President Obama asked Hollywood elites to feel a “sense of urgency” for the upcoming midterm elections at a $10,000 per person Democratic fundraiser held at Disney Chairman Alan Horn‘s Bel Air home Wednesday evening.
The president made the comment as part of remarks to an audience of about 90 high-profile entertainment industry figures — including Barbra Streisand and James Brolin. Obama was lamenting the traditionally low voter turnout among Democrats for the midterm cycle.
“The congenital problem that Democrats have is in midterms especially we don’t vote,” Obama said. “Our voters are younger, they’re more likely to be minority, and because they’re more likely to be struggling they’re not always paying attention when the president is not – the presidential candidate isn’t on the ballot.
“And so you get a self-fulfilling prophecy. The people who are – have the most at stake in a government that works opt out of the system, those who don’t believe that government can do anything are empowered,” he continued. “Gridlock reigns and we get this downward spiral of even more cynicism and more dysfunction, and we have to break out of that cycle and that’s what this election is about.”
Gridlock is also what was expected around the president’s two-day visit to the west side of Los Angeles for fund-raising. Some offices closed early to avoid the traffic stoppages and traffic warnings were sent out to try to minimize the now-familiar stoppages during presidential visits.
The price per attendee at Wednesday’s fundraiser ranged from $10,000 to $32,400, according to a Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee official. Update: Officials said the visit could raise more than $60 million for the Democratic Party.
Horn and wife Cindy are regular hosts of Obama and Democrat Party fundraisers.
Following the fundraiser, Obama attended the University of Southern California’s Shoah Foundation Dinner, where he was scheduled to make remarks alongside founder Steven Spielberg.