Average Folks Donate $10M for Shot at Seat at Clooney's
Tonight's Obama fundraiser to bring in a record-breaking $15M
By Mary Papenfuss, Newser Staff
Posted May 10, 2012 2:01 AM CDT
Updated May 10, 2012 5:50 AM CDT
He's happy.   (AP Photo/Haraz N. Ghanbari)

(Newser) – George Clooney's $40,000-a-plate dinner for President Obama tonight is expected to scoop up an eye-popping $15 million. The Hollywood fete, to be held at Clooney's Los Angeles digs, will feature celebs like Barbra Streisand, Robert Downey Jr., and Tobey Maquire among the 150 guests, and is co-hosted by Dreamworks chief Jeffrey Katzenberg. But two-thirds of the money raised will be from "just folks"—tens of thousands of Americans who forked over an average of $23 each for a chance to win dinner tickets. "The number of people who wanted to go to Clooney's house was through the roof," a source tells the Wall Street Journal. The pool has already been winnowed down to 50. Background checks are being carried out on the hopefuls, and two winners (who can bring guests) will be announced today.

The event is expected to "help Obama regain some of his cool," GOP strategist Fred Davis tells the Los Angeles Times. But it also threatens to underscore perhaps a bit too pointedly the president's Hollywood ties, just as his campaign is parrying shots that he's more of a showman than an effective leader. Benefits of the event might come down to which stars are backing the president, say some observers. "Clooney is not gonna alienate, like, say, Sean Penn would," notes USC political science professor Steven Ross. "His image is as a moderate, well-spoken, serious man who has done serious work."

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Showing 3 of 16 comments
May 10, 2012 5:38 PM CDT
Do you know how to tell a Hollywood mogul is stupid? He put an Obama 12 sticker on his Rolls. Do you know how to tell he's really stupid? He put it on the paint? Do you know how to tell he's really really stupid? He paid $40,000 for it.
May 10, 2012 8:52 AM CDT
So, who's paying for the background checks?
May 10, 2012 7:54 AM CDT
Funny how the Newser posters bash the one-percenters every day of the week, but praise them when they donate to Obama. I think that's called conditional standards.