Entertainment behind the scenes
Obama goes Hollywood
Barack Obama found himself surrounded by Hollywood stars at a Los Angeles fundraiser on Tuesday that raised $4 million to more than $5 million for Democrats and the Illinois senator’s presidential campaign, according to a press pool report and the Los Angeles Times.
Obama told the crowd he knew his long campaign against former Democrat presidential rival Hillary Clinton “caused some heartburn and some frustration.” But he added, “we were allies then and we’re allies now.”
Clinton had enjoyed strong support in Los Angeles and among Hollywood’s stars, who first warmed to her when her husband Bill Clinton ran for president in 1992. But many in her camp are now joining the Obama bandwagon in a sign of party unity against presumptive Republican nominee John McCain.
Obama spoke to an audience that included actors Samuel L. Jackson, Dennis Quaid and Don Cheadle, as well as Sherry Lansing, the former CEO of Paramount Pictures. British-born singer Seal performed his ballad “Kiss from a Rose” and the Sam Cooke soul classic “A Change is Gonna Come,” an apparent reference to Obama’s campaign theme of change.
Seal was introduced by Quaid, who told the crowd: “He’s here tonight to sing for the superman for everyone — Barack Obama.” Rapper Will.i.am of the group the Black Eyed Peas and retired boxer “Sugar” Ray Leonard also were in attendance.
The event was held amid glass chandeliers at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, a performance venue that in years past hosted the Oscars.
Money raised at the fundraiser will be split between the Obama campaign and the Democratic National Committee. Tickets to the reception cost $2,300 per person, and VIP tickets cost $28,500 per couple, which allowed those VIPs to attend a dinner with Obama.