After spending three days on the road talking to voters about his plan to reduce the nation’s deficit, President Obama will head to Hollywood to rake in a pile of cash to fund his 2012 bid. On Thursday, he’ll attend a backlot rally at Sony Pictures Entertainment in Culver City followed by two smaller dinners with top-tier donors, Variety reports.
The rally in the 3,000-capacity lot will feature actor and singer Jamie Foxx as a “special guest,” and attendees will be charged $100 to $2,500 -- the latter for VIP seating. A dinner in the same lot will have about 60 guests and cost $35,800 per person. Obama is expected to go table to table and spend some quality time with those who shelled out big bucks.
A second dinner is scheduled for later in the evening at the Tavern in Brentwood. Among the expected attendees are DreamWorks CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg; Sony Pictures chairman and CEO Michael Lynton; Motown founder and record producer Berry Gordy; Elon Musk, cofounder of PayPal, SpaceX, and Tesla Motors; and City National Bank CEO and chairman Russell Goldsmith. Two of the Southern California finance cochairs for the Democratic National Committee, Capital Group's John Emerson and Tennis Channel CEO Ken Solomon, are also expected to attend.
As Variety notes, Hollywood has been unfailingly loyal to the Democratic Party, and celebrities came out strong for Obama in 2008 with videos like Will.i.am’s “Yes We Can.” But some stars, including Matt Damon, who stumped for Obama in 2008, have been public about their disappointment with the president’s work.
Although the Los Angeles elite isn’t expected to throw its weight behind Republicans anytime soon -- Hollywood sources gave $19.8 million to Democrats vs. $7.9 million to Republicans in the 2010 midterms, according to the Center for Responsive Politics -- there is concern that ambivalence among some of the nation’s most influential public figures could hurt the president.