President Obama jokes with George Clooney at his star-studded fundraiser
(CBS/AP) George Clooney hosted a fundraiser for President Barack Obama Thursday at his home in Los Angeles with Chef Wolfgang Puck whipping up dinner for the guests, who included actors Robert Downey Jr. and Salma Hayek.
They all enjoyed a few laughs at Clooney's good-humored expense.
But the bottom line was no laughing matter. The event, held under a stretched transparent tent outside Clooney's sprawling tudor-styled canyon home, raised nearly $15 million, a record for a single fundraiser.
Mr. Obama reminded the crowd that his famed Hope poster from the 2008 was derived from a photograph of himself sitting next to Clooney when he was a U.S. senator. Clooney had been in Washington that day advocating on behalf of Darfur.
"This is the first time that George Clooney has been photo-shopped out of a picture," Mr. Obama said. "Never happened before, never happen again."
In this crowd, Mr. Obama didn't even need to mention gay marriage to get a vigorous applause. "Obviously," the president said obliquely, "yesterday, we made some news."
The guests paid $40,000 to attend, accounting for about $6 million of the evening's financial haul for Mr. Obama's campaign and the Democratic Party. The remainder came from a raffle for small dollar donors.
"We raised a lot of money because people love George," Mr. Obama said. "They like me; they love George."
Then seriously, he added: "He seems to occupy a constant state of grace, and uses his extraordinary talents on behalf of something truly important."
Among those at the dinner were such actors and performers as Barbra Streisand and her husband James Brolin, Jack Black, and Tobey Maguire, who shared a table with Clooney and Clooney's girlfriend Stacey Kiebler.
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