Obama rakes in $9 million at Hollywood fundraisers

September 17, 2008

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. – Democrat Barack Obama raked in $9 million at fundraisers on Tuesday night flanked by celebrities. But he stopped far short of celebrating.

The White House hopeful kept the tone of his remarks  somber as he talked of the financial crisis that has cast a pall over the economy to an audience that included Pierce Brosnan, streisand2.jpgLeonardo DiCaprio, Jodi Foster and Jamie Lee Curtis.

“This should be a celebratory evening. We’ve got 48 days to go in a campaign, a campaign that started 19 months ago, at a time when a lot of folks thought we might not get here,” Obama told a reception of 800 people at the swank Beverly Wilshire Hotel.

“I’m not in a celebratory mood,” he said, listing recent events such as the financial turmoil, a deadly train crash in Los Angeles and Gulf Coast hurricanes.

Obama’s Republican rival, John McCain, mocked him for mingling with his “celebrity friends” while middle-class Americans were spending their time worrying about the economy.

At one reception, where donors contributed $2,500 a piece to Obama’s campaign coffers, singer-actress Barbra Streisand gave a rare singing performance.

At an earlier dinner of around 300 people at the Tudor-style Greystone mansion in Beverly Hills, donors paid $28,500 a plate to the Democratic Party and dined on beef filet, asparagus and salad with goat cheese.

Asking them to work hard to help get him elected, Obama said the financial crisis “has reminded people what’s at stake.”

“It’s reminded people that this is not a game. This is not a reality show,” he said and then added, to laughter, “No offense to any of you here.”

Click here for more Reuters 2008 campaign coverage. 

Photo credit: Reuters/ Tobias Schwarz (Barbra Streisand, shown in a 2007 performance in Berlin, sang at an exclusive fundraiser for Obama Tuesday night.)

28 comments

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A dinner for the only people who are going to vote for him. Hope it was good! He should have picked Hillary. He wouldn’t have to be fundraising. What a fool!

Posted by Kim | Report as abusive

We can only hope the phony, vacuous, airheads records stays intact. No candidate which she has supported has ever won.

Maybe this time when she whines about leaving the country if the republicans win – she will actualy do it.

Hey – any of you country’s out there want a washed up, has been who can only sell concert tickets now if she promises this will be her last tour. (her “last tour” has been going on for a decade).

Maybe Russia – Het, you guys need another communist?

Posted by robt | Report as abusive

I love BO and his supporters … the economy is bad so let’s raise taxes on employers and investors – that’ll fix it! I guess they only teach speech & law where he went to school. It’s like a bad drugywood script.

Posted by crypt2121 | Report as abusive

Good for Obama. He can use the 9 Mil to aggressively fight back against claims he cozies up with the Hollywood in-crowd.

Posted by Marc | Report as abusive

“…This is not a reality show,” he said and then added, to laughter, “No offense to any of you here.”

None taken. *cough* Some roast beef just got stuck in my throat. *cough*

Barbra Streisand? I thought Obama was supposed to be “cool”.

Posted by Fallon | Report as abusive

Wish I’d had the 28,000.00 and a plane ticket. Didn’t–so I’ll just go to the Big O’s website and donate $25.00. As the shoeshine boys would say, “every nickel helps”.

Posted by Chrissy | Report as abusive

It is regrettable that these campaigns require such amounts of cash – a longstanding sign of the need for serious electoral reform in our political system. Nevertheless, I am mollified that Obama managed to strike the right somber note during what would appear to be such an elite event. Perhaps Hollywood sees what is at stake and is putting its money where its mouth is . . .

Posted by DCEsq | Report as abusive

Sooo…Obama doesn’t want to offend the Hollywood crowd but he won’t wear the American flag or have it on his campaign flag because he doesn’t want to offend anyone…like every hardworking proud-to-be-an american citizen? Yuuuk … I shall spit you out of my mouth.

Posted by Greg | Report as abusive

In a word, Obama is the WINNER…, our choice.

Posted by Kiziton | Report as abusive

Dear Americans, Please stop your personal petty stuff, like wearing a flagpin etc. out of this debate. America and the world does not need anyone who is like an average American but some one who is smart and eloquesnt and beleives in diplomacy first. Just answer a basic question before voting if you could all please..who would be a better leader for US, given that Obama came from nowhere, established an amazingly well run political campaign, no debt, innovative ideas to run a campaign, and McCain, except his valour during the Vietnam war and his out of the box approach until 2000 Republican Primaries, his beliefs and approach is uncannily similar to Bush Jr. We all do have a clear choice.

Posted by Kiran | Report as abusive

“Barbra says women are not that stupid”

Let’s hope you are right Barbra! However the stat (if true) that show that 25% of Hillary’s voters switched to the Republican party after Palin was selected, likely means that those 25% could care less about issues, only that a candidate be female. That truly IS stupid.

