Craig Newmark, Cissie Swig, Steve Westly and will.i.am each happily dropped $35,800 to dine with President Obama at billionaire Marc Benioff’s San Francisco home Wednesday evening. These are just some of the 85 famous names on the fundraiser’s guest list which was plainly visible to rubberneckers as attendees checked in. Combined, Obama’s take for the 90-minute event was a cool $3 million — or $3,043,000 to be exact (85 guests x $35,800 each).
The record-setting price tag for the dinner was part of Obama’s highly profitable fundraising swing through the San Francisco Bay Area on Wednesday, April 20.
A small cluster of onlookers — a few Obama fans, a few protesters, but mostly local residents who happened to pass by — watched and waited on the sidewalk at the intersection of Presidio and Pacific avenues for the President to arrive. While his motorcade was delayed for hours, a steady stream of well-dressed guests showed up and were let in one by one. Each name was checked on a master list of attendees held by a staffer who (unintentionally, one presumes) allowed nearby rubberneckers to get a glimpse of it as she flipped the pages.
The photographs below were taken of the fundraiser’s official guest list as the staffer checked the ID of each arrival. In total, 85 entries are visible on two different pages, though only about 50 of the names are fully legible.
Craig Newmark is the founder of craigslist and is a well-known internet entrepreneur. Cissie Swig is a wealthy philanthropist and a member of San Francisco’s famous Swig clan. Steve Westly is a California politician, candidate for governor, venture capitalist, and ardent Obama supporter. And will.i.am is a musician and producer, best known as the leader of the Black Eyed Peas.
Several other famous names are on the list. Readers interested in seeing who can afford to spend $35,800 for a 90-minute dinner can scan the photos below.
The full list of legible names is presented after the photos. (This short report will be followed by a more thorough photo essay soon.)
Here’s the only report I could find from a pool reporter allowed into the event. A snippet — yes, that really is the “Stevie Wonder” on the list!:
The press corps was ushered into a large tent set up in the courtyard in the middle of Benioff’s block-wide residence, to find Stevie Wonder entertaining the crowd; his final song was a new one composed for the occasion, entitled “Ten Billion Hearts,” about joining together to heal the world.
The President was seated at Benioff’s table; Wonder returned to sit at the President’s side as Benioff introduced POTUS, saying that in a time of many crises, “we have the right person to lead us here.” Recording artist Will.I.am was seated at the same table.
…and the rest seemed to be not much more than a boilerplate stump speech. But…will.i.am at the table of honor?
[Click on each image to see it in higher resolution.]