Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama’s campaigns have been working feverishly the last few days to finalize plans for their campaigns’ visits to Los Angeles to raise money from big donors and Hollywood supporters. It will be their first official swings through the area to raise money since they formed presidential exploratory committees.
Hillary Clinton will visit Los Angeles on Feb. 11 in what is described as a meet and greet at the home of investment banker Sim Farar and another at the home of industry mogul Haim Saban. Attending would be the circle of Los Angeles fund raisers/donors that the campaign is lining up to each raise $25,000 and above, according to sources close to the campaign.
"She will be meeting with a lot of people in Los Angeles," Farar said. "She will be talking about her race: ‘I’m in, and I’m in to win.’" The latter is the catchphrase Clinton used in her announcement on Saturday.
Another visit to Los Angeles is planned in late February, where Clinton will meet with donors and fund raisers in advance of a big gala, currently slated for March 24. That event would be held at a public venue like a hotel in the Beverly Hills area. (By holding it at a hotel and not a fund raiser’s home, it sidesteps the animosity that may arise over whose residence is picked for a Clinton event and whose is not.)
Although Farar said that he was a "little concerned about the entertainment business" because of all of the attention it has paid to Obama, he’s been encouraged by support that has been flowing in since Clinton’s announcement.
"I have never seen it happen so fast," Farar said. The first came via delivery late Saturday night. "The first donation we received in California was from Elizabeth Taylor. It was for the maximum amount."
Meanwhile, although no official plans have been announced, sources say Obama’s campaign is planning a Feb. 20 visit, and David Geffen and Ari Emanuel are planning fund raisers.
"There are a lot of people in town volunteering to host events," says attorney Edward Lazarus, one of Obama’s fund raisers. "It’s a prairie fire of enthusiasm for him."
Despite the passion for Obama and Clinton’s deft organization, both campaigns are said to be somewhat chaotic. As one Clinton supporter said, "You are basically creating a $100 million operation in a short period of time."