BEVERLY HILLS-- Both Illinois senators, Dick Durbin and Barack Obama, are fundraising in California this week: Durbin for his 2008 re-election campaign and Obama for his White House bid. The Rev. Jesse L. Jackson is in Los Angeles for meetings with corporate executives and this morning was slated to speak to students at a Compton high school.
Last night, by coincidence, I intersected with these three separate worlds at the Beverly Hilton. I booked a room here because this is where Obama was headlining a fundraiser Tuesday night hosted by Hollywood moguls David Geffen, Jeffrey Katzenberg and Steven Spielberg.
The hotel with the absolutely plushest beds--down pillow tops on the mattress--went overboard on making sure Obama supporters did not talk to the press. The event itself was closed to the press, except for one pool reporter. (Obama fundraisers in San Diego and San Francisco did not provide for pool coverage)
Even approaching someone entering the hotel to ask if they wanted to chat about their backing for Obama drew the wrath from hotel security; vague threats and a request to see my room card.
Anyway...in the lounge afterwards....when Obama's best fundraisers were being feted at Geffen's house, I hit the lobby to hang with some friends and see if there was any more Obama news to vacuum up...when...Durbin wandered by. Durbin is in the midst of a California fundraising blitz. He had a breakfast in Century City and another event in Orange County plus other funders here.
Durbin, who has been blogging on DailyKos, said he met Tuesday morning with a group of progressive bloggers.
For a report from one of them on the Durbin meeting, click http://www.martinirepublic.com/item/pajamaline-myface-dick-durbin/
As Durbin said good night and left, a few minutes later Jackson strolled by and my table was still open for business. With the Academy Awards coming this weekend--and us being in the heart of the movie industry--talk turned to his long-time concern on the lack of African-American representation in the whole Oscar process.
WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON UPDATE: And now Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) just strolled by....