Obama leaves L.A. after star-studded fundraising swing

City News Service | 10/8/2012, 8:51 a.m.

Actor George Clooney, L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Mayor Julian Castro of San Antonio, Texas, the keynote speaker at the Democratic National Convention, also spoke Sunday. Ticket prices ranged from $44 to $2,500.

After the concert, Obama spoke for 18 minutes to about 120 guests--including Clooney; actor and "Family Guy" creator Seth MacFarlane, who will host the next Academy Awards; and film producer Harvey Weinstein--at a $25,000 per person fundraising dinner at WP24 by Wolfgang Puck on the 24th floor of the Ritz-Carlton at L.A. Live.

The president recounted how people have told him they have been helped by the new health care law, which Romney has vowed to dismantle starting his first day in office if he is elected. Among them was the waiter who served him and the first lady when they belatedly celebrated their 20th wedding anniversary--it had coincided with Wednesday's debate--at a Washington restaurant on Saturday.

"At the end of the dinner he just said, 'I wanted to just say how much I appreciate you because you saved my mother's life,"" Obama said. The waiter said his mother suffered a stroke, "and because of the Affordable Care Act, we were able to get her coverage that allows her to take her medicines and is keeping her alive," the president related.

Proceeds from Sunday's fundraisers will go to the Obama Victory Fund, which groups Obama for America, the Democratic National Committee and several state Democratic parties. A fundraising total was not announced.

The trip was Obama's 12th to the Los Angeles area since taking office, the ninth solely for political fundraising. He has spoken at political fundraisers during all but his first visit to the region as president.