Sunday, September 25, 2011

Lady Gaga Attends Obama Donor Dinner - Updated

Yoü And I: The President and the Mother Monster are face-to-face at Silicon Valley fundraiser...
Update, Oct 1: President jokes about his Gaga meeting
Update, Sept. 26: Gaga discusses bullying with President...see below
President Obama
had a global superstar seated front and center at a Silicon Valley fundraising dinner on Sunday evening: The dramatically dressed Lady Gaga, who was close to eight feet tall thanks to the twin boosts of high heels and a bouffant up-do. Lady Gaga was a paying guest at the intimate dinner held under a white party tent in the backyard of the Atherton, California home of Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg and David Goldberg. Tickets were $35,800 per person or per couple, according to a Democratic official, the maxim legal limit.

Ahead of President Obama, the Mother Monster entered the tent to her own "Poker Face" playing on the speaker system, "delicately walking on sky-high heels," according to pool. Gaga was adorned "in a floor-length sleeveless lace black dress, and her blond hair was gathered in a bouffant up-do, with a black,hair piece with a black veil down the back, swept to the side and in front of her left shoulder. The hair added about 6 inches to her stature," pool noted. She took her seat at a table in the front and middle of the tent, and then rose to her feet shortly after 8:00 PM with the other guests when the President entered.

"She towered over everyone, a good 2 feet taller" than the President, pool observed. Mr. Obama spoke to about seventy guests seated at round tables for ten for about eight minutes, and did not acknowledge Lady Gaga's presence. But pool reported--unconfirmed--that "it seems likely the two crossed paths during greetings inside the house before the dinner."

Wait staff served guests plates of beef filet with baby carrots/risotto as the President spoke about why he should be re-elected.

Gaga tweets about wanting to meet with President...
On Sept. 21, after 14 year-old Jamey Rodemeyer of Buffalo, New York, committed suicide after being bullied about his sexuality, the singer took up his cause, tweeting that bullying is a hate crime, and that a law must be enacted to end it. "I am meeting with our President. I will not stop fighting. This must end. Our generation has the power to end it. Trend it #MakeALawForJamey," Gaga tweeted. Rodemeyer had posted an "It Gets Better" video on YouTube last May, which hailed Gaga as an inspiration, and Gaga linked to it in her Twitter feed. On Saturday, she dedicated her song "Hair" to Rodemeyer during a performance at the iHeart Radio Festival in Las Vegas, and had a photo of him on her video screens.

UPDATE, Mon. Sept. 26:
The Q & A portion of the event was closed to press. But ABC reports that according to a source present in the tent, Gaga asked the President a question during the Q & A, then read from what she said was a letter from a fan about the suicide of Rodemeyer.

She thanked Obama for hosting his March 2011 anti-bullying summit with the First Lady, and then made a general plea to everyone in the room, including the President, to do what they can to prevent bullying. The President thanked Gaga, then spoke about his administration’s anti-bullying campaign, and then more generally about the importance of values and "who we are as Americans."

Today on the White House website, there is a post titled "Delivering on the Promise of Innovation to Prevent Cyberbullying."

No photos of the Obama Gaga sha-na-na...
The dinner was print pool only, so there were no press photos of the President and the popstar. Host Sandberg introduced the President before his remarks, and he stood before a California flag and an American flag, and spoke using a hand-held mic. He hit on topics he'd covered at three earlier fundraisers on Sunday. The President said he believes in a big, generous, tolerant, diverse America.

"But we're going to have to fight for that vision," he said.

"We've made enormous progress but we've got a lot more work to do," President Obama said, adding that "We're not even half way through."

White House staff stood to the side of the tent as the President spoke, including Press Secretary Jay Carney, as well as former White House staffer Sarah Feinberg, who now works for Facebook.

As the press pool was ushered out of the tent, the President remarked to the donors that they were leaving, and then asked if the journalists had been fed. A staffer replied that the pool was fed and comfortable. The President then said something that made the donors laugh, but it was inaudible to the pool.

The President departed the fundraiser at 9:30 PM and arrived at the Fairmont San Jose at 10:04 PM. It was his fourth fundraiser of the day, which began in Seattle in the morning.

Monday: President continues campaign swing...
The President travels to Southern California on Monday, for three more fundraisers after a town hall event with LinkedIn. He will attend a late lunch in La Jolla, California at a private residence, then travel to the House of Blues in West Hollywood for a benefit concert in the early evening. It's emceed by "Modern Family" actor Jesse Tyler Ferguson, with performances from B.o.B., Adam 12 and the Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles. The sold-out concert had tickets ranging from $250 to $10,000. The President will then attend a private fundraiser at 8:20 PM at Fig & Olive restaurant on Melrose Avenue, also in West Hollywood, with a pricetag of $17, 900 per person.

Pool filing the report on Sunday evening was Carol Lee of The Wall Street Journal.

*Photo by Getty for Lady Gaga

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