President Obama capped his evening in Los Angeles with a fundraising dinner at WP24, the Wolfgang Puck restaurant on the 24th floor of the Ritz Carlton in downtown Los Angeles, telling about 120 donors not just about the next 30 days of the election but of his evening last night, when he and his wife celebrated their 20th wedding anniversary.
The actual anniversary was on Wednesday, the night of the debate, something that he said was “not romantic.”
“There was some speculation as to whether this had an impact on my performance,” he told the gathering, per the pool report, which included Harvey Weinstein, George Clooney and Seth McFarlane seated at a table closest to the President.
Instead, he and First Lady Michelle Obama went out on Saturday to a Georgetown eatery, where a “wonderful young waiter” put up with them becaue they were “milking it for all that it was worth because we don’t get out that often.”
The waiter ended up telling him that he “saved my mother’s life,” Obama said, because the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) enabled them to get coverage after she suffered a stroke.
He also talked of his basketball game with Clooney. “I don’t like to lose, especially not to actors.”
John Emerson and Ken Solomon, the campaign’s Southern California finance co-chairs, opened the evening with remarks, followed by a brief speech from San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro, who introduced Obama. Also present was Sony’s Michael Lynton, Fox’s Jim Gianopulos and AEG’s Tim Leiweke.
Obama praised Emerson and Solomon as “unbelievable” cochairs who have been “tireless in their efforts.” He then cited Jeffrey and Marilyn Katzenberg, who also were present and helped organize the event. “They have been tireless and stalwart and have never wavered through good times and bad, since my first presidential race, back when a lot of people couldn’t pronounce my name.”
Perhaps comforting to donors was Obama’s statement that he is a “big believer of closing the deal.”
Update: A fundraising source said Obama’s events were expected to bring in more than $7 million.
Obama’s complete remarks at the dinner, below.