Sunday, August 12, 2012

Gwen Stefani Fundraiser: Michelle Obama Urges Kids To Stump For President Obama

Campaigning in Beverly Hills, First Lady tells crowd that the President is "not Spider-Man...not a superhero," and advises that he will "accept votes" from the elementary school set...
Pop star Gwen Stefani put the fun in Obama 2012 fundraising on Sunday as she welcomed First Lady Michelle Obama to the vast backyard of her hilltop Beverly Hills mansion for an afternoon picnic with family-oriented activities. The event kicked off a two-day fundraising trip to LA for the First Lady, and was followed by a second fundraiser at the home of Wendy and Barry Meyer, chief executive of Time Warner Inc.'s Warner Bros. Pictures.

Stefani's "Sunday of Fun," priced at $2,500 for a family of four, took place between Stefani's roped-off infinity pool overlooking the San Fernando Valley, and a tennis court filled with kids' activity stations, such as faux tattoes. It attracted Hollywood parents and their tots, including Nicole Richie and husband Joel Madden, actress Alyson Hannigan (How I met Your Mother) and actor Jeffrey Tambor. Approximately 400 guests attended, according a campaign official.

Clad in a sleeveless navy dress and silver sandals against a temperature that pushed above 90 degrees, Mrs. Obama keyed her remarks to the comic-book sensibility of the youngsters in the crowd, telling them that President Obama is "not Spider-Man," and he will take votes from those who are age ten and under: "We accept those votes," Mrs. Obama said, to cheers from the balloon-waving kids and their parents.

The First Lady stood against a backdrop of red, white and blue balloons arranged in the shape of an American flag as she urged the kids to go out with their parents and stump for her husband, because "this election is going to be even closer than the last one."

"Barack can't do it alone. He's not Spider-Man. He's not a superhero. He's a human, so we need your help," Mrs. Obama said. "I am not just talking to the adults here today."

"I am talking to the young people here as well. All of our young people--you might not be old enough to vote. You vote at school, I know--I met several young people who are going to be voting for my husband, who are 10 and under--we accept those votes."

Mrs. Obama got more cheers and laughter.

"But you can play an important role in this election, too," Mrs. Obama said, and urged the kids to learn about the issues and talk to their friends.

"You can get out there and volunteer with your parents."

Stefani, who was wrangling her boys Kingston, 6, and Zuma, 3, led the cheering, clad in a sleeveless hot pink peplum top, matching hot pink skinny pants, black leather stilettos with spike heels and several chunky silver bracelets, according to pool. Her hair was in a top knot. The singer's rockstar husband Gavin Rossdale was on tour in Europe, according to a campaign official.

"Getting ready for Michelle Obama to come for a Playdate," Stefani wrote on Twitter ahead of Mrs. Obama's arrival. Later, she wrote "Zuma cried all over my pink top! Oh well mom central."

Stefani's No Doubt bandmates co-hosted the event, included Tom Dumont, Gabrial Gonzalez, and Stephen Bradley.

Costumed entertainers roamed the crowd. There was a play set to climb on, face painting and a paper craft where the kids could make palm prints under the slogan "High-Five for President Obama!"

Staffers clad in uniforms that included black and white striped shirts and goofy hats--a hot dog, a straw hat with bright fake flowers--passed around platters of roasted meats, including steak and chicken, and trays of cookies and fresh fruit were passed around by uniformed staff. Guests sat at tables covered with white tablecloths accompanied by white umbrellas that surrounded the pool. There were also about a dozen picnic tables, also with white umbrellas.

Meyer fundraiser attracts top entertainment execs...

Mrs. Obama departed before 3:00 PM, heading for Meyer's home, for a 4:00 PM event. Ticket prices ranged from $2,500 to $25,000. Among the guests spotted at the home in a gated community in the Santa Monica mountains near the J. Paul Getty Museum were top Warner Bros execs, including Pictures Group president Jeff Robinov, Television president Peter Roth, Domestic Television Distribution president Ken Werner, and top sitcom creator/producer Chuck Lorre (The Big Bang Theory, Two And A Half Men, Mike & Molly).

Other industry powerbrokers included Nicole Avant and Netflix Inc. Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos, DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc.'s chief marketing officer Anne Globe, New Line Cinema president Toby Emmerich, E! talk show host Chelsea Handler, and director Rob Reiner were also on hand, reported Deadline Hollywood.

Beth Rudin DeWoody, a major art collector was spotted by pool in the crowd, close to a sign that read "Artists for Obama," which listed approximately 20 names, including John Baldessari, Frank Gehry, Jasper Johns, Ellsworth Kelly, Ed Rusha and Richard Serra.

150 people were expected to attend, according to a campaign official. Mrs. Obama had had an outfit change, and was wearing a brown-and-white graphic print halter dress, with a narrow row of beading down the front, turquoise drop earrings, and with black patent-leather pumps.

Meyer was heard delivering remarks before the First Lady's speech, urging guests to appreciate "a country that doesn't dictate who you can and can't marry," and praising the U.S. for "aiming more carefully now, and firing less."

As she did at the Stefani event, Mrs. Obama told the crowd that her husband can't go it alone.

"This is not a spectator sport," she said. "Barack cannot do this alone. That was never a promise."

The man who is not a super hero, meanwhile, was in Chicago, partying with supporters who'd paid $40,000 each for a belated birthday party in the backyard of his family home in Hyde Park. It was just one of five fundraisers the President attended on Sunday, for an expected haul of more than $6.4 million.

Mrs. Obama attended fundraising events in Colorado and Wyoming on Saturday. On Monday, she continues her fundraising in Los Angeles, and will tape The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Her third appearance on the show will air on Monday night.

On Wednesday, Mrs. Obama will join her husband in Iowa for the last day of his three-day bus tour, which begins tomorrow.

*The transcript of the First Lady's remarks at Stefani's fundraiser.

*Photo by Obama for America from a different campaign event; photographers were not allowed at Mrs. Obama's Sunday fundraisers.