UPDATE 6:15 PM: President Obama tonight is raising more Hollywood millions in New York at Sarah Jessica Parker’s West Village brownstone and at Mariah Carey’s event at the Plaza Hotel. The Parker event is co-hosted by Vogue editor Anna Wintour. Including tonight’s two events, Obama has had 19 celebrity fundraisers raising an estimated $51 million for his reelection campaign. This is now becoming a routine for Obama: he flies to one coast or the other, hangs with the glitterati, praises them effusively, and then takes the money and runs. Parker’s event was identical to the George Clooney fundraiser except smaller: the dinner consisted of about 50 guests at $40,000 a ticket with a lotto small donor winner trying to spend a “New York Night” with Obama. (The winner was Robin Hunt, a hospital administrator who brought her mother.) Parker appeared in the Obama campaign’s first national ad that debuted on the MTV Movie Awards on June 3rd. (The actress said in the ad that people should vote for Obama because he’s “the guy who ended the war in Iraq, the guy who says you should be able to marry anyone you want, and the guy who created four million new jobs — that guy.”) Get this: when the Obamas left the Parker/Wintour event at about 6:05 PM PT, the two women came outside and waved goodbye as the prez headed to his next fundraiser. At the Plaza Hotel where hundreds of people stood outside on the streets, Carey and Alicia Keys were featured for the 250-guest gala with tickets costing $10,000 apiece.
Here’s my condensed and edited version of the White House pool reports:
THE PRESIDENT: Well, first of all, to Sarah Jessica and her whole crew — (laughter) — Matthew apparently had a show he had to run off to — but for them to let us crash their house, Secret Service tromping all over the place, is incredibly generous. And they’ve been great friends. Sarah Jessica is doing all kinds of stuff with our Arts and Humanities Council and she has been a great leader and champion on behalf of the arts. And we could not thank her more for everything that she’s done. So please give her a big round of applause. (Applause.) To Anna, who has been just a great friend, and I think this is — she is working really hard here in New York, but she actually was in Chicago as well, making things happen on our behalf. So, thank you, Anna, for everything that you do. (Applause.)
The pool was led in as SJP in an elegant updo, was talking about the “unstoppable” Anna Wintour. SJP called FLOTUS “our radiant and extraordinary first lady” and said she had been doing “amazingly important things these last 4 years.” She introduced Obama and said they gathered “hopefully, with enormous enthusiasm.” She gave him a hug and kiss. POTUS noted that Broderick wasn’t there, “Matthew had a show,” he said. [Broderick is currently starring in Nice Work If You Can Get It on Broadway.] He said that the couple had “been great friends” and said Wintour too was “been just a great friend. She is working hard in NY and Chicago,” he said. He self deprecatingly called himself the 5th or 6th in the “hierarchy in the WH,” behind FLOTUS, the girls, Bo and his mother in law. And joked it was the couple’s “date night.”
FLOTUS sat next to SJP, who was in a black lace dress (or top and skirt, couldn’t tell) and FLOTUS sat across from Bravo’s Andy Cohen. Other celebs spotted: Meryl Streep and designer Michael Kors, who sat next to Wintour. She was at the far end of the table.“We’ve got as fundamental a choice this time out than wee have had in 30, 40 or 50 years,, what we are going to have to do is present very clearly to the American people that choice,” he said.
At the end, as the pool was ushered out, Wintour got up and the president said “Anna is going to moderate to make sure I don’t call on the wrong person.”
He gave a standard stump speech and said the economy was recovering because of American grit. “Because of their resilence, we’ve begun to come back,” he said. He ticked off his accomplishments in health care and said he was committed to investing in science and technology. “That’s why I’m running for a second term, because our work is not yet done.” After he said that “GM is now back on top,” SJP’s young son began clapping. “He wanted to fire up the crowd,” POTUS said. “He knows an applause line,” Cohen said, roaring. “Right on cue!”
The guests sat at two long tables in two long rooms w dividing doors open. There was ample art on the wall, and a floor to ceiling bookshelves and two large marble fireplaces. The mantels on the fireplaces were covered in flowers, as were the tables, which were also decorated with votives. There were many attractive people seated at the tables, but your pooler sadly did not recognize them and there were no photos allowed.
UPDATE 4:00 PM The President and First Lady have arrived at Sarah Jessica Parker’s West Village brownstone, says the White House pool reports. Parker is co-hosting with Vogue’s Anna Wintour. Other guests include Meryl Streep, Michael Kors, and Aretha Franklin.
UPDATE 2:35 PM – Another week and another celebrity fundraiser for Barack Obama. This time the incumbent is in New York for an early evening event for 50 guests at Sarah Jessica Parker’s house. Another fundraiser at the Plaza Hotel later tonight co-hosted by Mariah Carey follows that. While its nowhere near the record breaking $15 million Obama raised on May 10 at the fundraiser at George Clooney’s house in LA, the NYC events today are estimated to raise about $4.5 million for the President’s re-election campaign. The Sex and The City star is co-hosting the intimate dinner at her and husband Matthew Broderick’s house with Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour. Air Force One flew from campaign events in Cleveland and was scheduled to land at NYC’s JFK Airport at around 1:35 PT according to the White House schedule. The presidential plane actually touched down at 2:10 PM PT and the Obamas headed into Manhattan via Marine One. Obama is scheduled to speak to the crowd at Parker’s West Village brownstone, some of whom paid a reported $40,000 aticket around 3:45 PM PT. The Parker/Wintour dinner will feature Italian cuisine from chef Michael White and a performance by New Orleans musician Trombone Shorty. The gala fundraiser at the Plaza will have 250 guests who have paid $10,000 a ticket.
Like with the May fundraiser at Clooney’s pad, the Parker/Wintour event will feature lucky winning lotto donors who only needed to donate $3 to get a chance to have dinner with the President, the celebs and the well-heeled. Like the Clooney and Parker events, there will of course be other guests who paid big bucks to be there. Tickets for the intimate dinner at Clooney’s house also went for around $40,000 a pop. While there was no lotto when the President was in LA last week for more of Hollywood’s cash, individual tickets went for $25,000 each and $40,000 a couple for the fundraiser at Glee creator Ryan Murphy and his fiancé David Miller’s house. Two days ago the campaign introduced a new twist on the popular lotto dinner with the President by giving potential attendees the opportunity to not only bring a guest but also pick Obama’s guest. Earlier last week, before coming to LA, Obama was in NYC with former President Bill Clinton and Jon Bon Jovi at side for more fundraising.