Hillary Clinton tonight told a room full of Hollywood heavyweights that the midterm elections are very important to make sure the Democrats retain the Senate so they can move forward on “important issues like immigration reform.” What she also told the 60 or so guests in attendance is, to use some of the introductory remarks by co-chair Jeffrey Katzenberg, is “the amazing drawing power” of the former Secretary of State. A fact not lost on anyone as tonight’s event raised $2.1 million for Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, a fundraising record.
The presumptive predominant 2016 Presidential candidate was the headliner at a Brentwood fundraiser co-hosted by big Democratic Party bundler Katzenberg. The DreamWorks Animation boss and his wife Marilyn were joined at event sponsored by the DSCC by fellow co-chairs and big donors Casey Wasserman and Laura Wasserman, Steven Spielberg and Kate Capshaw, Disney Studios chairman Alan Horn and Cindy Harrell Horn, and Live Nation president and CEO Michael Rapino and Jolene Rapino. Katzenberg’s political consigliere Andy Spahn and Jennifer Perry were also co-chairs. Although named on the invite that went out last week for tonight’s 6 PM starting event, Spielberg and Horn was not actually at the fundraiser. Big time Dem supporter Cindy Harrell Horn was as were the Rapinos and the Wassermans. Avengers director Joss Whedon was there, sources say. Also there was long time Democratic supporter Eva Longeria, Big Bang Theory‘s Jim Parsons and Cameron Diaz.
DSCC Chair Sen. Michael Bennet spoke first followed by the DWA boss who praised the “success of the evening.” Clinton then spoke and took questions from the paying audience.
Clinton herself didn’t bring up her assumed Presidential run in two years tonight sources tell me but Hillary’s return to the White House and the campaign trail was on the minds and lips of LA and DC powerhouses today. Earlier in the day at a Clinton headlined fundraising lunch in San Francisco, former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told the crowd that if the former First Lady does decide to run for President, “she will win.” An industry attendee at tonight’s event told me “the person I saw tonight acted like and was treated like an anointed Presidential candidate.” Clinton “worked the room like her hat was already thrown into the ring,” he added.
California’s senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer were both supposed to be attendance with their former Senate colleague. However while the latter was there , the former was not. Boxer was also at the Ready For Hillary Super PAC fundraiser September 21 the Pacific Palisades home of Homeland producer Howard Gordon and his wife Cami that raised cash for a Clinton 2016 campaign. Though she has been to LA for speaking and charity events since leaving the State Department last year, tonight’s fundraiser is Clinton’s first direct cash-seeking event outside of a stop last October for her longtime pal, former DNC chair and now Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe.
With top tickets for tonight’s dinner, reception and a photo with Clinton going for $32,400, the fundraiser for the Grassroots Victory Project 2014 was held at the upmarket Tavern restaurant on San Vicente Blvd, as Deadline revealed earlier this month. Attendees were also able to give $211,200 to Grassroots directly. While the ever present gaggle of protesters were there and Clinton’s visit to LA came with a very apparent security force, it did not have the sweeping Service Service road closures causing traffic chaos like President Obama’s trip 10 days ago for a fundraiser at the home of Gwyneth Paltrow.
In line with the recent visits by Vice President Joe Biden and Obama, Clinton’s hoovering up of Hollywood dough comes midway through a multi-state foray with the Congressional midterm elections looming. Before arriving in LA this afternoon, Clinton was in San Francisco earlier today and raised $1.4 million for the DCCC. Tomorrow she is in Colorado tomorrow and Massachusetts on Friday among other stops in the tried-and-true pattern of a candidate looking to gather chits to cash in later. Speaking of cash, the financial support of Katzenberg and other Hollywood deep pockets is another fundamental component of any Clinton 2016 run – support the ex-NY Senator clearly has at this point.
Among her previous stops on the campaign trail over the past month, Clinton stumped for Kentucky Senate hopeful Alison Lundergan Grimes last week. The Grimes campaign has special significance for the primary host of tonight’s event as Katzenberg has made unseating Senate Minority Leader and Kentucky’s current senior senator Mitch McConnell his primary aim of this year’s midterms. To that end, the DWA CEO has contributed the maximum allowed to the current Bluegrass state Secretary of State’s coffers and has introduced Grimes to other big Tinseltown donors at fundraisers in both LA and NYC.
Clinton of course needs no introduction.