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Obama event at George Clooney's house: Bad to be 'celebrity in chief'? (+video)

The Hollywood glitterati will be out in force for the sold-out fundraiser at George Clooney's place. The event will be a lucrative one for Obama's campaign, but the GOP is hoping to cash in too.

By Staff writer / May 10, 2012

Actor George Clooney leaves the White House in Washington, in March, after his meeting with President Obama.

Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP/File

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What do you get when you combine Barack Obama with George Clooney? You get a political fundraiser that is quite possibly the most lucrative such event ever. Also, a confluence of the White House and Hollywood that Republican opponents of the administration think they may be able to exploit.

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Let’s back up a bit here, shall we? In the wake of his pronouncement that he supports gay marriage, President Obama on Thursday evening is set to attend a sold-out fundraiser at the Los Angeles home of actor George Clooney. The appeal of Obama to wealthy Left Coast liberals is such that the star power assembled for the dinner would be able to illuminate a large swath of Ohio, Florida, or any other swing state you choose.

Barbra Streisand. Robert Downey Jr., sans Iron Man outfit. Tobey Maguire. Jeffrey Katzenberg. And so on – they’ve all paid the $40,000 price for the VIP ticket allowing them to cram into Clooney’s undoubtedly superpendous Studio City pad. (Originally, the event was to be at DreamWorks CEO Katzenberg’s house. But it’s being renovated, and the work’s not done. Nice to know that even a billionaire can’t get plumbers to work on schedule.)

Full-price tickets will raise only about $6 million of the $15 million organizers expect from the event. The rest will come from small donations averaging $23 paid by entrants in a raffle for two seats with Clooney and Obama. The offer was worded like this: “For a chance to hang out with President Obama at George Clooney’s house, donate $3 or whatever you can to be automatically entered to win.”

Fifty finalists in this contest have already been identified and run through background checks. The two winners will be announced at some point prior to hors d’oeuvres. Both get to bring a guest. So, not too late to cozy up and try to arrange a date!

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