Chicago Sun-Times
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Obama fund-raiser; Barbra Streisand, Will Farrell, Leonardo DiCaprio, Jamie Lee Curtis, Jodi Foster, Dennis Haysbert


WASHINGTON--Barack Obama addressed nervous supporters at a Tuesday high dollar Beverly Hills fund-raiser, tiered events capped with a performance by Barbra Streisand; the evening hauled an estimated $9 million to benefit the campaign.

"I know that a lot of you, just in conversations while we were in the photo lines, had all sorts of suggestions," Mr. 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?"

According to the pool report.........

Senator Obama Barack Obama spoke for about 15 minutes in an outdoor courtyard, a well-lit setting inside the sprawling compound of the Greystone Mansion. A few stars were shining above in the nighttime sky, as well as an audience filled with them.

He made his remarks from a stage in the corner, bathed in lights, holding a microphone in his hand as he looked out into the crowd. He said the campaign provided a sobering look at the country's economic condition.

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

Among the celebrities who could be seen by your pool, which was stationed at the rear of the courtyard: Will Farrell, Leonardo DiCaprio, Jamie Lee Curtis and Jodi Foster. And Dennis Haysbert, who played the president on the TV series "24."

There were at least 300 people, seated at 30 tables resting on cobblestone. White and red wine glasses were on the tables. Waiters, dressed in black, listened to the speech.

It was a serious speech for Mr. Obama - interrupted only once or twice by applause - as he spelled out the stakes of the campaign. He also talked about jittery Democrats, the reason for running and his opponents' strategy against him.

"I know that a lot of you, just in conversations while we were in the photo lines, had all sorts of suggestions," Mr. 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. 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 healthcare, 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," Mr. Obama said, speaking over laughter and applause.

He asked the Democratic contributors who gave $28,500 to the party's effort to keep working and fighting in the days ahead, warning them of the close contest. "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," Mr. Obama said. "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."

Mr. Obama said that 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."

The crowd laughed.

"They don't have answers to our economic problems," he said, "and they don't have answers to our foreign policy problems."

He urged his supporters to "keep steady" in the days ahead and never forget what his candidacy is about. In case they did, he offered a reminder, saying: the 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."

The speech ended. Mr. Obama shook hands - it did not appear that he stayed for dinner, since he apologized for running late - and his motorcade returned to the hotel at 9:05 p.m.

The second event of the evening is upcoming.

Jeff Zeleny / New York Times

Michael Finnegan / Los Angeles Times


This is exactly why I'm voting for John McCain this man Obama.. this chosen one.. could not be more out of touch.
Obama has time to fly to HOLLYWOOD but just can't seem to find time to DEBATE John McCain on the true issues.. not attack ads but true issues Obama has been in hiding sense the Primary.

Barack Obama does his talking in attack ads and will not find the time for debate but can find the time for HOLLYWOOD!!!!

It's the streisand "kiss of death". She always backs the losers.

How bout taking some of that 9 Million and helping out hurricane ravaged Texas?

Finally talking sense and putting meat on the bone. "Here's the beef."

As a Canadian, it is my fervent hope and prayer that the next President of the USA is Barak Obama. As much as the ties between him and Rev. Wright have been exploited ad nauseam, how about the pasts of McCain and his adultery, infidelity, callous treatment of his first wife and his penchant for former beauties - his first wife, his present wife and now, Sarah Palin! Once a 'dirty old man' always a 'dirty old man'!What about his skirmishes with propriety in the Senate- the Keating 5? And Sarah Palin - who is a heartbeat away from the Presidency of the greatest country in the world -she is no model for 'mother of the year'! She was with child before she married, her daughter too followed her mother's shining example of abstinence before marriage! Is this what the rest of the world can expect from the USA! god help us = God help the rest of the world!

Excuse me de Souza, but who are YOU to judge a woman? Even us Christians are HUMAN. Don't you dare just Sarah Palin or her daughter Bristol unless you are blameless of everything. Neither of my parents were virgins when they married, but they taught us abstinence. Is that hypocritical? NO. It's called "learning a lesson." Both of my brothers are unmarried virgins, and I waited until my wedding night to give it up. Unfortunatley, parents don't have a million eyes everywhere, so even children of parents who do everything they can to raise their children right get away with stealing cookies from the cookie jar, sneaking out at night, and staying with Julie when they're really at the boyfriend's.

Well, there you go! If the canadians and the Europeans want Obama, then he must be the one. No offense intended, Dave, but many of us don't by into the notion that the world hates us any more now than they have for decades. That notion must be a liberal thing.

