Obama Does Hollywood

Many a film scene has been shot at the Greystone Mansion in Los Angeles, Calif., where a 55-room Tudor mansion tonight beckoned Hollywood glitterati to contribute $28,500 per person to the Democratic National Committee/Obama for America joint Victory Fund.

In "Indecent Proposal," the tycoon played by Robert Redford was seduced by the real estate agent played by Demi Moore as she showed him through the empty living room of the Greystone Mansion. He didn't much care for the house, but her he liked.

Film buffs might also recognize the manse from "What Women Want," "The Witches of Eastwick," "The Big Lebowski," "Death Becomes Her," and "Batman & Robin," among others.

And it was here that Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., Arrived shortly before 7 p.m. Pacific for a fundraising reception and dinner -- salad with goat cheese, roasted potatoes, filet of beef and asparagus, apple crisp and chocolate lava cake.

Somewhere between 250 and 300 others signed up for the dinner, including Leonardo DiCaprio, Jamie Lee Curtis, Will Farrell -- known for, among other characters, his devastating impersonation of President George W. Bush -- as well as Jodie Foster, Toby McGuire, and Chris Rock.

Not to mention the man Sen. John McCain, D-Ariz., said was his favorite Hollywood "president," Dennis Haysbert, who played the assassinated President David Palmer on Fox's "24."

At an outdoor courtyard within the Greystone compound, Obama told the gathered masses that his campaign offered a rather sobering look at the economic problems the nation now faces.

“It's reminded people that this is not a game," Obama said. "This is not a reality show, no offense to any of you. This is not a sitcom.”

Many Democrats were apparently worried about the prospects of losing (again) in the fall.

“I know that a lot of you, just in conversations while we were in the photo lines, had all sorts of suggestions,” Obama said. “I know that won't surprise you. And a lot of people have gotten nervous and concerned. Why is this as close as it is? And what's going on? We always knew this was going to be hard, and this is a leap for the American people. And we're running against somebody who has a formidable biography, a compelling biography. He's a genuine American hero, somebody who served in uniform and suffered through some things that very few of us can imagine.

“And so he is a worthy opponent," Obama said. "And this should be hard, because what we're asking of the American people is a fundamental shift away from an economic theory that has dominated over the last eight years, that says, ‘You give more to the most and hope that it trickles down for everybody else,' an economic theory that basically says, 'you're on your own if you don't have health care, you're on your own if you don't have a job; if you're born into poverty, lift yourself up by your own bootstraps, you are on your own.'"

“If we can cut through the nonsense and the lipstick and the pigs and the silliness, then I'm absolutely convinced that we're going to win,” Obama said to laughter and applause.

“We’ve still got enormous work to do because of the enormous resistance out there -- resistance because people have been fed cynicism for a long time,” Obama continued. “When my opponent, and the operation that they’ve put together, starts feeding into that cynicism and starts feeding into that resentment, it’s not always clear which way things are going to tip.”

The senator said he was confident about winning because "I've looked at John McCain, I've looked at Sarah Palin, I've looked at their agenda, and they don't have one.”

Ha ha ha ha, said the crowd.

"They don't have answers to our economic problems," he said, “and they don't have answers to our foreign policy problems." Obama asked the crowd to "keep steady" in the remaining 48 days until Election Day and to remember that his campaign "is about those who will never see the inside of a building like this and don't resent the success that's represented in this room, but just want the simple chance to be able to find a job that pays a living wage."

Obama then went to the ballroom at the Regent Beverly Wilshire.

Around 800 people -- including Sarah Silverman, Ron Howard, Magic Johnson, and Pierce Brosnan -- were there, eaching paying $2,500 to the Obama Victory Fund.

We are told, though the press was not permitted (inflicted?) with permission to hear her, that Barbra Streisand ran through little parts of songs, though not entire numbers.

Obama thanked everyone, then was serious.

“This should be a celebratory evening," he said. "We’ve got 48 days to go in a campaign, a campaign that started 19 months ago, at a time when a lot of folks thought we might not get here." But, he added, “I’m not in a celebratory mood.”

Obama listed the depressing headlines -- Wall Street in crisis, hurricanes, the deadly train crash in nearby Los Angeles.

Obama offfered the Tinseltown big wigs his stump speech, and then told them not to worry about his calm demeanor.

“The reason I’m calm,” Obama said, “is I have confidence in the American people.”

Obama asked supporters “to keep on going out there, arguing and fighting” in the final 48 days.

- jpt

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