Barack Obama | Election 2008 | John McCain | Lewis Payton | Los Angeles | News

EXCLUSIVE: Barack Obama's L.A. Fundraiser - video


GuestbloggerOur friend and contributor Lewis Payton (you've seen many of his photographs on these pages), attended the Obama fundraiser last night in Beverly Hills, and sent us this exclusive report, which includes video of Obama's speech, in two parts. Part one is below, part two AFTER THE JUMP:

An estimated 800 guests turned out at the Regency Beverly Wilshire hotel in Beverly Hills last night. With performances by Ben Harper and Barbra Streisand, a relatively somber Barack Obama spoke to the celebrity filled crowd, all of whom contributed at least $2500 each to attend. "This should be a celebratory evening," he said. "But the truth is that I'm in a different mood tonight. Partly because we saw this week a storm sweep through the gulf, and over the last few days we've had news of the worst financial crisis that we've had in generations."

Obama spoke, without notes or teleprompter, for 20 minutes. While media were banned from the event, his speech left no doubt as to why he was in town. "It's nice to have Barbra and Ben singing, but that's not what this is about. It's about a struggle for the future, a struggle for the next generation, it's about who we are as a country and who we are as a people, and this is a serious fight, and I intend to win it, but I'm going to need your help."

The event, along with the $28,500 a head dinner that preceded it, was estimated to raise over $9 million for Obama's campaign. McCain's campaign attacked the event as "another example of Obama's out of touch celebrity," even though McCain guested at a similar, albeit far less successful, fundraising event in Hollywood last month.

— Lewis Payton

Part two of Obama's speech, AFTER THE JUMP...

You can visit Lewis at his website...

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  1. Well played by Obama. The Republicans are hitting him on his ties to Hollywood so he makes sure to focus on current issues and place the celebs on the back burner.

    Politic'k'ing is fun!

    Posted by: Adam | Sep 17, 2008 9:49:20 AM

  2. Love her or hate her, Barbra Streisand has been famous for almost 50 years and is a true legend. I find it amazing that so many journalists can't spell her first name correctly. Not to mention how many Americans despise her for speaking her mind and raising millions every election year to help support the democrats. What gives?

    Posted by: Brutrus Mandusa | Sep 17, 2008 9:53:25 AM

  3. "Not Good Blackie"? Oh, you're not a racist. Not at all. F_ck you, you Republican, racist troll. Why don't you go lick someone's boot and beg to be treated as 3rd class moron?

    No tolerance for scum!

    As for Porches, since John McCain has 7 or 8 houses and wears $500 shoes, I'm sure he could tell us about what it's like to be ultra wealthy!

    Posted by: noah | Sep 17, 2008 10:02:25 AM

  4. PS: So many complaints that this Hollywood event took place on the same day as the AIG drama. Don't people understand that this rally had been scheduled for weeks and lots of hard working Americans were hired to help with the festivities.

    Why the criticism above from Not Good Blackie and the Republicans??
    A cancellation would have been absurd.

    This was a $10 million fund raiser not a social hob knob. Isn't fund raising the back bone of American politics? Streisand and other big shots donated their time and talent. Let's be grateful.

    Posted by: Brutus Mandusa | Sep 17, 2008 10:04:56 AM

  5. Noah's comment above referred to a previous commenter whose comment has been deleted because of his 'handle'. The commenter has also been blocked. As for the Barbra misspelling, I apologize. That's something I should have caught, but didn't. It's now been corrected.

    Posted by: andy | Sep 17, 2008 10:19:36 AM

  6. God can the Republicans get any more desperate? And can the general public stop ignoring their hypocrisy and stupidity?

    Obama host a fundraiser for rich people to contribute and he's out of touch celebrity? Why is it so bad to do such a thing (especially when McCain has done the same thing)?

    Posted by: Philip Wester | Sep 17, 2008 10:26:41 AM

  7. Your post and video has been cited and linked to by Ben Smith over at Politico -- pretty cool, Andy. Congrats!

    Posted by: HOGB | Sep 17, 2008 11:51:46 AM

  8. I swear thi sman is Class..and NOT class in a snotty way...but a REAL Inspiration to actually Think OUR country can be better! How any asshole could vote for McCain is beyond me - it's either complete Stupidity/or racism!

    Posted by: Disgusted American | Sep 17, 2008 12:42:38 PM

  9. I HEART BARACK! and his platform & policies...

    Posted by: Kurt from Milwaukee | Sep 17, 2008 12:52:29 PM

  10. "GOP offers access, photos with Palin for $50,000 in Calif.
    By MICHAEL R. BLOOD | Associated Press Writer
    September 8, 2008

    LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin, a self-described government reformer, is dabbling in a little politics as usual.

    Palin is headlining a GOP fundraiser later this month at the home of a California billionaire where the asking price for a snapshot with her and a seat at the head table is $50,000.

    Ticket prices start at $1,000, according to an invitation to the Sept. 25 soiree at the Silicon Valley home of software mogul Tom Siebel. But donors can get access to a private reception, photographs with the candidate and preferred seating by agreeing to pony up or raise larger amounts.

    It takes a $50,000 commitment to be named a chair of the afternoon event, which comes with access to the reception for six people, two seats at the head table, a table for 10 at the lunch and three opportunities for photos with the Alaska governor, according to an invitation."

    Posted by: Leland Frances | Sep 17, 2008 1:18:02 PM

  11. WOW

    I missed something.

    Well, Cool on Noah responding back to the hate and Andy deleting whatever it was.

    You have to love what Streisand says on her web page. "........we aren't stupid." about trying to siphon off Hillary supporters via Palin being gynecoligaly similar to Hillary.

    Posted by: Jimmyboyo | Sep 17, 2008 1:49:04 PM

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