Politics

Obama pool reports: 'Let's just hang out'

From the Beverly Hilton to Hancock Park and back they go, compliments of the feed by Jonathan Weisman of the Wall Street Journal to the White House press corps. Barbra Streisand: not there. Antonio Villaraigosa: there. (Obama joked in recognizing the mayor: "we're not letting Mayor Villaraigosa on a bicycle any time soon," per Eric Garcetti tweet.) Idina Menzel was to entertain. And on a personal note, can I just say the afternoon motorcade to Beverly Hills from LAX really, really messed up traffic and buses in Westwood. It got worse later along Wilshire from BH to HP and back, much worse from the sound of it on Twitter.

Sent: Mon Aug 16 21:49:04 2010
Subject: Fundraiser pool report

Motorcade departed at 6:10 Pacific time from the Beverly Hilton, speeding down Century City and Olympic boulevards, where Angelenos snapped cell phone pictures and waved. One held a small sign proclaiming, "We need jobs," but this was a friendly crowd. Motorcade turned onto Hudson Avenue, passed lush lawns and lovely houses to the home of John Wells, producer of television shows such as West Wing, ER and China Beach.

The 10-minute ride brought us to a landscaped front yard that was more English garden then lawn, with topiaries, paths, and a fountain with a large great blue heron spouting water.

The event has raised $1 million. Entry was $2,500, but co-hosts, such as JJ Abrams, Steven Spielberg and Kate Capshaw, Cindy and Alan Horn, Marilyn and Jeffrey Katzenberg (not actually here), Janet and Tom Unterman and Barbra Streisand (not actually here) paid $30,400 a couple.

Judd Apatow is also here, as is House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Chris Van Hollen. Former NFL head coach Dennis Green is also here, as is Taye Diggs and wife and Tony Award winner Idina Menzel, who will entertain.

Here's the whole list:

Continued inside.

Additional Attendees

Members of the California Congressional Delegation expected to be in attendance:
Speaker Nancy Pelosi
Chairman Howard Berman
Congressman Brad Sherman
Congresswoman Barbara Lee
Congressman Joe Baca
Congresswoman Laura Richardson
Congresswoman Judy Chu
Congressman John Garamendi

Labor Secretary Hilda Solis
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa
Former CA State Speaker and Congressional candidate Karen Bass (Bass is running CA-33, the Diane Watson open seat. The event is being held is Congresswoman Watson’s district)

Debra Decker, the winner of a DCCC online contest for grassroots donors will be attending this fundraising event with her daughter Amber Romero. She contributed $25. They are from Phoenix, Arizona.

Here's Weisman's final report of the evening.

Sent: Mon Aug 16 23:17:04 2010
Subject: Final Pool Report

First the scene: the pool was ushered back through the Wells' estate and onto a veranda overlooking a walled courtyard with a pool, surrounded by grass lawn, manicured lemon trees, sage, rose bushes and Japanese maples. The crowd milled around, drinking wine brought by waiters. A string quartet stood down as first Chris Van Hollen spoke, then Nancy Pelosi, who praised "a very, very successful event," then introduced Potus.

He bound on to a brightly lit stage at 7:22, the air cool, the sun softening, and declared, "What a spectacular evening. Let's just hang out."

Speaking without notes or a teleprompter, Potus spoke of the tough times that greeted him. "This is exactly when you want to be president. This is why I ran, because we have the opportunity to shape history for the better." He said keeping Congress in Democratic hands would be "my focus over the next several months."

"I hope you understand why we're here tonight. It's not to take a picture with the president," he said. "We're here to make sure those who took the tough votes are rewarded."

To the Hollywood crowd, he declared, "We have been able to deliver the most progressive legislative agenda -- one that helps working families -- not just in one generation, maybe two, maybe three."

He then segued into the ditch imagery, when you want to go forward you shift to D, when you want to go backward, you shift to R, etc.

"Even as the other side wants to offer fear, we're going to offer hope," he concluded at 7:51, wrapping up a half-hour speech to loud applause.

He did not linger. The motorcade zipped back to Beverly Hills as the sun set over Olympic Boulevard. Good night, all.

Plus a "supplemental report" from Jim Tankersley of the Tribune Washington bureau.

A few additional (and California-appropriately green themed) quotes from POTUS from his cool-of-the-evening remarks in L.A.'s ritzy Hancock Park district: Recalling his event at ZBB Energy in Wisconsin earlier today (much, much earlier), Obama said he and congressional Democrats, through the stimulus bill, "made the biggest investments in clean energy in our history - building solar panels and wind turbines and advanced batteries." In an extended riff on reaching out to Republicans on major issues, Obama said "on energy, we're willin to compromise on a whole bunch of issues, but we've got to have a strategy that starts to limit carbon, because we want those clean energy jobs here in the United States. Not in China. Not in Germany." (Note that this was the first time all day, including the visit to the battery plant, when Obama even referenced emissions limits. Also note that, even in California, your pool did not hear the President speak the words "climate change" or "global warming".)

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