ABC News' Sunlen Miller reports:
President Obama attended two star-studded fundraisers in Los Angeles for the Democratic National Committee Wednesday night, raising an estimated whopping $3-4 million.
Celebrities were plentiful in the crowd at the Beverly Hilton -- Marissa Tomei, Kiefer Sutherland, Jamie Foxx, Ron Howard, Steven Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg, Antonio Banderas, Melanie Griffith, Holly Robinson Peete, Tyler Perry, Nicky Hilton, Seth Rogin, Sen. Arlen Specter, D-Pa., and Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., among many others. A concert was headlined by Chicago's own Jennifer Hudson and Earth Wind and Fire.
The president ticked through what he believes his administration has done in the four months that he has been in office, and gave a progress report of sorts, prompting a bold declaration about what he believes his administration's progress has been.
“I would put these four months against the four months of any prior administration since FDR,” a confident president said, referencing legislation his administration has signed.
The president said that he’s confident in the future but much more work remains to be done.
“We’ve had some fits and starts. I’ve made some mistakes and I guarantee I will make some more.”
The president was also upbeat in his prognosis of the state of the economy.
“When you look at the economy right now I think it’s safe to say that we have stepped back from the brink , that there is some calm that didn’t exist before.”
The president also expressed confidence in his Supreme Court nominee, Judge Sonia Sotomayor, for the first time, taking on the criticisms directly about his criteria to choose someone with empathy.
"A lot has been made about the Supreme Court and my criteria, that I want people who have a common touch, who have a sense of what it's like to struggle. I think most Americans want someone at the bench when they’re making decisions that haven’t just spent their life in a cloistered ivy tower but understand what its like to break barriers.”
As Mr. Obama’s motorcade rolled into the hotel for the pair of fundraisers, there was a group of protestors, among them some protesting Proposition 8.
While the president did not mention what they were protesting, he addressed the idea of the protests in general.
“There were some protestors out here, I could hear them vaguely -– I don’t know what they were protesting. I think there was a group of them. But one of them started to chant, 'Obama keep your promise'. And I thought that’s fair."
And giving the ultimate shout-out to the entertainment industry which filled the event, the president encouraged the industry to maintain the role its medium plays in helping people define the world around them.
“Keep telling us the important stories. The stories that make us want to leave the theater, and turn off the TV and to go save the world. That keep telling us the stories that don’t always find their way into the headlines, or on the cable news shows or the 30 second clips. Movies like An Inconvenient Truth, or MILK. Keep telling us stories that help us to remember, movies like Schindler’s List and the Saving Private Ryans.”
The concert portion of the fundraising night had ticket prices ranging from $1,000 and $2,500. The dinner fundraiser sold tickets for $30,400 for a couple. This marked the third fundraiser the president has had in two days during his swing out west.
-- Sunlen Miller