Quantcast
Connect with us

George Clooney hosts $40,000-a-plate Obama fundraiser

Published

on

George Clooney, who hosts a star-studded fundraiser for Barack Obama Thursday, is a Hollywood A-lister turned activist for causes like Sudan, Haiti — and now the US leader’s re-election.

The movie heartthrob’s $40,000-a-plate dinner is being tipped as possibly the biggest presidential fundraiser ever, bolstering Obama’s coffers to the tune of $12 million as he gears up for a fierce re-election fight.

ADVERTISEMENT

Clooney will welcome at least 150 people at his 7,400-square foot home in Studio City, where catering and security preparations have been underway for days. Locals are bracing for snarled traffic when the celebrities descend on Clooney’s mansion.

The 51-year-old Oscar-winning actor has long been used to turning heads, but his stature has been further enhanced by his campaigning activities of recent years, arguably making him Obama’s celebrity activist-in-chief.

It is all a long way from the young actor who made his name as a doctor in TV medical drama “ER” in the 1990s.

Even though his first big-screen lead role, in 1997’s “Batman and Robin,” was widely panned, Clooney became an A-list star with role in the high-seas blockbuster “The Perfect Storm” in 2000.

In that year he formed his own production company with director Steven Soderbergh, Section Eight Productions, and together they turned out such hits as 2001’s “Ocean’s Eleven,” followed by sequels in 2004 and 2007.

ADVERTISEMENT

But Clooney also broached more thoughtful fare like in the 2005 spy thriller “Syriana,” which earned him a best supporting actor Oscar, and the black-and-white film “Good

Night, and Good Luck” about freedom of speech and governmental abuse of power.

His growing political interests also came to the fore in last year’s primary season thriller “Ides of March,” while Hawaiian-set family drama “The Descendants” won a best adapted screenplay Oscar.

ADVERTISEMENT

Clooney’s rise has been matched by an increasing activism.

He has campaigned tirelessly to draw attention to the conflict in Sudan’s Darfur region. In 2010 he was named a United Nations Messenger of Peace by Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in recognition of his work.

ADVERTISEMENT

Also that year Clooney was one of the driving forces behind a star-studded telethon which raised more than $58 million for victims of the Haiti earthquake.

In March this year Clooney was handcuffed and arrested along with several members of the US Congress outside Sudan’s embassy in Washington DC, as they demanded an end to an offensive they fear will cause thousands to starve.

He was released three hours later after paying a $100 fine for crossing a police line.

ADVERTISEMENT

In the same month Clooney visited the White House to brief the president on a clandestine visit he had made to war-torn Sudan. He also attended a state dinner for British Prime Minister David Cameron.

Obama appears to be keen on wooing wealthy donors in Hollywood and Silicon Valley, as money from Wall Street may be harder to come this election cycle as he gears up to take on likely Republican nominee Mitt Romney in November.

Tim Groeling, an associate professor at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), said Clooney’s fundraiser was important both for the cash raised and the impact of his celebrity endorsement.

“Most successful Hollywood entertainers are well-liked by the public, or else they wouldn’t have been successful in the first place,” said Groeling, UCLA’s head of communication studies and an expert on political communications.

ADVERTISEMENT

“Although they are not always regarded as politically knowledgable, if someone you like endorses something or someone, that connection should be at least somewhat credible to you,” he told AFP.

Organization for Thursday’s dinner has been spearheaded by DreamWorks Animation chief Jeffrey Katzenberg, the president’s major entertainment industry fundraiser, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

The soiree is expected to make $5-6 million, while a further $6 million had been made by an online sweepstakes, in which the winner gets two seats at the head table with Obama and Clooney, the industry paper reported.

[Actor George Clooney, seen after meeting with President Barack Obama on Sudan in 2010, hosts a star-studded fundraiser for the president’s reelection. AFP Photo/Jim Watson]

ADVERTISEMENT


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

CNN

Here’s how Mike Pence could step in to sabotage the impeachment trial in the Senate

Published

on

Vice President Mike Pence could ultimately end up playing a significant role in President Donald Trump's impeachment trial — and ensure that the case against the president isn't even properly presented.

Pence, being the vice president, is also president of the Senate. And as such, he has the power to resolve ties when senators deadlock. In terms of the final vote to convict, Pence will not need to break any ties, because 67 votes are required. But many other aspects of the Senate trial will be decided by a simple majority, including the rules package, and whether to override Chief Justice John Roberts' decisions on what evidence and testimony is admissible. And so even if a few Republicans break with their party on these issues, Pence may be able to step in and ensure the trial is conducted the way Trump wants it to be.

Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Trump complained about Obama’s Hanukkah party — yet did it even worse himself

Published

on

President Donald Trump held the official White House Hanukkah party weeks before the holiday was slated to begin on Dec. 22.

Ironically, however, in 2011, Trump attacked President Barack Obama for holding an early Hanukkah party because he would be in Hawaii for the family's annual Christmas celebration.

"Why was the Hanukah celebration held in the White House two weeks early? @BarackObama wants to vacation in Hawaii in late December. Sad," Trump tweeted.

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/145253073588203520

Just a few years later when it was his turn to hold a White House Hanukkah party, the goy-in-chief did it even earlier than Obama. In 2011, Obama held his party one week before the "eight crazy nights" began. Trump's party is 11 days out from Hanukkah. Trump lit the candles anyway.

Continue Reading
 

Facebook

Israel heads for third election in a year as deadline to form government expires

Published

on

Israel is heading for an unprecedented third election within a year after a deadline to create a coalition government ran out at midnight local time on Wednesday and parliament was dissolved.

The prospect of a new election prolongs a political stalemate that has paralysed the government and undermined many citizens' faith in the democratic process.

Initial elections in April were inconclusive and a September re-run of the vote left Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his chief challenger Benny Gantz short of securing the required parliamentary majority to form a government.

Continue Reading