Hollywood’s top stars such as George Clooney, Jennifer Aniston, and Barbra Streisand attended a Hollywood fundraiser in February, but the guest star of the evening was Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama.
The event brought in a little over $1million for the 45-year-old presidential candidate. The fundraiser was arranged by three of the entertainment industry’s biggest names – DreamWorks studio founders Steven Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg and David Geffen .
Presidential candidates have long been attracted to California by the prospect of high dollars and the opportunity to bask in Hollywood glamour. Now there is also another lure for 2008 candidatesthe prospect the state may move up its primary, creating a treasure trove of delegates to be won in the early run-up to the nominations.
The star-studded, $1.3 million fundraiser for the Illinois senator was just the latest California stopover from top-tier presidential contenders from both parties. Arizona Sen. John McCain has scheduled a visit to the area with California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani has already visited California. New York Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton and husband Bill Clinton have a long standing relationship with the movie and entertainment industry.
Lawmakers and Schwarzenegger are poised to move the state’s primary to Feb. 5 from June, so the heat is on for presidential candidates to lure big money and big name supporters from the state.
Obama spoke to residents at an area park and promised to take on issues from health care to education, while changing America’s course in Iraq. He has introduced legislation that would set a deadline of March 2008 to remove all U.S. combat brigades from the country.
Barack Obama was born on August 4, 1961, in Hawaii to Barack Obama, Sr. and Ann Dunham. He graduated from Columbia University in 1983, and moved to Chicago in 1985 to work for a church-based group seeking to improve living conditions in poor neighborhoods plagued with crime and high unemployment. In 1991 he graduated from Harvard Law School, where he was the first African American president of the Harvard Law Review. He started his law career in civil rights practice.