Diva lends a hand at Hollywood fund-raiser
Barbra Streisand will sing for Barack Obama at a Hollywood fund-raiser on Sept. 16 in what could be the candidate’s final swing through Los Angeles to raise money before the Nov. 4 general election.Streisand will perform at a $2,500-per-person reception and concert fund-raiser at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel, with upwards of 700 people expected to attend. Among the co-hosts of the event are DreamWorks partners Steven Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg and David Geffen, as well as political consultant Andy Spahn. It’s being organized with Obama’s Southern California finance team. Earlier in the evening, Obama will attend a $28,500-per-person dinner event at the Greystone Mansion in Beverly Hills for an expected 250 people. (The venue, an historic estate once owned by the Doheny family, has been featured in a host of movies including “X-Men.” It’s now owned by the city of Beverly Hills, and the grounds are open to the public and available for rental for events.) Streisand endorsed Hillary Clinton in the primary and appeared and spoke at a fund-raiser for her in January. But she quickly announced that she would back Obama when he secured the nomination in June. Her special performance is not unprecedented. Streisand performed at fund-raisers for John Kerry in 2004 and Al Gore in 2000 and made extensive appearances for President Clinton during his White House tenure. There has been considerable concern about Obama’s chances of winning following John McCain’s selection of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, in particular that it is revving up the base of evangelical voters who proved so critical to President Bush’s re-election in 2004. On her website, Streisand chimed in last week on McCain’s selection of Palin, writing, “We are not that stupid.” She wrote, “I believe John McCain chose Gov. Palin because he truly believes that women who supported Hillary — an experienced, brilliant, life-long public servant — would vote for him because his vice president has two X chromosomes. McCain’s selection of Gov. Palin is a transparent and irresponsible decision all in the name of trying to win this election.” The DreamWorks trio hosted Obama at his first major entertainment industry fund-raiser in February 2007; that event seemed to draw about every major studio chief and agency head. It gave a big boost to Obama’s efforts to raise money in the entertainment business given that Clinton had long and deep ties. Even though he was a co-host, Spielberg remained neutral at the time but ended up endorsing Clinton in June.