Hollywood's A-list was out in force Tuesday at a fundraiser for Barack Obama with stars including Leonardo DiCaprio helping to amass an estimated nine million dollars for the Democrat's White House campaign.
A dinner in a Beverly Hills mansion costing about 300 attendees 28,500 dollars each also attracted director Steven Spielberg along with a bevy of actors such as Jodie Foster and Tobey Maguire, and comedian Chris Rock, reporters saw.
Obama told the high-rolling audience that many of them had expressed jitters to him about his chances of success in the November 4 election against Republican John McCain.
The Illinois senator urged his supporters to "keep steady" in the days ahead and never forget what his candidacy was about.
He offered a reminder that his campaign "was about those who will never see the inside of a building like this and don't resent the success that's represented in this room, but just want the simple chance to be able to find a job that pays a living wage."
Drawing laughter, Obama added that he was "confident about winning because, I've looked at John McCain, I've looked at (McCain's running mate) Sarah Palin, I've looked at their agenda, and they don't have one."
Singer-actress Barbara Streisand crooned at a 2,500-dollar-per-head reception at the swanky Beverly Wilshire hotel after the dinner, where the stars ate goat's cheese, roasted potatoes, filet mignon and asparagus.
Obama aides would not confirm how much the twin events were set to raise but did not dispute reports that predicted a bumper haul of nine million dollars, which would be a record for a single night's fundraising.
McCain had accused Obama of siding with the Hollywood glitterati at his lucrative events instead of with hard-hit voters trapped by the economic malaise sweeping the United States.
Addressing voters in Vienna in the battleground state of Ohio, the Arizona senator earlier said Obama "talked about siding with the people, just before he flew off to Hollywood for a fundraiser with Barbra Streisand and his celebrity friends."
"Let me tell you, my friends, there's no place I'd rather be than here with the working men and women of Ohio," McCain said.
"Senator Obama's not interested in the politics of hope, he's interested in his political future."
But Obama's staff said McCain was on shaky ground, as he was flush with more than five million dollars after his own big fundraising event in Miami late Monday.
"I don't know who showed up in Florida where he raised five million dollars, but my guess is that it wasn't a lot of nurses, firefighters and police officers," Obama's top strategist David Axelrod told reporters.
Senator McCain raised an impressive 5.1 million dollars at his own fundraising dinner late Monday in Florida, the Republican's campaign said.
Supporters paid 50,000 dollars a ticket to attend the buffet dinner in Miami's InterContinental hotel, taking McCain's total fundraising in Florida to date to 26.2 million dollars.
Tuesday's events in Beverly Hills come after Obama racked up a record-breaking 66 million dollars in fundraising last month, beating his previous high mark of 55 million in February.
McCain raised 47 million dollars in August -- his best month so far. But the Republican has accepted public financing for his effort, which limits his spending to 84 million dollars for the general election campaign.
Obama has opted out of public financing, but both candidates are maintaining a regular schedule of fundraisers to top up their coffers for the most expensive US election ever.
Under US law, the first 2,300 dollars of donations can go to Obama's campaign and anything over that was going to the Democratic Party's election war chest.
Source: AFP American Edition