Obama’s West Coast fundraiser brought in nearly 9 million dollars for Obama–and naturally drew criticism from McCain who predictably ranted, "(He) talks about siding with the people, siding with the people — just before he flies off to Hollywood for a fundraiser with Barbra Streisand and his celebrity friends. Let me tell you, friends, there’s no place I’d rather be than here with the hard-working men and women of Ohio."
The Republican candidate had apparently forgotten that the night before, on Monday he himself had been in Miami meeting top donors and drawing in 5.1 million dollars for the RNC just hours hours after Wall Street dropped 504 points.
Because McCain has accepted public financing, he can no longer solicit campaign contributions, while Obama’s decision to forego public financing means that he’s still able to solicit private donations for his campaign. Both candidates can also continue to raise money for their respective political parties, though there are greater restrictions on how that money can be used. The money raised by Obama Tuesday will be split with the DNC in compliance with federal donation caps.
Obama’s Beverly Hills dinner, at $28,500 a head drew big name stars like Will Ferrel, Tobey Maguire, Jodie Foster and Leonardo Di Caprio among the nearly 300 guests. Barbra Steisand’s concert at the Regent Beverly Wilshire had been expected to draw 600, but the guest list grew to 800.
McCain’s take from the entertaiment industry has reached $885,000, according to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics. Recently he attended a fundraiser in Beverly Hills attended by actors Robert Duvall and Jon Voight.
New reports from Obama’s fundraiser showed Rolls Royces, limousines and Porches arriving, a stark contrast to Wall Street woes, which Obama had addressed earlier at a rally in Golden, Colo. “Jobs have disappeared, and peoples’ life savings have been put at risk. Millions of families face foreclosure, and millions more have seen their home values plummet,” said the Democratic candidate.
“These are the struggles that Americans are facing. This is the pain that has now trickled up.”
Obama also struck a somber note at the dinner, reminding attendees that his campaign was for the people who would “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.”
At the concert, after thanking Streisand, who performed "Happy Days are Here Again" and other classics from her repertoire, Obama continued his serious message.
"This should be a celebratory evening," he said. "We’ve got 48 days to go in a campaign, a campaign that started 19 months ago, at a time when a lot of folks thought we might not get here."
But, he added, "I’m not in a celebratory mood, reminding poarty goers of the series of crises that had taken place in recent days, including the hurricane on the Gulf Coast and the deadly train crash in Chatsworth.