George Clooney hosted a star studded campaign event for President Obama in his Laurel Canyon mansion on Thursday, in what is being described as a record breaking fundraiser.
Those in attendance coughed up $40,000 a ticket to show their support for Obama’s re-election bid.
According to the New York Times, filmmaker Jeffrey Katzenberg, the DreamWorks Animation chief who Clooney credited as the organizer, said the event raised almost $15 million, making it the most lucrative presidential fundraiser in history.
“Once again the entertainment industry has stepped forward in a very big way,” Katzenberg told the crowd.
Clooney's basketball court was transformed for the event with 14 round tables with 10 people at each. Among those who attended were Robert Downey Jr, Salma Hayek, Diane Von Furstenberg, Barbra Streisand, Billy Crystal, Tobey Maguire, Eddie Murphy, and Jack Black.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, when welcoming the A-list guests to his home, Clooney joked, "We have Iron Man, Spider-Man and Batman in the room. We should let the Secret Service take the night off."
Obama addressed the crowd shortly after 7pm and after thanking all those in attendance he told the crowd he had spotted his signature “Hope” poster, by Shepard Fairey in Clooney’s home.
“People don't realize that the photograph of me is actually me sitting next to George.”
He explained the photo had been taken at an event in which Clooney was advocating on behalf of Darfur.
“We struck up a friendship,” he said, adding, “This is the first time that George Clooney has actually been Photoshopped out of a picture. Never happened before, will never happen again.”
Obama added: "But the wonderful thing is the artist actually sent George -- some of you have seen this -- a print with my picture and his picture right next to each other with the same ... in the same format. Why he said at the bottom, 'Dope and Hope' I don't know. I don't think that's fair."
The president also spoke briefly about his announcement on Wednesday that he now personally supports gay marriage.
“Obviously, yesterday we made some news," Obama told the crowd to a big applause. "But the truth is, it was a logical extension of what America is supposed to be. It grew directly out of this difference in visions. Are we a country that includes everybody and gives everybody a shot and treats everybody fairly and is that going to make us stronger? Are we welcoming to immigrants? Are we welcoming to people who aren’t like us? Does that make us stronger? I believe it does. So that’s what’s at stake.”
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