President Barack Obama said his support for gay marriage is a “logical” milestone towards a fairer America,as he was feted at a Hollywood fundraiser hosted by George Clooney tipped to make a cool USD 15 million.
Obama yesterday praised his host’s support for liberal causes but also gently teased the A-list actor and Democratic activist at the Tinseltown love-in at Clooney’s Hollywood Hills mansion.
“Yesterday we made some news,” he joked about his public endorsement of gay marriage Wednesday. “The truth is,it was a logical extension of what America’s supposed to be… Are we a country that includes everybody?”
“Does that make us stronger? I believe it does,” he said.
Dubbed “Starmageddon,” the event at the Oscar-winning star’s Studio City mansion,which united Hollywood glitz and Washington power,was aimed at swelling Obama’s campaign coffers six months before he asks voters for a second term.
Around 150 well-heeled guests paid USD 40,000 a ticket to get into the exclusive soiree,the latest in a string of big money events as Obama builds an expensive grass roots campaign machinery and buys top dollar advertising slots.
The Obama campaign also conducted a draw for tickets,asking less wealthy supporters for contributions of at least USD 3 for a chance to chow down with the star of “Ocean’s Eleven” and the leader of the free world.
Katzenberg was overhead saying the fundraiser was set to make “close” to USD 15 million,an AFP reporter at the scene said.
Obama paid tribute to Clooney in remarks at the start of the evening,saying,”We raised a lot of money because everybody loves George. They like me,they love him. And rightfully so.”
Referring to the iconic “Hope” poster from 2008 by Shepard Fairey,he said,”People don’t realize that the photograph of me is actually me sitting next to George,” who
was advocating on behalf of Darfur.
“We struck up a friendship. This is the first time that George Clooney has actually been photoshopped out of a picture,” he quipped.
In fact,Fairey did a poster for Clooney with both men on the same picture,Obama revealed. “Why he said at the bottom,’dope and hope,’ I don’t know”,he joked.
The guest list included A-listers from Barbra Streisand and Robert Downey Jr to Jack Black,Billy Crystal and Salma Hayek. Eddie Murphy however was a no show.