News Column

President Obama Attends L.A. Fundraiser Hosted by George Clooney

May 11, 2012

President Obama was in Los Angeles Thursday evening for a star-studded fundraiser at actor George Clooney's home in Studio City.

The president arrived at LAX at 6:20 after spending the day in Seattle.

He was then flown to a secret location on Marine One and then on to Studio City by motorcade.

The event came just a week after Obama officially kicked off his re-election campaign, and as Mitt Romney has been all but crowned as the Republican nominee.

Political experts say it's well-timed to take advantage of Southern California's traditional role as a cornerstone of Democratic campaign financing.

Details on street closures were released on Twitter by Councilman Paul Krekorian, who represents the area.

From 8 p.m. to 10 p.m., the area south of Ventura Boulevard in Studio City was sealed off, and all residents will needed to show an ID to get in.

Police were advising residents in Fryman Canyon to stay home or make other arrangements for the day.

The fundraiser is expected to raise about $15 million for the president's reelection campaign -- the highest amount ever raised at such an event.

Hollywood VIPs have shelled out $40,000 per ticket to attend the event, which will be catered by Wolfgang Puck.

Some of the celebrity guests will include Tobey Maguire, Barbara Streisand and Robert Downey Jr.

But their contributions will account for just over one-third of the haul from Thursday night.

The rest is coming from general public donations for a chance to attend the party.

Tens of thousands of people have contributed $23 each in an online contest for a chance to win tickets to the soiree.

Using the dual-appeal of Obama and Clooney, the campaign pitched the contest in emails with subjects like "Clooney and me," "A little fun" and "We'll take care of airfare."

Two winners and their guests will get to go to the event. Their identities will be revealed on Thursday.

In 2008, Hollywood helped catapult Obama into the White House, with contributions and endorsements from celebrities like Oprah Winfrey, Leonardo DiCaprio and Will Ferrell.

Source: (c)2012 KTLA-TV (Los Angeles)

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