As an American (not Canadian) I do not think you need to concern yourself with this matter. Obama is a frightening as it gets with his ties to Wright, and all of the others that are corrupt. His ability to speak well is the only thing he has going for him. He has know thoughts of his own and is the DNC's puppet. The McCain/Palin ticket will give this country what it so desperately needs, stability, reform and no higher taxes as well as to continue keeping the US soil free from terrorist acts. Obama would like to sit down and "talk" to them. He lives in la la land. I am sure he is a nice guy, that is not what we need in the White House for the next four years. Wake up everyone and understand that he can no more make things better for us Americans then Hillary would have. People get so thirsty for something that they will believe anything they are told without knowing the facts. Check him out, that is if you can find anything of substance regarding his life!

This proves what an expert Obama is in extracting
money out of people. NEWS FLASH! Senator Obama
was the 2nd democrat in Congress to received the
most money contributions from Fannie Mae &Fredie
Mac. His top two advisors in financial
matters are Jim Johnson and Frank Reins the top
executives from the above mentioned institutons.
G'd help us from Obama.

You forgot to state that Obama inferred, if he is not elected "MEAN AMERICA" will appear. Where did we hear that before-----HINT----Michelle Obama, I guess we know WHO rules his House and maybe the White House, if this weak jerk is elected. Can our lives and children's lives be trusted with this weak guy? NO WAY

As a Canadian, and for the well being of the USA, along with the rest of the world including CANADA, IT IS my fervent hope and prayer that the next President of the USA is John McCain. He is a man that loves his country and his experience along with all he has done has been an open book. What do we have on Mr. Obama? Many pages of his biography are just blank. There's no timeline. We know about his choice of friends like Mr. Wright and Mr. Bill Ayers. Mr. Obama has has been elected to run for presidency of the USA and it is only NOW that Mrs. Obama, for the very first time is proud of being American. This woman is educated, smart and has earned every right to stand where she stands. However, it is only NOW that she is proud of being American. Is this the first lady that is going to put this country first? What if she changes her mind? How do we know when she will not be proud of the USA anymore? We know Mr. Obama has changed his positions many times before. He was solid wrong on the surge. I am not a right-wing wacko or a left-wing looney. I like to see the facts in black and white before I make a decision. I urge everyone to educate yourselves. Not from what you hear others say or what the media says but too really make sense and educate yourselves because it affects our everyday lives. Our kids are our future and as a mother of ONE I need for this country to get back on his feet and I want my child to be FREE for him to choose what he wants. Limited government intervention. I do not need the government running our lives and our TAXES. Free enterprise those that strive get rewards. This is the land of the free and the home of the brave. Stay true!

Vote McCain/Palin 2008, the REAL change.

All that money you and McCain raise to become president is ridiculous.
People in American can hardly afford to make their house payment or put gas in the auto to get to work,but yet you two can continue to raise more money for your campaigns.
You should both be embarrassed!!!!

Canada is not even a real country, mind your business.

Are people really supporting John Mccain. Didn't the stock market just crash due to financial deregulation strategies he supported? Aren't we know the biggest government we've ever been? Didn't we just fork over hundreds of billions of dollars in bail out money for a series of banks that irresponsibly played the ends against each other (the worst form of regulation, free cash from tax payers to multinational companies and thier shareholders).

It's not really a choice at all.

Regarding Obama's past. Didn't Mccain and Palin just lie about his history. 12 years in state legislature, 820 laws sponsored or co-sponsored.

Didn't Mccain vote against veteran's benifits that would adjust for population size and inflation last year? What about the GI bill.

Wasn't the war in Iraq based on false evidence. Doesn't that make it an unjust war and the 4,000 American Deaths murder? What about the 100,000 dead from collateral damage or the countless number of Iraqi's dead over the last 5 plus years.

Isn't this one of the largest and most costly occupations in US history. Didn't we spend close to 3/4's the U.S. commercial profit in 2002 (it was close to 900 billion) on the war so far? Don't we owe close to 9 trillion dollars? Where are we going to get the money to pay for it?

It's really time for a change. I wish the change were more radical than what Obama and the Dem's offer. The country, however you imagine it to be (MEAN or something to be "always proud of"), is in trouble. We need a plan to get us out of trouble. My money's with Obama. We've tried the Mccain way before.

There's an old Who song: Meet the New Boss, Same as the Old Boss. I'm sorry to say that neither of these men is who I would want to be president. I'm going to chose the lesser of two evils. I live in Chicago and I know how the Chicago machine works. Obama is part of it. Mayor Daley's brother is thinking about runnihg for governor. Tony Rezko is part of it. Actions speak louder than words. How long exactly did Obama remain a member of Wright's church? I haven't heard him speak of any real plans for the economy. Yet both he and McCain are concerned about raising political funds. Meanwhile, we are all worried about gas, medical insurance, jobs and high rising food costs and falling financial business icons. Sorry, this man doesn't speak my language. Then again, I'm not sure McCain does either. But he has a proven record. And at some point you have to consider that. Has Obama done anything since he's been in Congress? If so, someone, please, please enlighten me. But only with facts. Can't deal with all the rumors flying around!

