonio Banderas and Melanie Griffith, as well as directors Steven Spielberg and Ron Howard.

Producer Jeffrey Katzenberg introduced the president, saying, "If you look in the dictionary under 'grace under fire,' it will say 'Barack Obama.' "

The president, mindful that the event bumped up against a pivotal Lakers home game in basketball's Western Conference Finals, began: "It was tied in the first quarter. That's the story. We will get out of here before the end of the third. Some of you will get out of here before halftime."

He then thanked Katzenberg, saying, "If it weren't for you, we would not be in the White House."

Sens. Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.) and Arlen Specter (Penn.), the newest Democrat on Capitol Hill after his recent defection from the GOP, were also there to meet potential donors. Both face difficult races next year, and the president mentioned each by name.

Obama has sought to stay above the partisan fray, but this two-day swing through Nevada and California has been almost entirely about raising money for his party and his allies.

In his remarks here, Obama listed his achievements in office and praised, to applause, his Supreme Court nominee, Judge Sonia Sotomayor. He said, "We didn't ask for the challenges that we face, but we don't shrink from them either."

Earlier today, Obama spoke to several hundred soldiers and airmen at Nellis Air Force Base in Las Vegas, marking the 100th day since the passage of his stimulus package.

He told the audience, gathered in a hangar, that nearly 150,000 jobs have been saved or created as a result of the $787 billion bill, the largest domestic spending measure in U.S. history.

Yesterday evening, Obama appeared at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas on behalf of Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.), who polls show may be vulnerable in next year's election. The event raised roughly $2 million for Reid.

By Washington Post Editor  |  May 27, 2009; 11:28 PM ET
 
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Comments

"You obviously didn't donate to Obama's fundraising effort, so why are you crying about him asking? And as for those who have donated, who are you to tell them what to do with their money? But then again, thanks for your comment; if it makes folks like you cringe whenever donations given to Obama or the DNC through his solitication, I'm going to send my donation in today. Keep up the hate, it motivates Obama supporters, lol..."

Who's filled with hate? You sure sound like it. I just think it is in poor taste for him to come and get money out of a state that is going bankrupt. That doesn't make me a lover or a hater of Obama. It makes me a person who would like to see common sense in the govt. Maybe I should dream on. :)

Posted by: kellimcm | May 29, 2009 1:38 AM | Report abuse

Yes sir old Barry can make that money and he can spend it, only problem is he makes it as fast as he spends it. Just wait till the deflation takes affect, and tell me how great Barry is. Now that China owns us lock stock and barrel, America has no say in world affairs. no country has any respect for us now, we are starting to look like a third world country every time Obama spends a few more billion fresh off the printing press.

Posted by: jhnjdy | May 28, 2009 11:58 PM | Report abuse


Fundraiser? $9 million? Just order the Fed to print some more money. Big Duh, Barack.

Posted by: WylieD | May 28, 2009 7:44 PM | Report abuse

Campaigning = Fiddling!

While America BURNS!

FYI oh great Pretender:

Foreclosures hit NEW HIGH!

$4 Trillion BADLY Squandered!

Posted by: SAINT---The | May 28, 2009 7:13 PM | Report abuse

This story reports that the President has "sought to stay above the partisan fray." No president should do so all or most of the time--It IS a political office!--and Barack Obama certainly has NOT done so. For example, he reminds us about every five minutes who's to blame for all HIS problems--and, then, he never mentions the word "Democrat."

Posted by: DennisHinde | May 28, 2009 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Air Force One when used for a political event is paid for by the DNC or other supporting group, not by the govt.

Posted by: mil1 | May 28, 2009 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for listing some of those who came to the BO funding raising event. I wish it will be possible to list all the "stars"...so I can be sure to totally cross them all off my list. I pledge I will never purchase any movie, book, record or anything any of them are involved in. Please.....please someone take the kool-aid away.

What I really want to know is how much of taxpayers money...including the cost of flying AirForce One and all the other accompanying planes and personnel are going to be repaid??? It is my understanding that AirForce One cost about 1/4 million per flight. Maybe Obama and staff should do a little belt-tightening...as we mere mortals have been advised by BO to do.

Posted by: BHBF | May 28, 2009 10:44 AM | Report abuse

Beingsensible, how can you say "who are you to tell them what to do with their money" with a straight face? Obama and Democrats in general have taken it upon themselves to tell pretty much everyone what to do with their own money.

Posted by: thebink | May 28, 2009 10:04 AM | Report abuse

When CA is in dire straights, and the President comes to beg us for money, I just don't get it. Why? We are in the throes of the recession and to be honest , I wonder how the people with excess can justify giving money to the President's political party and not the people who really need it?

Posted by: kellimcm | May 28, 2009 3:47 AM

------------------------------------
You obviously didn't donate to Obama's fundraising effort, so why are you crying about him asking? And as for those who have donated, who are you to tell them what to do with their money? But then again, thanks for your comment; if it makes folks like you cringe whenever donations given to Obama or the DNC through his solitication, I'm going to send my donation in today. Keep up the hate, it motivates Obama supporters, lol...

Posted by: Beingsensible | May 28, 2009 9:35 AM | Report abuse

When CA is in dire straights, and the President comes to beg us for money, I just don't get it. Why? We are in the throes of the recession and to be honest , I wonder how the people with excess can justify giving money to the President's political party and not the people who really need it?

Posted by: kellimcm | May 28, 2009 3:47 AM | Report abuse

Obama continues to tell each audience what it wants to hear, but the dishing out of the stimulus money is backfiring audibly.

http://pacificgatepost.blogspot.com/2009/05/obamas-not-so-free-money.html

His stimulus money is not so free.

Posted by: JamesRaider | May 28, 2009 12:27 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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