Obama Arrives at Harvey Weinstein's Connecticut Compound for Lavish Fundraiser
The president praised co-hosts Aaron Sorkin and Anne Hathaway: "I got a chance to see 'Batman,' and she was the best thing in it."
Four years ago, Barack Obama was a frequent visitor to Connecticut, trolling for votes. This time around he was in the state in search of money from some of his most prominent celebrity backers.
On Monday night, the president was at movie mogul Harvey Weinstein's ocean front compound for a lavish fundraiser co-hosted with Anne Hathaway, Aaron Sorkin and Anna Wintour. Weinstein introduced the president as the "Paul Newman of American presidents." Obama, in turn, complimented Hathaway: "She's spectacular. I got a chance to see Batman, and she was the best thing in it. That's just my personal opinion." (She beamed and laughed). Obama said this about Sorkin: He "writes the way every Democrat in Washington wished they spoke."
Admission was $35,800 a person for the event, with about 50 people in attendance.
More details from the pool report:
The motorcade departed Stamford at 7:13 p.m. and, after a short trip north on I-95, arrived at 7:33 p.m. at the Westport home of movie producer Harvey Weinstein and his wife, fashion designer Georgina Chapman. Along the way in Westport there were clusters of supporters along the road, waving, some holding signs such as "Westport loves Obama."
Upon arriving at the estate, each pool was led up a long driveway, past the valet parking sign, past the broad lawn dotted with weeping willows and a badminton court, to the home. It's a two-story, graceful, white home with black shutters, looking like a large, updated classic New England farmhouse (reportedly 8,900 square feet).
Pool was held in a two-car garage with ample supplies of Dr. Pepper, Diet Coke and Propel Zero. Peering around the corner of the garage, under the watchful eyes of our handlers, we could see a swimming pool inside a white fence, landscaped with hydrangea. Beyond that, the waters of Long Island Sound were visible.
Poolers eventually were led into a room to the right of the front door, where guests were seated at six tables. The room was softly lit, with large rough wooden beams crisscrossing a high arched ceiling. On one end of the room there were bookshelves, the central focal points being two gold Oscar statues.
Each table had a low centerpiece of what looked like pale pink Dahlias. Seated at the table closest to Mr. Obama was Anne Hathaway, wearing a silver dress with puffed sleeves gathered from the elbow to the shoulder, and a tight bodice. Also spotted in the audience were Aaron Sorkin, seated next to Anna Wintour, whose signature sunglasses rested on the table in front of her. Also present were Joanne Woodward and Jerry Springer. Gov. Malloy was again present.
As we entered the room, Harvey Weinstein was speaking, introducing the president, who was standing beside him.
"Leading with your heart is the utmost for this president. Fighting for Planned Parenthood and protecting women's rights, this president has fought the good fight," Mr. Weinstein said. "Recently in Aurora, we saw him put his arms around the people that needed him the most." He added, "You can make the case that a he's the Paul Newman of American presidents."
Mr. Obama then took the microphone. After praising some of his celebrity guests, he said: "We've spent three and a half years trying to make sure this country gets back on its feet. We have a lot of work to do, and we're not done. These gains are reversible. On a whole host of issues, you guys are the tiebreakers."