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Obama gets celeb support from Julia Roberts, Reese Witherspoon

June 07, 2012|By Matt Donnelly
  • President Barack Obama addresses supporters at a fundraiser at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills on Wednesday.
President Barack Obama addresses supporters at a fundraiser at the Beverly… (Michael Nelson / EPA )

President Barack Obama attracted major star power for a mid-week visit to Los Angeles, drawing out A-listers such as Julia Roberts and Reese Witherspoon to a fundraising event in Beverly Hills.

The president arrived at LAX shortly before 5 p.m., whisked off to address the LGBT Leadership Council at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel, an event hosted by Ellen DeGeneres.

Following a four-song set from "Glee's" Darren Criss, Obama discussed the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell to a crowd that included Cher and son Chaz Bono, "Modern Family" actor Jesse Tyler Ferguson and George Takei.

"What makes America exceptional is eventually we get it right, what Dr. King called the arc of the moral universe -- it bends toward justice," Obama told the crowd of 600.

Following his speech, First Lady Michelle Obama's husband headed off to a much more exclusive fete -- a fundraising dinner thrown by "Glee" creator Ryan Murphy at his Beverly Hills home. 

Julia Roberts, Reese Witherspoon, Jane Lynch and HBO honcho Michael Lombardo awaited him, where he spoke again about LGBT issues and the course of his first term.

Tables near an outdoor fountain accommodated eight to 10 guests, and seats weren't cheap -- the event came with a $40,000-per-couple price tag. President Obama is scheduled to depart after a breakfast meeting on Thursday morning. 

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Obama rubs fundraising elbows with Harvey Weinstein, Gwyneth Paltrow, Anna Wintour 

Follow Matt Donnelly on Twitter @mattdonnelly.

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