At a $35,800-per-person dinner with stars like George Clooney and Jim Belushi, President Obama took to quoting Mario Cuomo and his famous line of campaigning through poetry and governing in prose.
“We’ve been slogging through prose,” Obama said.
The dinner for 80 people was at the same Holmby Hills estate, owned by Colleen and Bradley Bell, where the Foo Fighters performed earlier in the evening. But the more intimate affair, in an ornate dining room with high wood-beamed ceilings, gave donors some face time with the president. Also there were Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, former Ambassador to the Bahamas Nicole Avant and Charlotte Mayor Anthony Fox, per the pool report.
As he has before, he acknowledged the frustration of supporters, mentioning the continued operation of the Guantanomo Bay detention facility and the war in Afghanistan.
“I understand that I feel the same way some times,” he said.
“What’s required…stick-to-itiveness, determination, it’s saying we don’t quit.”
The Wednesday events were expected to raise about $3 million.
Update: Also at the dinner were Valerie Jarrett, Jerry and Ann Moss, Berry Gordy, Mike and Irena Medavoy, Cynthia Yorkin and Michael and Jena King, and Victoria Jackson and Bill Guthy. Obama answered questions and mingled with guests.
“People came away that we were going to be in for a fight with the Republicans but we were going to win this one,” said one attendee. “And it’s not about the poetry but about the work that he has done.”
Obama’s full remarks at the dinner are below: