"Ready for dinner"
President Barack Obama spoke to an exclusive bunch of donors at a $25,000 fundraiser at the Ritz-Carlton in Los Angeles. Attendees included George Clooney, DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg and film producer Harvey Weinstein. In a crowd like that, here are a few of the folks who got a presidential shout out.
The guy who introduces him
“Thank you so much. Everybody, please have a seat. First of all, you just heard from the future of the Democratic Party — the great Mayor of San Antonio, Julian Castro. (Applause.) We’re so proud of him.”
The first lady
“Some of you are aware that — well, all of you are aware that Michelle and I just celebrated our 20th anniversary. (Applause.) And the actual anniversary date was not that romantic. (Laughter.) There was some speculation as to whether this had an impact on my performance. (Laughter.) But I did make it up to her on Saturday. We went out to dinner, a date night. And it was a wonderful evening. It was a private room, because people kind of lean over and start listening if we’re in the booth next to them. (Laughter.) And Secret Service gets nervous. (Laughter.)”
The Oscar-winning teammate:
“I am a fairly competitive guy. Clooney has played basketball with me. (Laughter.) And I don’t like to lose — especially not to actors. (Laughter.)
MR. CLOONEY: We were on the same team. (Laughter.)
THE PRESIDENT: We were on the same team. I put him on the team — and we did win.
MR. CLOONEY: That’s right, we did.”
Be the waiter’s mom with a politically beneficial story
And we had this wonderful young waiter, and he brought us all our stuff, and he was patient with us as we were dawdling over the menu. And we were milking it for all it was worth because we don’t get out that often. But at the end of the dinner — it was very professional, very unobtrusive — but at the end of the dinner he just said, I wanted to just say how much I appreciate you because you saved my mother’s life — because my mother had a stroke, she wasn’t yet qualifying for Medicare, and because of the Affordable Care Act, we were able to get her coverage that allows her to take her medicines and is keeping her alive.
Donate millions of dollars
The other person that I want to acknowledge in particular — because I said this to them privately, I’ve got to say it publicly — Jeffrey and Marilyn Katzenberg have been — (applause) — they have been tireless and stalwart and have never wavered through good times and bad since my first presidential race, back when a lot of people still couldn’t pronounce my name. (Laughter.) And I will always be grateful to them for just the incredible support that they’ve given. So thank you very much. (Applause.) Thanks, both of you.
Today, he’ll be speaking in San Francisco, kicking off the day with a 25-person event that costs $40,000 per head. Who will get a coveted shout-out there?
Prachi Gupta is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on pop culture. Follow her on Twitter at @prachigu or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.More Prachi Gupta.