Barak Obama was in seemingly good form as he sat front and center among some of Hollywood's most iconic personas at a fundraising dinner yesterday evening. All but two of the attendees paid $40,000 a head in order to attend the fund raiser and share the limelight with the president. The event was a high profile boost to Obama's campaign as he continued to ride the wave of good will coming from his unequivocal support for same sex marriage.
Opponents of the president pointed to the proximity of those two events as a clear strategy noting the popular support in Hollywood for the extension of civil rights to homosexual couples. Republicans tried to paint the president's explicit support for same sex marriage as a cynical attempt to garner favor and funds in the community.
Despite such allegations reports suggest that Mr. Obama was at ease at the event joking about the host and others among those gathered. The guests at the fund raiser included Barbara Streisand, Robert Downey Junior, Salma Hayek, Tobey McGuire and Jack Black. Each paid the $40, 000 in order to attend. The total collected from the 150 guests amounted to $6 million for the president.
Two of the Democrat's less wealthy supporters managed to secure tickets to the event in on online raffle. The lucky winners of that raffle were free to mingle among the celebrity guests and enjoy a gourmet dinner prepared by famous chef Wolfgang Puck.
Obama's gay marriage announcement could be considered his first campaign promise of the election cycle. Though he says he supports marriage rights for same sex couples he still maintains his stance that the decision should be up to the states and should not be made at a federal level. His qualification that his stance on the issue is evolving is a notable one. In a second Obama term same sex marriage may not be as much of a states rights issue as it is now.
The states rights issue could certainly be made redundant by the invocation of civil rights legislation. What ever way it goes it is now clear that we are in the midst of a general election. The Republican primaries are a foregone conclusion it would seem and Democratic primaries are truly a formality at this stage. November is coming. Both political machines will be wrestling constantly for the next few months. Watch out.