Obama Campaign Announces Winners of Dinner With Clooney
Officials at the Barack Obama reelection campaign may be tight-lipped about just how much they raised with their online drawing for tickets to attend tonight’s fundraising dinner for the president at George Clooney’s Studio City home, but they’re happy to announce the winners -- both one of whom comes from a crucial swing state.
Karen Blutcher, a utility company employee from St. Augustine, Florida, won one pair of tickets and Beth Topinka, a Manalapan, New Jersey, science teacher grabbed the other.
Both are married and elected to bring their husbands to the event. Blutcher’s spouse Patrick is a retired military avionics specialist and Topinka’s husband, Jerry, is a jazz guitarist and music teacher. All their expenses are being covered by the campaign and all four guests are set to arrive in Los Angeles this afternoon.
Blutcher, the Florida resident, has a five-year-old son with Down syndrome and is said by the reelection campaign to “passionately” support both the president’s health care reforms and First Lady Michelle Obama’s campaign against childhood obesity. Her husband, Patrick, a high school basketball star, elected to forego a college scholarship in that sport for a career in the military, where he specialized in aircraft avionics, and now serves in the National Guard.
Topinka is an Ohio native -- another swing state -- who moved to the Garden State as an adult. According to the campaign, she is an active supporter of the president’s STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) initiatives, as his expansion of Pell Grants and the student loan reform torpedoed this week by House Republicans. Her son, a Navy veteran, attended Penn State on the new GI Bill. Her husband, Jerry, grew up in Panama and is a jazz guitarist who currently performs and teaches in New York and New Jersey.
No word on whether they’ll be able to bring their smart phone cameras to the dinner, but they’re bound to have a lot of good stories when they get home.