Before leaving Beverly Hills this morning, President Barack Obama met privately at his hotel "with two dozen of Hollywood’s hottest young stars, urging them to involve themselves in his re-election campaign," Tina Daunt reports in the Hollywood Reporter. The unannounced meeting took place at the Beverly Hilton.
Among those who met with the president were The Avengers star Jeremy Renner, Glee actress Dianna Agron, Star Trek's Zachary Quinto, Southland's Ben McKenzie, Jessica Alba, Bryan Greenberg, Adam Rodriguez, Zach Braff, Brandon Routh, Ian Somerhalder, Jared Leto, Kal Penn and Sophia Bush.
Sources tell The Hollywood Reporter that the meeting was part of the Obama re-election campaign’s “Young America Effort,” an initiative to build support and turnout among the younger voters who were key to the president’s election four years ago.
Star of the actors and actresses then went out and tweeted about meeting Obama. "Got up bright & early to hear @BarackObama speak w an awesome group," wrote Jessica Alba.
Afterward, Obama headed south to his fundraising breakfast in the View Park neighborhood, in the hills above the Crenshaw district and Leimert Park. From the pool report fed in by LA Times reporter Kate Linthicum:
His motorcade arrived at the house a few minutes before 9 a.m. and was greeted by about two hundred screaming supporters who stood at the end the street, waving signs and American flags.
After taking photos with donors inside the house, Obama came out onto the backyard lawn to speak to about 300 people who sat at linen-draped tables and were dining on a menu that included fried catfish and fried chicken. U.S. Congresswoman Karen Bass was there, along with Democratic consultant Kerman Maddox. Rumor has it the actress Vivica A. Fox was in the house, too. Tickets to the event started at $2,500, according to a campaign officials.
The lawn was partly encircled by tall white curtains, obstructing what otherwise would have been beautiful – if smoggy – views of the downtown skyline. It was a muggy 73 degrees.
Quarles, a real estate developer whose firm has built housing complexes in South Los Angeles and in the San Fernando Valley, introduced the President at 10:15. He called him "the man for this time.”
“I don’t think it’s an accident that he’s currently our president,” said Quarles. “I think it was pre-ordained.”
After ample applause, Obama took the mic. Then he slipped off his suit jacket.
“It’s warm out here,” Obama said to laugh. “Gentlemen feel free to take off your jackets.” As several men happily stood up to do so, Obama told them, “That’s what is called an executive order.”
“I want to thank all of you for being here on a spectacular Los Angeles day,” he began. He remarked on the kids in the audience, many of whom he guessed has taken time off of school to be there. “I don’t know how many excuse notes I’m going to have to write," he laughed.
Then he launched into his campaign speech, talking about the philosophical foundations of the United States, and what he sees as the nation's general arc toward inclusion and opportunity for an ever-expanding group of people.
“This did not begin as a perfect union but our charter spoke to the possibility of perfecting the union,” Obama said. “The trajectory of this country is we’re going to expand opportunity to more and more people. . . . That’s the reason I can stand here today as President of the United States.”
Obama spoke for 27 minutes then left for LAX.
Instagram photo via @PanteraSarah and Hollywood Reporter