Obama is raising 3 times the money from the celebs so he MUST be a dud. Why would anyone think that a soap opera actor has any more, or even AS MUCH, political knowledge as we mere humans? Why do they think they are elite? The Obama camp refuses to debate McCain for one simple reason: McCain can rely on past experience to form an answer to a non-scripted question. Obama may be smarter, but he cannot think beyond the teleprompter copy. That total lack of experience at any level is his downfall.

As an ‘Okie’, whose father worked for an oil company to raise our family and myself having worked for 5 different oil companies during my career, I have a special insight as to the Republican mantra of
"Drill, Baby, Drill". I watched excitedly throughout the U.S. oil crisis of the 70's as we began to push toward alternative energies and true energy independence. Not just independence from foreign oil, but true independence from the oil pollution and utility company serfdom that we still unwisely endure. That lasted for a few years until Reagan got in and trashed the movement by opening the Arabian spigots and shipping it over here to pollute our air and our beaches as well as to drain our economy. As an oil company worker, I saw poor management, waste, a good-ol' boy management style, a lack of imagination and lots of misogyny. They were so awash in money, they didn't feel the need to innovate. This led to take-over attempts by T. Boone Pickens at two of the Oklahoma companies where I worked because the shareholders were not getting value for their shares. Obama gets it, that only by stressing alternative energy solutions will we correct our economy; provide lots of American jobs (look at Denmark, 90% of her energy comes from alternatives and 90% of her work force involves alternatives!). I have never heard of any Republican who could grasp any solution to our energy crisis except trying to get more oil. Well, it just isn't there. Check the figures. Yes, we will get a little more oil from the U.S., but why use up the remaining oil in the next 20 years and then truly leave ourselves dependent on expensive foreign oil? It is just plain stupid to continue relying on 20th Century energy, when an intelligent person knows that it is a self-destructive addiction causing so many evils that are harmful to the human race. We make enemies of every country from which we buy oil except Canada, and I'm afraid that may even change. This isn't the first war that we have fought for oil. Global warming increases steadily, asthma suffering increases steadily, $700 billion is drained from our economy yearly by oil companies and that won't improve much if we drill. The oil companies will still get the money, just not the Arabs, Russians and Venezuelans. Wind is cheaper and inexhaustible. The sun is cheaper and inexhaustible. Go to and check out the inexpensive residential wind turbine and solar panels and the PowerSave1200. We could all have this technology with a few tax incentives from the government. Well, actually there already are tax incentives from the government. There’s a link at this site. As a retired person, not only did I want my house to be paid for when I retired, I also want my utility bills to be greatly reduced or completely free! Seniors who have free energy don't need large cost-of-living-adjustment (COLA) increases to their Social Security each year! One of our biggest costs is energy. If that doesn't keep increasing, then their expenses don’t either! The tentacles of big oil and gas are so entwined in our lives that we will need some big adjustments to accomplish true energy independence, but I foresee a beautiful world ahead for what's left of my life and for the future of my daughter and grandchildren without reliance on fossil fuels. But, of course, I have been reading, watching, googling and educating myself about the potential of alternative energy for the past 30 years. I encourage you to do the same!

Yes,I hear the different comments about Obama raising money,but what about Mccain he had a benefit in Florida the night before that brought in 5 million. Just because Obama can relate with celebrities is great. Because if it was not for what he stands for change,the celebrities would pick Mccain for tax breaks,so apparently this is not a issue for them the real issue is change for the ordinary person.What about Donald Trump backing Mccain the richest man alive acourse this would hurt his pocket.We all can shift blame,but look at all the devastaions that has happen,hurricanes,corporations going under.We are living in the last days the bible tells you that,ppl are hurting and dying.Let's look at the real issues. I have never been into politics like I have this race.Let's begin to walk into oue destiny and destiny is change.Change begin in our hearts body and soul and let's think about the 1,000 of people that has lost their jobs are the hundreds of ppl that in uninsured or homeless.Obama is the one to take us there.The number eight means new begining.A new beginning with Obama


Ah, don't you just love these Hollywood hootenannies, led by the Diva of Dimwits herself, Barbra Streisand. Most of these celebs can't even name the three branches of government, no less describe the functions of each. Yet, they've somehow managed to convince everyone that they're experts on complex issues such as economics, energy, and foreign affairs. Amazing!!!

Who pays for the Presidents fund raiser plane rides the Tax payer or the Dem party

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on September 17, 2008 8:38 AM.

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