Obama teams up to raise funds with Magic Johnson

November 26, 2013 7:49 am
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The president, on a three-day West Coast tour largely dedicated to campaign fundraising, visited the home of the NBA champ long associated with the Los Angeles Lakers/FILE
The president, on a three-day West Coast tour largely dedicated to campaign fundraising, visited the home of the NBA champ long associated with the Los Angeles Lakers/FILE
LOS ANGELES, Nov 26 – President Barack Obama attended fundraisers Monday in Los Angeles including one at basketball star Magic Johnson’s home, rubbing elbows with Hollywood luminaries like Diane Keaton and Tom Hanks.

The president, on a three-day West Coast tour largely dedicated to campaign fundraising, visited the home of the NBA champ long associated with the Los Angeles Lakers.

An estimated 160 people were at Johnsons’ home for the event where supporters paid $2,500 to $15,000 a plate to pad the Democratic Party’s war chest ahead of November 2014 midterm elections, according to the Democratic Party.

Johnson later tweeted, alluding to the president’s enthusiasm for basketball: “I gave him a tour of my Laker Trophy room where we talked about basketball and I even gave him some tips on how to improve his jumpshot!”

At the event, Obama said, “the last time Magic played basketball was with me at my 49th birthday party, and I just want to tell ya, it wasn’t pretty.”

Keaton and fellow actor Samuel L. Jackson attended, the party said.

In addition, about 120 people — including Hanks, producer Berry Gordy, actor Paul Reiser and philanthropist Eli Broad — donated $16,200 a plate for another event at the home of Haim Saban.

Among other issued, Obama addressed the botched rollout of the web site at the center of his new health care reform plan.

“I think it’s fair to say that I was not happy that we didn’t have a website that worked on the day it was supposed to work. Although it’s actually starting to work pretty well now and it’s going to be working even better in the coming weeks,” he said

Obama added: “The reason I wanted to make that point is that so much of what we do is measured through the prism of politics and on any given day, the notion is that who’s up and who’s down and what’s on cable television, should drive our sense of direction, sometimes should even our sense of what’s right and what’s wrong.”

On Tuesday, the president was due to give an address on the economy at DreamWorks Animation.

Its chief Jeffrey Katzenberg is one of Obama’s staunchest supporters and financial backers.

He helped rally Hollywood’s elite to donate about $15 million to Obama’s reelection campaign in 2012 at an event at the home of Oscar-winner George Clooney.

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