Of course, Bush was elected a second time and nothing tops that for stupidity, which of course means that THE MAJORITY OF VOTERS (it was a majority, right?) are pretty darn clueless.

I think we have entered the “Age of the Superficial & Shallow”. And what with it being a democracy, they win.

Posted by Al Oliver | Report as abusive

CELEBRITY BOY vs. AMERICAN HERO!

Personally I think it is very tacky to be complaining about the ecomony then turning around taking a plane to LA to the Beverly Wilshire to have a $28,500 a plate dinner, plus another $2,500 Streisand concert, when people lost their jobs yesterday. It’s offensive to everyone that is struggling right now.

OBAMA BLOCKED REPORTERS AND MEDIA FROM THE EVENT!

REMEMBER SAN FRANCISCO? — The Junior Senator from Illinois tells “BITTER”, small-town, blue-collar, gun-toting, bible thumping Americans one thing, then goes to California and tells a different story to his elitist millionaire supporters.

Barack Hussein Obama is a three-year Junior Senator without a single important legislative achievement to his name, a former Illinois state senator who voted “present” nearly 130 times. I GUESS THESE MEETINGS WERE ABOVE HIS PAYGRADE!

As president of the Harvard Law Review, as law professor and as legislator, has he ever produced a single notable piece of scholarship? Written a single memorable article?

HIS MOST MEMORABLE WORK IS A BIOGRAPHY OF HIS FAVORITE SUBJECT: “HIMSELF”.

Obama worked 142 days in the senate and has spent the rest of the time running for president. If he can’t do his senate job — he certainly cannot lead our country.

Governor Palin is a breath of fresh air. I believe she will help John McCain bring change we can believe in. John McCain showed good judgment in choosing her for his VP.

I’M NOT BITTER! I’M A TYPICAL, HARDWORKING, SMALL-TOWN, BLUE COLLAR WORKER WHO WILL BE VOTING FOR THE HONORABLE JOHN McCAIN IN NOVEMBER.

Posted by CELEBRITY BOY vs. AMERICAN HERO! | Report as abusive

The amount of money you spend on a meal is all relative to what you can afford. So if it is $28.00 or $28,000 that makes no difference. The fact of the matter is we need change and Obama is the only way to go. Hey democrats, Mr Obama should say “did experience get us into the mess we are in, well that kind of experience we don’t need”

Posted by michael w. parks | Report as abusive

Too bad this “phoney” Hollywood crowd wants to spend so much money on big dinners for such a hald-breed. If Hollywood is responsible for picking our next leader of this great county, then we are all in a whole heap of trouble.

Posted by Betty | Report as abusive

I am an independent voting for McCain. I’ve been following this election really closely and both sides are guilty of bending the truth about themselves and their rivals. McCain is not a Bush Wannabe. He is one of the most ‘liberal’ republicans out there. He reaches over the isle far more often than Obama ever does. I hated W and I think he was a terrible president. I believe that we are going to get change with either candidate…it just depends on what kind of change we are looking for. I certainly don’t agree with McCain on all of his policies (mostly the social ones), but I dont’ agree with ANY of Obama’s economic polies. Raising taxes is only going to hurt the economy. It hurts my pockets every day, and I’m not sure what I’ll do if any more gets taken out.
I wish McCain would once and for all stand up and show how he is different from Bush…because he is quite different.
I wish Obama would practice what he preaches….helping the working class families by attending a $9 million fundraiser….that is a slap in the face to people who can’t get to work or pay for food.

Vote for whichever candidate you feel will help you and your country the most…whoever it may be. For me, that’s McCain.

Posted by Independent Thinker | Report as abusive

No one on this blog mentioned another important quality of an United States President. He/She is the one to nominate candidates for the third co-equal branch of United States Government — nominees to the Supreme Court of the United States. Those Justices are appointed FOR LIFE! So the question is, who do you want in the White House to be in the position to appoint future Justices? Obama or McCain? After seeing what Bush “43 did (Bush Jr.), I have to go for Obama. No question.

Obama or McCain will serve for 4 – 8 years. Justices on the Supreme Court are for life. Think about it.

Posted by Jeff Greenfield | Report as abusive

Granted that he raised the 9 million. Is there any mention about the 5 millon the McCain raised the night before that?

Posted by MikeT | Report as abusive

What about the 5 million that McCain that raised the night before last. What is the difference?

Posted by MikeT | Report as abusive

Oh no now we have Barbara telling us who to vote for. I remember when we only had our husbands telling us (even though once in the booth we didn’t listen anyway) do you get it Barbara? No one is listening to what you want. If Obama was all that you were hoping for he would never have dissed Hillary she was his ticket into the white house. But his immaturity, his arrogance, and that huge ego just wouldn’t, just couldn’t let him take her. Now you and Nancy Pelosi and all the other Democratic jerks who clearly drank the Kool aid can live with it…

Posted by mimi362 | Report as abusive

mike T what about the 60 million Obama made in August do you think he has enough yet????

