Obama jokes with Clooney at star's gala fundraiser
- Photo: WENN1 of 17
- Photo: Kristoffer Tripplaar/StarTraks2 of 17
- Photo: GettyImages.com3 of 17
- Photo: Martin Simon/Pool/CNP/Admedia/Retna Ltd.4 of 17
- Photo: Susan Walsh/Invision/AP5 of 17
- Photo: Susan Walsh/Invision/AP6 of 17
- Photo: NBC7 of 17
- Photo: Anonymous / The White House/.8 of 17
- Photo: Kent Nishimura/StarTraks9 of 17
- Photo: QIB/WENN10 of 17
- Photo: John Spellman/Retna Ltd.11 of 17
- Photo: MIguel Aguilar, PacificCoastNews.com/PacificCoastNews.com12 of 17
- Photo: Jeff Vespa/WireImage13 of 17
- Photo: PF1/WENN14 of 17
- Photo: VPB/WENN15 of 17
- Photo: © Bill Davila/Retna Ltd.16 of 17
More Celeb News
- Box Office: Guardians of the Galaxy Wins Labor Day WeekendMSNEntertainment 8/31/2014 4:35:00 PM
- Nude Photos of Jennifer Lawrence, More Celebs Leaked After Massive Phone HackMSNEntertainment 8/31/2014 4:31:00 PM
- Simon Cowell, Cheryl Cole Returns Deliver 'X Factor UK' Ratings BumpMSNEntertainment 8/31/2014 4:05:00 PM
- Joan Rivers' Daughter Melissa Releases New Statement, Celebs Tweet SupportMSNEntertainment 8/31/2014 3:41:00 PM
- Taylor Swift Joining NBC's 'The Voice' as Guest Mentor (Report)MSNEntertainment 8/31/2014 3:12:00 PM
- Box Office: Guardians of the Galaxy Wins Labor Day Weekend
LOS ANGELES (AP) — George Clooney played the suave host, chef Wolfgang Puck whipped up something for dinner, and President Barack Obama and about 150 of his Hollywood set donors enjoyed a few laughs at Clooney's good humored expense.
Obama told the crowd that his famed Hope poster from the 2008 was derived from a photograph of Obama sitting next to Clooney when Obama was a U.S. senator. Clooney had been in Washington advocating on behalf of Darfur.
"This is the first time that George Clooney has ever been photo-shopped out of a picture," Obama said. "Never happened before, never happen again."
In fact, the artist who created the poster, Shepard Fairey, used another photograph of Obama but said he relied on the Obama-Clooney picture to avoid a copyright infringement case with The Associated Press. He pleaded guilty in February to criminal contempt for fabricating and destroying evidence.
In this crowd, 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 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.
The guests paid $40,000 to attend, accounting for about $6 million of the evening's financial haul for Obama's campaign and the Democratic Party. The remainder came from a raffle for small dollar donors. Two winners — both women — got to take part in the dinner and, even though Clooney was the host, they brought their husbands.
RELATED: Celebs Who've Aged Gracefully
Puck's dinner menu included an artichoke salad followed by roasted duckling "Peking style" with tiny buns, a duo of lamb and beef cheek with potatoes and Brussels sprouts, and sweet corn tortelloni.
"We raised a lot of money because people love George," 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."
For Obama, the A-list party was not only a financial hit, it gave the president the kind of Hollywood buzz a Republican seldom gets. But the glitzy event, with its glamour and wealth, also has its risks and it set up a stark contrast with Obama's mission on Friday to highlight the plight of struggling homeowners in Nevada.
Among those at the dinner were such actors and performers as Robert Downey Jr., Barbra Streisand and her husband James Brolin, Jack Black, Salma Hayek and Tobey Maguire, who shared a table with Clooney and Clooney's girlfriend Stacey Kiebler.
Heading to Clooney's house, along the exclusive canyon roads, families gathered at dinner time to gawk, wave and cheer the presidential motorcade. Children manned a lemonade stand with a sign: "Presidents drink free."
Around the corner, a boy held up another hand-drawn piece of cardboard: "Will trade Lakers for Bulls if you stop."
And yet one more: "Our gay family says thanks Mr. President."
Get the scoop on Bradley Bayou's dress design that Oprah wore to the Emmy Awards.Watch Video »
See where Hollywood's A-listers have spent the summer.Watch Video »
Get the scoop on Ashlee's new fiance on Replay hosted by Wonderwall's Kirby Kristen.Watch Video »
Get Mariah and Nick's marital woe breakdown on Replay hosted by Wonderwall's Kirby Kristen.Watch Video »
Check out the stars that spent the most on their weddings.Watch Video »
Check out some of the most memorable Emmy fashion from over the years.Watch Video »
Like us on Facebook?
UP NEXTVenice Film Fest
From Crowd Ignite