Entries in State Dinner (4)


Celebrities, Campaign Financiers Mingle at White House State Dinner

Alex Wong/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Wednesday night’s glamorous White House State Dinner brought Hollywood celebrities, political financiers and Washington power players together to celebrate the relationship between the U.S. and Britain.

The election-year State Dinner was the largest hosted by the Obama administration yet, with 300-plus guests.  Among those invited to the soiree were actor George Clooney, who scored a seat next to the first lady, Vogue editor Anna Wintour, actor Idris Elba and Sir Richard Branson.

Billionaire Warren Buffett, movie producer Harvey Weinstein, Rory McIlroy -- the number one golfer in the world -- and stars of the hit show Downtown Abbey also made the list.

Move than 40 of Obama’s top campaign financiers were in attendance.

In short opening toasts, President Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron underscored the strength of their “essential” political alliance and close personal relationship.

“In good times and in bad, he’s just the kind of partner that you want at your side.  I trust him.  He says what he does, and he does what he says.  And I’ve seen his character,” Obama said of Cameron.

Both leaders also brought some humor to the dinner.  Cameron threatened to expose what really happened on their “guys night out.”  Obama treated Cameron to an NCAA tournament game in Ohio Tuesday night.

“Maybe I should come clean about last night.  We went to basketball and we had a real man-to-man chat.  Barack tried to confuse me by talking about bracketology but I got my own back by running him gently through the rules of cricket,” Cameron said to laughter from the crowd.

On a more serious note, the prime minster gave a glowing endorsement of the president’s leadership abroad.

“He has pressed the reset button on the moral authority of the entire free world,” Cameron said.  “Barack has not rushed into picking fights, but is a steward of America’s resources of hard and soft power… He’s taken time to make considered decisions, drawing down troops from Iraq and surging in Afghanistan.  He’s found a new voice for America with the Arab people.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Obama’s Top Campaign Bundlers Among State Dinner Guests

Getty Images/Comstock Images(WASHINGTON) -- More than three dozen of President Obama’s top re-election campaign financiers were guests at Wednesday night’s White House state dinner in honor of British Prime Minister David Cameron.

They include Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour, media mogul Fred Eychaner, Pfizer executive Sally Susman, Stoneyfield Farms president and CEO Gary Hirschberg, and Microsoft executives Suzi Levine and John Frank. Several have each raised more than half a million dollars for 2012, according to estimates provided by Obama’s campaign.

All told, 41 of the 364 expected attendees are Obama campaign bundlers, or volunteer fundraisers who give the legal maximum and then gather checks from friends and colleagues who do the same.

The group attending the dinner Wednesday night is responsible for at least $10.7 million of the roughly $250 million Obama and Democrats have amassed for the election cycle so far.

It’s not the first time Obama’s campaign donors have been spotted at a White House state dinner. In October, at least half a dozen attended the evening in honor of South Korean President Lee Myung-bak.

Here’s the full list of donors attending Wednesday night's dinner, including the range of their contribution and employer, as listed by the Obama campaign:

