Roughly 400 guests joined First Lady Michelle Obama at the Beverly Hills home of pop star Gwen Stefani on a steamy Sunday to help raise money for President Obama’s reelection campaign.
Tickets started at $2,500 for a family of four, according a campaign official, so the event could raise more than $1 million for the Obama Victory Fund, a joint fundraising committee of Obama for America, the Democratic National Committee and several state Democratic parties.
The event was billed as a "Sunday of Fun," and on one side of the house a tennis court was festooned with a bridge of red, white and blue balloons arranged in the form of an American flag. Various stations were set up on the tennis court, where children could get fake tattoos and balloon animals.
To listen to the First Lady speak, the crowd gathered on the lawn next to the pool. Among the guests were Nicole Richie and husband Joel Madden, actor Jeffrey Tambor and actress Alyson Hannigan.
The First Lady's remarks were geared to a crowd filled with youngsters and youthful parents.
"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," she said, to cheers and laughter. "But you can play an important role in this election, too. I want you all to feel empowered."
Mrs. Obama wore a sleeveless navy dress with detailing around the waist and flat sandals with silver detail.
Stefani and her bandmates from No Doubt, including Tony Kanal, were seated on folding chairs on the upper portion of the patio. She wore a sleeveless hot pink peplum top, matching hot pink skinny pants, black leather stilettos with spike heels and several chunky silver bracelets.
Stefani's boys, 6-year-old Kingston and 3-year-old Zuma, looked on. Her husband, singer Gavin Rossdale, is on tour in Europe, according to a campaign official.
Later in the day, the First Lady attended another fund-raiser at the home of Warner Bros. chairman and chief executive officer Barry Meyer. She showed up at Meyer's home, located in a gated community near the J. Paul Getty Museum, to deliver a speech around 5:30 p.m. for a crowd of about 150 people, each of whom paid at least $2,500 to attend.
Also present at Meyer's event were Netflix Inc. Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos, as well as Anne Globe, DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc.'s chief marketing officer and art collector Beth Rudin DeWoody, according to a White House pool report.
Dressed in a brown-and-white halter dress, black patent-leather pumps and turquoise earrings, Michelle Obama made her remarks as the sun set. "This election is about our values," she said. "We're doing this because we believe that everyone in this country should have a fair shot, and that means that all of our kids — not just a select few, the lucky few — all of our kids should have great schools to attend."
After praising her father's participation in funding her own education, she metioned her husband's own background, stating "that we have a president that knows what it means when a family struggles." Rebuilding the economy and reviving the nation's middle class were two main refrains in the First Lady's speech, echoing President Obama's own campaign rhetoric in recent appearances.
Obama pointed to the president's accomplishments during his first term, including health care reform, withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq and saving the American auto industry, before rallying the crowd to take action in the last weeks before the election with a new initiative called It Takes One. "We're asking people, every time you take an action — any action — on behalf of this campaign, inspire one more person to step up and do their part," she said. "That's how we win."