UPDATE, 9:45 AM: The possibility of U.S. military action against Syria means that President Barack Obama won’t be coming to LA on September 9 after all for a fundraiser at the home of Friends co-creator Marta Kauffman. A source tells me that the White House wants the Commander-in-Chief in Washington for an expected Congressional vote next week on the proposed action, and subsequently the Democratic National Committee has postponed the event. Though no new date has been set, the fundraiser will be rescheduled, the DNC says. Patrons who purchased the $32,400-per-person tickets for the small gathering with Obama will be refunded if they don’t want to attend the rescheduled event. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted 10-7 Wednesday in favor of the use of military force against the Assad regime. Full Senate and House votes on the matter will likely come early next week.
PREVIOUSLY, AUGUST 27 PM: EXCLUSIVE: Producer Marta Kauffman is inviting a good friend over next month. The Friends co-creator/executive producer and her composer-husband Michael Skloff will be hosting President Obama at their LA County home for a DNC fundraiser on September 9, Deadline has learned. Though Obama’s trip was revealed by the DNC on Monday, all details were kept under wraps. Now described as a “roundtable” discussion by one insider, the one-hour event (take a look at the invite here) comes at a price of $32,400 per guest and is expected to raise over $1 million for the party. In what is being set up as a smallish gathering of around 30 people, Obama will take direct questions from the big money ticket buyers, I’m told. A longtime Obama and DNC supporter, Kauffman most recently donated $50,000 to the president’s second inauguration. The visit comes just more than three weeks after Obama’s last trip to LA, when he appeared on The Tonight Show and had a private dinner with DreamWorks Animation boss Jeffrey Katzenberg.
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News of the who was hosting the September fundraiser wasn’t the only Hollywood connection to Obama today. In a radio interview at the White House that aired Tuesday, the president told host Tom Joyner that Lee Daniels’ The Butler moved him. “I teared up just thinking about not just the butlers who have worked here in the White House, but an entire generation of people who were talented and skilled but because of Jim Crow, because of discrimination, there was only so far they could go,” Obama told Joyner and co-host Sybil Wilkes. He also praised the performances of Oprah Winfrey, Forrest Whitaker and Cuba Gooding Jr in the Weinstein Company film about a White House butler, the presidents he served and the civil rights movement. The interview was timed to tomorrow’s 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s “I Have A Dream” speech. The President is scheduled to speak Wednesday at the Lincoln Memorial on the very spot where MLK spoke in 1963.
Obama’s last visit to LA on August 6 was one of the three times out of 15 total trips to LA that he’s not attended a fundraiser while in town. The president’s previous trip to LA on June 7, saw Obama as the marquee attraction at two sold-out DNC fundraisers at the home of former News Corp No. 2 and now independent mogul Peter Chernin. With tickets ranging from $10,000-$32,400, the event drew Disney CEO Bob Iger, Fox Film chief Jim Gianopulos along with Haim Saban, JJ Abrams and his wife Katie McGrath, and HBO’s Mike Lombardo and his partner Sonny Ward.
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