President Barack Obama jetted into Hollywood for a George Clooney-hosted fundraiser tipped to make a record-breaking $15 million, and add a touch of stardust to his re-election campaign.
The US president basked in a wave of tributes even before he arrived for his landmark endorsement of gay marriage, hailed widely in famously liberal Tinseltown.
Obama landed in Los Angeles shortly after 6:00 pm (0100 GMT) for the star-studded dinner at Clooney's sprawling Hollywood Hills home, with a guest list including Barbra Streisand, Robert Downey Jr. and Jack Black.
Dubbed "Starmageddon," the function at the Oscar-winning star and activist's luxury Studio City home, was to unite Hollywood glitz and Washington power, and swell Obama's coffers six months before he asks voters for a second term.
Around 150 well-heeled guests will pay $40,000 a ticket to get into the exclusive soiree, the latest in a string of big money events as Obama builds an expensive grass roots campaign machinery and buys top dollar advertising slots.
The Obama campaign also conducted a draw for tickets, asking less wealthy supporters for contributions of just $3 for a chance to chow down with the star of "Oceans Eleven" and the leader of the free world.
Some media outlets reported that the event will net between 12 and 15 million dollars in all for the Obama reelection campaign, which is already locked in a fierce battle with Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
Obama's funds also got another hefty boost Thursday from his decision to publicly endorse gay marriage, which electrified his liberal base and restored some of the transformative luster that had dimmed since his 2008 campaign.
Wealthy gay and lesbian supporters, many of whom are concentrated in California, and backed in Hollywood, form a hugely important part of the president's donor base, and were delighted by his remarks on Wednesday.
"What an amazing day for our country," said talk-show host Ellen DeGeneres, while Jesse Tyler Ferguson of "Modern Family" tweeted: "I would like to marry @BarackObama right now!" after asking permission from Michelle Obama.
Wednesday's move ended Obama's "evolving" stance on gay marriage but involved some political risk as the issue is a sensitive one in a number of closely contested swing states Obama is hoping to capture in November's election.
Hollywood is a traditional source of funding and adulation for Democratic presidents, though there have been persistent reports that Tinseltown feels it has not been feeling sufficient love from Obama.
Many in California remember the attention lavished on them by former president Bill Clinton and the entertainment industry was a prime source of funding for his wife Hillary when she ran against Obama for the Democratic nomination in 2008.
Any distance between Obama and Hollywood looks set to narrow now though, given the gay rights decision, and the fact that many in the community view Romney, who opposes gay marriage, as an extreme conservative.
Republicans seized on Obama's evening rubbing shoulders with the stars to claim that the "Celebrity in Chief" was out of touch with ordinary Americans.
"With middle class Americans reeling from the effects of Obama's failed leadership, not even Hollywood magic can cover up the truth," said Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus on the Red State conservative blog.
"With a first term this disastrous, we can't afford to see the second -- because if we've learned anything from Hollywood, it's that the sequel is always worse."
Clooney's event for Obama will likely be the most single lucrative fundraising event yet for a campaign that has raised over $200 million for November's election.
Source: AFP Global Edition