President Obama pulled in a cool $15 million last night, according to DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg, at a lavish fundraiser in a party tent on George Clooney’s Studio City basketball court.
The fundraising haul includes both the $40,000-a-person seats in the tent and the proceeds from the online sweepstakes for two people to join the Hollywood party.
Katzenberg, who hosted the party with Clooney, told the crowd that “once again the entertainment industry has stepped forward in a very big way” — as it had for John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan, and Bill Clinton.
Seen by the White House press pool were Tobey Maguire, Jack Black, Robert Downey Jr., Salma Hayek, and Barbra Streisand. “Clooney listened intently to Potus throughout, his hands folded as if in prayer and his chin resting on them,” the pool reporter noted.
The two sweepstakes winners were placed at a table in the back.
Also at the fundraiser were Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Rep. Howard Berman (D-Calif.), who met Obama at the Burbank airport and rode in his motorcade — leading to speculation that Obama might be favoring Berman over Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.) in a primary battle that pits the two veteran lawmakers against each other in a newly drawn district.
“Sometimes the 2008 campaign gets romanticized and everybody says how perfect it was and I have to remind them, no, I was there,” Obama quipped. “…But, look, I cannot take credit for this. Jeffery can take some credit. But let’s face it, we raised a lot of money because everybody loves George.”
The pool reporter noted that the president spent longer lingering at this fundraiser than any other in memory — nearly four hours before the motorcade finally left.