Clooney's Obama Fundraiser Haul Could Hit Nearly $15 Million

George Clooney President Barack Obama - H 2012
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George Clooney President Barack Obama - H 2012

But Obama national officials say the total figure to be generated by the star-studded Thursday event is a tightly held secret.

Obama campaign sources involved with the planning and organizing of George Clooney's Thursday night fundraising dinner tell The Hollywood Reporter that the event will collect "just shy of $15 million" for the president's re-election bid.

An official at the president's national campaign headquarters, however, declined to provide numbers for the event and flatly said that the $15 million figure was not accurate. "No one outside of this building knows what this event has raised online," the official said. "So be wary about any number you are hearing."

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The event at Clooney's Studio City home is being organized by DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg and is expected to lure guests including Barbra Streisand, Robert Downey Jr. and producer Susan Downey, J.J. Abrams, CAA's Bryan Lourd and ICM's Chris Silbermann.

The discrepancy in event predictions seems to reflect both the pride of the local organizers in what would be a record-shattering one-night presidential fundraiser and the national campaign's policy of closely guarding the results of its online fundraising efforts.

If the $15 million figure were correct, that would mean the online contest for a pair of tickets at Obama and Clooney's table will have raised $9 million-$10 million. The dinner itself is expected to bring in $5 million-$6 million.

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Earlier this week, local campaign sources were expecting to raise as much as $12 million between the dinner and the online contest. But interest in the online auction has apparently been greater than anticipated.

Either way, the event seems likely to eclipse the previous one-night fundraising record, which was for a 2008 Obama event featuring a concert by Streisand and a dinner at Los Angeles' Greystone Mansion. It raised $11 million.