Actor George Clooney on Friday night helped President Obama set a new fundraising event record when he hosted a glitzy affair in his own backyard.
The record breaking event took in $15 million according to DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg.
To bring in that type of bankroll almost all of the guests in attendance threw down $40,000 each for a ticket to the event, while small donors who pitched in as little as $3 each made up the rest of the events raised money. Those small donors were competing for a chance to win two ticket to the event, an honor that eventually went to a science teacher in New Jersey and a utility company worker from Florida.
The star studded event wasn’t short on Hollywood’s A-List, including Barbra Streisand, Salma Hayek, Robert Downey Jr., Jack Black and Tobey Maguire.
During the event President Obama gave a short 19 minute speech in which he thanks George Clooney and quipped that the “Hope” photo from a photo of George and himself:
“This is the first time that George Clooney has actually been Photoshopped out of a picture. Never happened before, will never happen again.”
On a more serious note the President added:
“This is going to be harder than it was last time. Not only because I’m older and grayer and your ‘Hope’ posters are dog-eared; 2008 in some ways was lightning in a bottle.”
President Obama’s campaign by some analysts numbers is expected to raise upwards of $1 billion in 2012, far exceeding its 2008 total of $750 million.