Posted by mimi362 | Report as abusive

28,000 per plate, raised 9 million in his trip to Hollywood. How much money between the two candidates have been spent. How about a fundraiser for the poverished people of the US. How about doing something to actually put some money back into the pockets of the people that are struggling to pay bills and put food on the table. How much fuel and tax payer dollars are being wasted on all the trips back and forth across the country by both candidates. How much green house gases ahave the two candidates contributed by their campaigns alone. How many people could have been fed bu what has been spent on the capign fiasco. If you can afford 28,000 on a dinner I’m not thinking that is someone who really cares if gas is over 4 bucks a gallon.

Hey Broke and Hurting, these people DO care.
They are the same people who raise money for Katrina, and money for AIDS. They are the ones who help the homeless and donate to good causes. They are in the entertainment and show business, which depends a great deal that people will have a few bucks left for entertainment after paying the bills, putting food on the table and a roof over their heads. Unfortunatly, it takes a lot of money to fight the lies and distortions that the Republicans have been throwing at all of us the last 8 years. If you are lucky enough to have health insurance paid for by your employer, you need to realize that McCain tells lies from the podium. He says he won’t raise taxes, and won’t increase payroll taxes, but then he says he wants to tax your health insurance benefits. That would amount to a family paying income and/or payroll tax on about an extra $12,000 per year. For those who earn the lowest incomes, it will be the biggest burden. If you earn $36,000 a year, it will mean you get taxed like you earned $48,000. That’s a 30% increase in your income tax. Of course, if you earn $250,000 a year, it amounts to only a 5% increase. IS THAT FAIR? McCain lies. Obama will cut taxes for those earning under $250,000 a year. If you earn over $250,000 a year, you can probably afford to pay a little more. He also is against these ‘gimmick’ tax increases like taxing your health benefits. Remember he’s the one that has promoted health care for EVERYONE!

Keep it up! The more angry and vicious you are, the more petty comments you make, the more you focus on superficial issues instead of substantive discussion, the more people will be glad to be on the other side.

What about the 5 million that McCain that raised the night before last. What is the difference?

- Posted by MikeT

4 million.

Posted by Matt | Report as abusive

…If you earn over $250,000 a year, you can probably afford to pay a little more…

- Posted by MikeBYY

Who the h3ll are you to make that decision about MY hard-earned money? Maybe I can’t afford that. This increase will apply almost exclusively to small business owners who have to report revenues as personal income. So you’ll gladly increase taxes on people who, after paying wages, rent and supply costs, typically have very little left for themselves, because as you say they “probably can afford it.” That is awfully presumtuous.

But you liberals love practicing class envy, want people who do nothing to resent the evil rich (while unwittingly undermining the will of those who might otherwise be innovative), you pick a number that sounds like a lot and decide those people should be punished for not having the fruits of their labor forcibly removed by the far reaching hand of liberal politicians.

Posted by Matt | Report as abusive

Obama isn’t taking public money, unlike McCain, so he has to raise money somehow. It is not any candidates’ fault that the system is the way it is, but unfortunately they have to deal with it and that means raising money. I understood the 66 million he raised in August wasn’t all going to Obama. I am a republican woman, but I cannot understand how anybody could vote for McCain-Palin. McCain is too old and seems to be senile or is definitely teetering on senility. Palin is nothing more than a clueless bimbo that the republicans picked (as I understand it McCain didn’t want her) who obviously wasn’t vetted properly, or I should say at all. She stumbled into politics because nothing else stuck. It’s embarrassing.

McLame is bush’s boy. He gonna do the same thing bush did. If you listen closely mclame is actually helping the rich get richer. So, when you say, “what about the middle class?” Mclame don’t care, he has ten (10) houses has he ever offered one out to anyone less fortunate-NO. so for all of us middle class, working class people-he’s gonna shake our hands and d*ck us at the same time. Heck, mclame’s wife’s outfit (head to toe) at the RNC was an estimated $300,000. SHow me a working class male or female wearing an outfit (head to toe)worth that. Mclame can’t relate. Oh, and “war hero” if he was a real hero-he wouldn’t have betrayed the US by giving secrets to the enemy. KNOW THE FACTS!!!!!!

Posted by ricky | Report as abusive

I’ve looked up who in Hollywood is helping Obama and I’m APPALLED! Obama is just a smooth-talking, deceitful, pretentious man, pretending he has what it takes to be Commander in Chief….a man who cannot even take a stand by voting yes or no!! I’m sickened by his cocky demeanor that is perfectly condescending and an insult to our intelligence. What ARE we coming to when the majority of Hollywood is going to play a part in putting this Socialist in White House????
I SAY we stand together and BOYCOTT Hollywood!!!