STUDIO CITY (CBS) — George Clooney had a few friends over for dinner in his backyard Thursday night, including President Barack Obama, and raised $15 million the president’s re-election campaign.
The event could mark an all-time record for a presidential fundraiser.
“If you want to include what was raised online, then definitely I think this sets a record for presidential fundraising,” Variety Deputy Editor Ted Johnson said.
The president was greeted by neighbors, some of whom lined the route holding signs of support, including a thank-you from a gay family, one day after the president endorsed same sex marriage.
At the fundraiser, the president spoke for about 20 minutes, talked about same sex marriage and the November election, among other things.
He thanked host George Clooney, joking that everyone loves the actor, who “always talks smack” about the president’s basketball game.
The stars — including Barbra Streisand, Jack Black, Billy Crystal, Robert Downey Jr., Salma Hayek, and Tobey Maguire — paid $40,000 per person to attend.
But for a $3 donation you and a guest could have entered a contest lottery to attend the fundraiser and dine with President Obama, Clooney and the other 150 guests at the Clooney home.
Carol Barkin and her husband Huck entered, but didn’t win.
“I didn’t win unfortunately,” Carol said.
“It’s terribly disappointing, because he has been to our house so many times. The least he could have done was have us over there,” Huck joked.
Beth Topinka, a New Jersey science teacher, did win and she brought her husband, Jerry, along as her guest.
Karen Blutcher, a former Jacksonville Jaguar cheerleader and mother of a 5-year-old son with Down Syndrome, also won. Her husband accompanied her to the dinner.
Ironically, despite the high-profile guests paying $40,000 a plate, most of the money raised for the event came from the online lottery.