UPDATE: 3:24 PM: Just over two weeks after breaking bread at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, President Barack Obama and Harvey Weinstein were back together today. This time it was at the producer and his wife Georgina Chapman’s Manhattan home for a fundraiser. Unlike the big bucks, Weinstein raised directly for Obama during last year’s election, Monday afternoon’s event (read the edited Pool report below) was for the Democratic National Committee and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee 2014 midterm war chests. The President began his remarks thanking “Harvey and Georgina” for “their friendship and support, and for the amazing movies that they’ve made.” Throwing red meat to his Blue State crowd, Obama in his remarks also blamed the GOP for being too “concerned what Rush Limbaugh might say about them” to break the gridlock in Washington. The President will also be attending two other midterm fundraisers Monday while in NYC before returning to the White House tonight.
Obama arrived at Weinstein and Chapman’s home in the West Villiage around 1 PM after flying up from D.C. He left at about 2:19 PM. There was approximately 65 guests paying between $16,200 and $20,000 a ticket at today’s event. The White House Pool report identified Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel in the room among the guests. While this isn’t the first midterm fundraiser that Obama has done this year it is the first one with Hollywood hosts. It won’t be the last. The President is due out in LA next month for a lunch event at Peter Chernin’s house on June 7. Tickets for that fundraiser range from $10,000 to $32,400 if you want to be a co-chair. With Hollywood a solid source of cash for the Democrats, Obama will likely head out West again. The President will be headlining at least eight more House and Senate midterm fundraisers this year, according to the White House.
Read an edited and condensed version of the White House Pool report and official WH Press Office remarks from the fundraiser at the Weinstein’s here:
Pool was ushered into Harvey Weinstein’s 5 story West Village town home for POTUS’s remarks to the assembled donors. The ground floor room contained 8 tables of 8, covered in white linen with roses as a centerpiece. Several White House staffers were seated at the tables including Dan Pfeiffer and Jay Carney. Patrick Gaspard was standing in the right side of the room (POTUS’s) right.
Co-pooler David Nakamura spotted SEO favorites Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel were seated near Mr. Weinstein. We are also reliably informed that Tommy Hilfiger was in the room. NOTE: Pooler saw Timberlake wearing trendy glasses with thick black plastic frames and his hair was parted on the side and slicked back.
POTUS spoke for about 9 minutes.
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you, everybody. Well, first of all, I have to thank Harvey and Georgina for once again extending incredible hospitality to us. We are so grateful for their friendship and support, and for the amazing movies that they’ve made. And it is wonderful to see all of you. I see old friends, new friends and people who when I have time to watch movies or TV, I very much appreciate. So thank you for the great work that you guys do. I’m going to spend most of this time in a conversation with everybody, so I’m not going to give a long speech at the front end.”
He said in the second term “you start thinking about history and a longer sweep of time.” He said “the 3 1/2 I’ve got is not a lot of time.” He talked about visiting disaster sites in Boston and West Texas and being impressed with the spirit of the people. He said he wanted to “see we can institutionalize that.”
“I genuinely believe there are Republicans out there who would like to work with us but they’re fearful of their base and they’re concerned about what Rush Limbaugh might say about them. And as a consequence we get the kind of gridlock that makes people cynical about government. My intentions over the next 3 ½ years are to govern. … If there are folks who are more interested in winning elections than they are thinking about the next generation then I want to make sure there are consequences to that.” The last line appeared to refer to 2014, and why he (Obama) was attending the fundraiser. Pool was cleared from the room as POTUS opened the floor for questions.