Obama rakes in $9 million at Hollywood fundraisers
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, Leonardo 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.”
Photo credit: Reuters/ Tobias Schwarz (Barbra Streisand, shown in a 2007 performance in Berlin, sang at an exclusive fundraiser for Obama Tuesday night.)