Sarah Jessica Parker throws quite a house party.
The Sex and the City star, 47, invited a handful of celebrity pals to her New York City home Thursday to attend a fundraiser for Barack Obama, 50. The President made a rare joint appearance with his wife, First Lady Michelle Obama, 48, at the $40,000-per-plate event.
The 50 donors included three-time Academy Award winner Meryl Streep, 62, Vogue editor in chief Anna Wintour, 62, People Like Us star Olivia Wilde, 28, fashion designer Michael Kors, 52, Watch What Happens Live host Andy Cohen, 44, and Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin, 70.
Parker’s husband, Matthew Broderick, 50, hung out for a bit when guests began arriving, but had to leave early to go to work; he’s currently starring in Broadway’s Nice Work If You Can Get It.
Barack spoke candidly about the challenges he faces with his reelection campaign, telling the room: “We’re going to have to fight for it because the American people are tired. They’ve gone through a very tough economy. They’re still having a tough time. And that’s why this election is going to be close. The other side is going to spend $500 million with a very simple message, which is: ‘You’re frustrated, you’re disappointed, and it’s the fault of the guy in the White House.’ And that’s an elegant message. It happens to be wrong. But it’s crisp. You can fit it on a bumper sticker.”
He added: “We’re going to have to work hard in this election. We’re going to have to work harder than we did in 2008.”
Parker later praised the “radiant” and “extraordinary” First Lady, who was seated beside her at the head table. “You’ve done amazing important things these past four years. . . I very much look forward to the things you’re going to accomplish in the next four years.”
The actress then turned to Barack, telling him the supporters in attendance arrived “with enormous enthusiasm” for the “beloved current and future President of the United States.”
Barack later joked that “most of you are here to see Michelle. I always explain I rank fifth in the hierarchy in the White House: There’s Michelle, my mother-in-law, the two girls and Bo. So that actually makes it six. In terms of star wattage, people come to the White House and say, ‘Where’s Michelle?'”
“Some of you know that Michelle had some skepticism about a life in politics. I think that’s well-known,” he continued. “And so the grace and the strength and the poise and the warmth that she has brought to an extraordinarily difficult task as First Lady and still being the best mom couldn’t make me prouder. I’m very pleased she’s here. This is sort of our date night.”
When Barack later mentioned that GM is “back on top,” Parker and Broderick’s 9-year-old son, James Wilkie, started clapping impromptu. “That’s worth applauding,” Barack grinned as the guests laughed and joined in. “Right on cue.”
Later that evening, the commander in chief attended a fundraising dinner with 250 people at the Plaza Hotel. Tickets cost $10,000 per person; Mariah Carey and Alicia Keys performed. Proceeds from both events will benefit the Obama Victory Fund, a joint fundraising committee of Obama for America, the Democratic National Committee and several state Democratic parties.
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