Supporters and potential backers of presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg gathered on Wednesday evening in Hancock Park for an event to build buzz for his candidacy, with a special celebrity guest among the speakers: Michael Douglas.
Hours earlier, Douglas had announced that his father, legendary actor Kirk Douglas, had passed away at age 103. At the event, hosted by Jon Vein and Ellen Goldsmith Vein at their Hancock Park home, Douglas “talked about how much his dad loved Bloomberg and how much he loved Bloomberg,” according to an attendee who was there.
The event was not a fundraiser, as Bloomberg is self-financing his presidential bid, so some dubbed it a “friend-raiser,” in the words of political consultant Mathew Littman, who was among the 200 or so attendees.
“It was very impressive. I was shocked how many turned out,” Littman said, noting that Bloomberg himself was not present. Among those there: actress Sela Ward and civil rights activist Connie Rice.
Jon Vein, who is a member of Bloomberg’s leadership committee, said that they started organizing the event and it quickly drew interest since RSVPs went out on Saturday and that they reached capacity before the Iowa caucuses on Monday. Other speakers included Gary Ginsberg, senior adviser to the campaign who was formerly communications chief at News Corp. and Time Warner; and Aja Brown, the mayor of Compton.
Bloomberg is skipping the early states, and instead focusing on Super Tuesday, including California’s presidential primary on March 3.
Bloomberg headlined an event last month at the Beverly Hills home of Lynda and Stewart Resnick. The event was a fundraiser for the Democratic National Committee.
Michael Douglas announced last month that he was endorsing Bloomberg. In an interview with People, Douglas said, Bloomberg was “a rare opportunity to coalesce and bring us back together, get rid of all this horrid, negative scare tactics that are going on, and the fact that he’s succeeded to the degree that he has is phenomenal.”