President Barack Obama will not be coming to LA on Friday for his Gen44 fundraiser after all. Instead of coming to town, Obama will be sending surrogates to the June 29 evening event at Soho House. Harper Reed, campaign Chief Technology Officer, Mitch Stewart, the Battleground States director and David Simas, director of Opinion Research, will be standing in for the President. From the event’s announcement on June 20th, Obama’s actual presence at the fundraiser was always ambiguous until today. However, a plethora of Young Hollywood and not-so-Young Hollywood, from chair Jared Leto to Olivia Wilde, director David Fincher, musician Peter Frampton, Dirty Dancing’s Jennifer Grey, Connie Britton, DJ Steve Aoki, Big Bang Theory’s Johnny Galecki, The Game author Neil Strauss and Maggie Q, among others, will still be there. A source close to the event told Deadline there may be a video from the President played for the paying guests. Tickets for Friday’s reception are $500 each for attendees and $2,500 each for Host Committee members like Leto and Britton. That’s a far cry from the $40,000 an individual price for Obama’s record-breaking $15 million May 10 dinner at George Clooney’s house. It’s not close in price either to the June 7 $40,000 a couple event the President attended at Glee creator Ryan Murphy’s Beverly Hills home or the $40,000 a person dinner Sarah Jessica Parker and Vogue editor Anna Wintour hosted for the …
President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign today got yet more Hollywood fundraising help. Young stars like Jared Leto, Big Bang Theory’s Johnny Galecki and Oliva Wilde have joined with a few more established figures like David Fincher, Darren Aronofsky and Peter Frampton for what is being called a “Gen44″ fundraiser on June 29 here in LA. This will be the fifth time the Obama campaign has reached into Hollywood’s starpower pockets since raising a record-breaking $15 million at George Clooney’s house on May 10.
Leto chairs the Gen44 host committee with Galecki, Wilde, Fincher, Aronofsky, Frampton, Maria Bello, Zach Braff, former Friday Night Lights star Connie Britton, Sophia Bush, The Game author Neil Strauss, and Jim Toth among those on board. Several of the committee members, like Leto and Braff, met quietly with the President the last time he was in LA fundraising on June 7.
The campaign announcement today made no mention whether President Obama, the First Lady or anyone else from the administration would attend. All that is known is that the event is at 9 PM on June 29 in LA and that tickets are $500 each for attendees and $2,500 each for Host Committee members like Leto and Galecki. That’s considerably cheaper than the $40,000 a ticket intimate dinner at Clooney’s house last month. It is also cheaper than the $40,000 per couple tickets for the June 6 event at Glee creator Ryan Murphy’s Beverly Hills …
BREAKING… 2:26 PM 5th UPDATE Before attending his publicly scheduled Thursday fundraiser, President Obama had a private early meeting this morning at the Beverly Hilton with a number of young Hollywood stars who are supporting his re-election. The meeting, which was keep off the official White House itinerary, had no media present. However celebs like Jessica Alba, The Avengers’ Jeremy Renner, Bryan Greenberg (pictured left with Obama), Jared Leto, Glee’s Dianna Argon, Tatyana Ali, Sophia Bush and Kal Penn, who quit Hollywood for a year to work for the administration, took to social media like Twitter to give POTUS shout-outs and post photos of themselves meeting Obama.
The President’s 9 AM Thursday morning fundraiser was at the View Park home of developer Charles Quarles and his wife. Tickets for that event are $2,500. All the money the President raised during his time in LA goes to the Obama Victory Fund. After the Quarles event, Obama left LA for more events in Las Vegas and then to head back to D.C. in the evening.
There’s more glitz money in the incumbant’s near future. The President and the First Lady will be in NYC on June 14 for a fundraiser at Sarah Jessica Parker’s house co-hosted by the Sex and The City actress and Vogue editor Anna Wintour. Like the May 10 dinner at George Clooney’s house, the Parker/Wintour event will include a raffle for donors who give $3 to the campaign to win two tickets to attend. No word on how much the face value price of the tickets to Parker’s house are or how many people are expected. New York, like LA is fertile fundraising territory for the incumbent. Obama was in the Big Apple earlier this week fundraising with former President Bill Clinton and Jon Bon Jovi by his side.
4th UPDATE 9:10 PM
“I will not be singing tonight,” President Obama told the crowd tonight at Glee creator Ryan Murphy and his fiancé David Miller’s house. Obama made the joke after being introduced to the crowd of around 70 people by Murphy at the $40,000 per-couple fundraiser. Obama spoke for about 12 minutes starting at 8:15 PM and then took questions from the audience. That audience included HBO’s president of programming Michael Lombardo, Julia Roberts, CAA’s Kevin Huvane and Bryan Lourd, Glee star Jane Lynch and Reese Witherspoon. The President hit similar themes as he had at the LGBT gala earlier in the evening, talking about the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and the record of his first term. Obama left Murphy and Miller’s house at 9 PM. The motorcade drove by supporters out on the street and headed back to the Beverly Hilton where Obama is staying tonight.
Here’s the scene from the pool report:
The scene: outdoor interior courtyard paved in brick. Obama spoke framed by a white arch. Eight tables of 8 to 10 arrayed around a central fountain. Chairs draped in white. Very pleasant weather. Neighbors with impossibly well groomed lawns seemed not tons thrilled to see all the cars and have us tramp on their grass a bit.
Witherspoon, a fellow Harvard Law graduate of the president if you count Legally Blonde, was in a place of honor at one of the closer-in tables.
UPDATE: Insiders now tell Deadline that Thursday’s fundraiser at George Clooney’s Studio City home now has reached close to $15 million. The breakdown when the total was at $14.5M equaled $6M raised for the dinner and $8.5M for the accompanying online raffle which attracted general public donations for a chance to attend by leveraging Hollywood star power. In actuality, the fundraising dinner co-hosted by Obama bundler Jeffrey Katzenberg and organized by his political right-hand Andy Spahn is attracting an expected 150 Democrats ticket-price guests who come from a number of industries in Los Angeles besides showbiz including finance, law and healthcare. They spent $40,000 per ticket for the Wolfgang Puck-catered dinner at Clooney’s canyon home. It’s the largest amount ever raised for a single Obama campaign event. And that exceeds the sum that the Obama campaign raised from the entire entertainment industry in the 2008 presidential race when Hollywood types were slow to embrace Obama as their candidate over Hillary Clinton. Meanwhile news reports are branding the fundraiser ‘Starmeggedon’ because of the traffic mess it’s expected to cause in the surrounding areas.