President Obama arrived in Los Angeles on Thursday to tape an appearance on “The Ellen Show,” followed by two Hancock Park fundraisers.
Obama landed at LAX at about 3:30 p.m. and took a short helicopter trip to Burbank after which his motorcade made its way to the Warner Bros. lot where the show is taped. This was his first appearance on the show since taking office.
Obama is scheduled to attend an event Thursday evening in Hancock Park hosted by “Scorpion” executive producer Danny Rose and his husband, attorney Aaron Rosenberg. John Legend is scheduled to perform, with tickets ranging from $1,000 per person to $33,400 per couple.
Later, he is scheduled to attend a dinner where tickets are $10,000 per person. Co-hosts include Tennis Channel CEO Ken Solomon and HBO’s Michael Lombardo.
The proceeds will go to the Democratic Hope Fund, with the first $2,500 going toward debt retirement for the 2012 Obama for America campaign. Additional proceeds will go to the Democratic National Committee.
Update: As Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders debated in Wisconsin, Obama took to the backyard stage at the home of Rose and Rosenberg and talked about what has been playing out in the presidential campaign, particularly among Republican candidates.
“You’re seeing in our election cycle a lot of the anger and frustration,” he said, per a pool report. “Some of it is manufactured for political purposes. Some of it is hype. But the frustrations are there, and they are real.”
“There are people who are afraid. They watch the evening news; what’s happening in Syria and other troubled parts of the world. Fear, if not addressed, if not channeled, can result in some pretty ugly politics. It has never been more important for us as citizens to fight against that fear.”
Legend performed “All of Me” on piano before Obama spoke.
Among the other co-hosts, also present, were Shonda Rhimes, Lombardo, Kelly Rowland, Mark Ronson and Brandon Creed, who is Bruno Mars’ manager. About 350 people attended.
In an interview after the event, Rose said that the evening was “truly surreal’ and a “dream come true,” noting that Obama’s presidency has been marked by the legalization of same-sex marriage.
He and Rosenberg have a 13-month old son, Gabriel.
Rosenberg said that they “personally expressed our appreciation” for Obama’s help in pushing LGBT equality, and “then we asked for parenting tips.” The president provided a few.
“Here is a man who has done so much for so many people,” Rosenberg said. “He is such a true statement and true gentleman.”
He added, “Danny and I have come across a lot of stars, but this happens to be the biggest rock star on the planet.”
Obama later went to the nearby home of Sam and Leah Fischer for a dinner with about 60 guests.
“The country is indisputably better off than it was,” Obama told the guests there. “We have moved the needle forward, and the question now is, ‘How do we sustain that?'”
Update: At the Westwood Marquis Hotel, Obama met later in the evening for dinner with a group that included former Warner Bros. chief Barry Meyer, Tennis Channel’s Ken Solomon, Jeffrey Katzenberg, Walt Disney Studios chairman Alan Horn, his wife Cindy Horn, writer-producer Phil Rosenthal and his wife Janet, fundraising consultant Janet Keller and actor Will Smith, according to sources familiar with the plans. The meeting was not on his official schedule. Deadline first reported the meeting.