Following the Human Rights Campaign/Logo forum, the three leading presidential candidates courted donors within blocks of each other on West Hollywood.
Stepping into the unofficial ground zero of L.A.’s gay community, Hillary Clinton spoke at the landmark The Abbey to a packed house of some 700 donors. Some in fact became a bit unruly in the wait to hear her speak, as the room erupted in shouts of “Hillary! Hillary!”
Outside, crowds and about a dozen protesters huddled behind barricades, trying to get a listen as she took to a makeshift stage near one of the nightspot’s three bars.
“The difference between our two parties cannot be clearer,” said Clinton, alluding not just to major differences on the war but the fact that none of the GOP presidential candidates accepted invitations to the forum.
At Area nightclub on La Cienega Boulevard, Obama took to a makeshift podium, where he repeated many of the themes of his stump speech. Director Paris Barclay, Seth Green and Zach Braff were among the celebrities in the crowd, which erupted into a rallying cry of “Fire it up!”
Although he highlighted many of the themes from his stump speech, Obama defended his pledge, made during the recent YouTube debate, to sit down with any world leader. Clinton had criticized him for making such a statement, calling it “naive.”
“I am not scared of losing a propaganda war to any dictator, and I’m not afraid to sit down with anybody,” he said.
Edwards appeared nearby, at the nightclub Republic. The event, at $15 per person, was the least costly of all of the post-debate fund-raisers. A packed crowd heard him sound some of his familiar themes.
“I thought that he hit the nail on the head, which was basically that the Republicans use gay rights as a divisive issue and now they are intruding religion or whatever their angle is to try and turn people against each other,” said Ian Chowdhury, a lawyer from San Fernando Valley. “It’s so not the issue we should focus on right now. Everybody should let everybody else alone.”
A bit further away, Dennis Kucinich held an event with some of his supporters at the Santa Monica Boulevard nightclub Circus Disco.
Here’s some video highlights of Clinton at the Abbey, and Edwards at Republic, which gives you a sense of the atmosphere.
—Stewart Scott, Pamela McClintock and Elsa Bertet contributed to this report. Video of Clinton provided by Scott, Edwards provided by Bertet.
Update: Here’s the recap from “The Daily Show.”