UPDATE, 6:52PM: President Obama addressed a crowd of about 450 supporters tonight during a fundraiser hosted by Shonda Rhimes and her Scandal star Kerry Washington. According to White House pool reports, the president gave his traditional fundraising remarks but couldn’t resist citing the ABC drama about a D.C. fixer and her capital intrigue. “No offense — Scandal is a great show,” Obama said, “but it’s not something that we necessarily want to be living out day in, day out.” Earlier, Washington introduced Rhimes as “my boss,” then the prolific producer said of the president, “He’s been doing his job like a boss.” Obama later complimented Washington, saying “there were few people who worked harder” on his campaign than she did. Rhimes also was a big supporter of both of his presidential bids as a donor and a volunteer – even pitching in at a campaign phone bank. Singer Janelle Monae also was there, and the president joked about her having a video of him trying to keep up with Usher on the dance floor. ” Now, this is top secret,” he said of the video. “She has promised that this will never be released. But she can blackmail me at any time.” He joked later, “I did not drop in splits, but I did bust a move.”
Pool reports say the commander in chief arrived at Rhimes’ Spanish-style Hancock Park home a little after 5PM. With tickets ranging from $1,000 to $32,400, the event was held in the backyard, which was adorned with white umbrellas and U.S. and California flags. Among the guests were various members of the Scandal cast such as on-air President Fitz Grant, played by Tony Goldwyn. HBO’s Michael Lombardo, who held an event recently at his home with Michelle Obama, and ABC’s Paul Lee were also in attendance this evening. The President is staying overnight in Beverly Hills and has another fundraiser set for tomorrow at the home of Live Nation head honcho and transplanted Canadian Michael Rapino – so expected more traffic delays on Wednesday.
PREVIOUSLY, 2:26PM: This time, everyone can blame President Obama. The commander in chief and confessed Scandal fan’s latest visit to the Southland leads him to a DNC fundraiser at Shonda Rhimes’ house in Hancock Park this evening, which will snarl traffic for folks in and around the Paramount lot and elsewhere. Deadline will keep you posted on any news from tonight’s event, but in the meantime, LAPD is warning folks to steer clear of the following areas: Beverly Boulevard and North Doheny Drive until 4 PM and again from 6-8 PM, La Brea Avenue and West Olympic Boulevard from 2-4 PM, and West 3rd Street and Rossmore Avenue from 4-8 PM. Expect street closures along Rimpau Boulevard between Edgewood Place and Olympic, and Olympic between Rimpau and West Boulevard.
On Thursday, police are issuing alerts to avoid the areas around Beverly and North Doheny from 4 AM-5 PM, Grand Avenue and West Washington Boulevard from 4 AM-5 PM, Sunset Boulevard and Mandeville Canyon Road from 9-11 AM, Sunset Boulevard and Barrington Avenue from 10 AM-noon, and Figueroa Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard from 1-3 PM.