Any party that sends you home with a $15 million goody bag can be considered a successful bash, but the fundraiser George Clooney hosted for Barack Obama Thursday night sounds like it was actually an enjoyable evening, which is an added bonus.
The crowd of 150 Hollywood A-list types was large but still a manageable size. Guests included Jack Black, Salma Hayek, and Tobey Macguire, none of whom you'd consider a disappointment if you were seated next to them at dinner, which was prepared by Wolfgang Puck. The menu "included an artichoke salad followed by roasted duckling "Peking style" with tiny buns, a duo of lamb and beef cheek with potatoes and Brussels sprouts, and sweet corn tortelloni," according to The Associated Press' Jim Kuhnhenn.
The guest of honor kept his speech interesting with some new information and good one-liners, the AP noted: He explained that the original photo from which Shepard Fairey created his 2008 "Hope" poster actually included Clooney, who was sitting next to the then-senator on a Washington trip to advocate for Darfur. "This is the first time that George Clooney has ever been photo-shopped out of a picture," the president quipped. And of course, he also made a joke about a recent post on The Atlantic Wire, full transcript here. He even table-hopped and stuck around for four hours, far more than his usual one, The New York Times' Jacke Calmes reported.
But let's be clear: This party was about the money, and it raised a lot, setting a record for a presidential fundraiser, The Times reported. The $40,000 guests shelled out for tickets accounted for about half the total, while the rest came "from an Obama campaign sweepstakes online for small contributors, two of whom were picked to attend the event at Mr. Clooney’s." Not bad for a night's work.