  • Gerald Acker, Huntington Woods, Mich. – $200,000-$500,000 (Goodman Acker PC)
  • Mark Alderman, Bryn Mawr, Pa. – $200,000-$500,000 (Cozen & O’Connor)
  • Jean-Phillipe Austin, Miami, Fla. – $200,000-$500,000 (Physician)
  • Matthew Barzun, Louisville, Ky. – $500,000+ (Brickpath LLC)
  • Tom and Andrea Bernstein, New York, N.Y. – $500,000+ (Chelsea Piers Mgmt)
  • Neil Bluhm, Chicago, Ill. – $200,000-$500,000 (Walton Street Capital)
  • Wally Brewster, Jr., and Robert Satawake, Chicago, Ill. – $200,000-$500,000 (General Growth Properties/Keller Williams Realty)
  • Jim Crown, Chicago, Ill. – $200,000-$500,000 (Henry Crown & Co)
  • John Crumpler, Durham, N.C. – $500,000+ (Hatteras Venture Architects)
  • Meredith DeWitt, Harvard, Mass. – $200,000-$500,000 (Political Consultant)
  • Fred Eychaner, Chicago, Ill. – $500,000+ (Newsweb Corp)
  • Joseph Falk, Miami, Fla.  – $200,000-$500,000 (Akerman, Senterfitt & Eidson)
  • Rajiv Kumar Fernando, Chicago, Ill. – $200,000-$500,000 (Chopper Trading)
  • John Frank, Bellevue, Wash. -- $500,000+ (Vice President and Deputy General Counsel, Microsoft,)
  • William Freeman, Nashville, Tenn. – $100,000-$200,000 (Freeman Webb Co)
  • Lou Frillman, Seattle, Wash. – $200,000-$500,000 (GVA Marquette Advisors/Financial Designs Ltd)
  • Anthony Gardner, Washington, D.C. – $200,000-$500,000 (Palamon Captial Partners)
  • Chad Griffin, Los Angeles, Calif. – $100,000-$200,000 (Chad Griffin Consulting)
  • Samuel Heins and Stacey Mills, Wayzata, Minn. – $200,000-$500,000 (Heins, Mills & Olson)
  • Don Hinkle, Tallahassee, Fla. – $100,000-$200,000 (Hinkle & Foran)
  • Gary Hirshberg, Concord, N.H. – $100,000-$200,00 (Stonyfield Farm)
  • Barry Karas, Los Angeles, Calif. – $500,000+ (Perlman & Assoc/Actor)
  • Janet Keller, Laguna Beach, Calif. – $200,000-$500,000 (Consultant)
  • Charlie Kireker, Weybridge, Vt. – $200,000-$500,000 (Twin Birches)
  • Orin Kramer, New York, N.Y. – $500,000+ (Boston Provident)
  • Mai Lassiter, Los Angeles, Calif. – $200,000-$500,000 (Overbrook Entertainment)
  • Suzi Levine, Seattle, Wash. – $200,000-$500,000 (Microsoft)
  • Joe Liemandt, Austin, Texas – $100,000-$200,000 (Trilogy Enterprises Inc)
  • James Murray, Keene, Va. – $100,000-$200,000 (Greenbriar Square Property Management)
  • Susan Ness, Bethesda, Md. – $200,000-$500,000 (Susan Ness Strategies)
  • Michael Monroe Parham, Seattle, Wash. – $500,000+ (Realnetworks Inc)
  • Carol Pensky, Washington, D.C. – $200,000-$500,000 (Retired)
  • Ellen Richman, Greenwich, Conn. – $50,000-$100,000 (Richman Group)
  • John Scully, San Francisco, Calif. – $50,000-$100,000 (Spo Partners & Co)
  • Diana Shaw Clark, Washington, D.C. – $100,000-$200,000 (Writer)
  • Jay Snyder, New York, N.Y. – $200,000-$500,000 (HBJ Investments)
  • Sally Susman, New York, N.Y. – $500,000+ (Pfizer Inc)
  • John and Sandi Thompson, Woodside, Calif. – $200,000-$500,000 (Fenwick & West)
  • George Tsunis, Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y. – $200,000-$500,000 (Chartwell Hotels)
  • Harvey Weinstein, New York, N.Y. – $500,000+ (Weinstein Co)
  • Anna Wintour, New York, N.Y. — $500,000+ (Editor-in-Chief, Vogue Magazine)

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Top Obama Donors Among Guests at State Dinner

SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Several of President Obama’s top campaign financiers are among the exclusive list of administration officials, diplomats, members of Congress and notable Korean-Americans attending the Korean State Dinner Thursday night at the White House.

At least six are volunteer fundraisers, or bundlers, who together have collected millions of dollars for Obama’s campaign war chests in 2008 and 2012.

Here’s a look at some of the standout donors, with campaign finance data courtesy of the Center for Responsive Politics:

Blair Effron, co-founder Centerview Partners; New York

  • Obama '08 Bundler, $100,000-$200,000
  • Obama '12 Bundler, $500,000+
  • Gave the legal maximum individual donation

Douglas Goldman, chairman/founder Certain Software; San Francisco

  • Obama '08 Bundler, $200,000-$500,000
  • Obama '12 Bundler, $100,000-$200,000
  • Gave the legal maximum individual donation

Fred Khosravi, self-employed entrepreneur; Mountain View, Calif.

  • Gave the legal maximum individual donation

Chris Korge, developer; Coral Gables, Fla.

  • Obama ’08 Bundler, $500,000+
  • Obama ’12 Bundler, $100,000-$200,000
  • Gave the legal maximum individual donation

Scott A. Nathan, investor; Boston

  • Obama ’12 Bundler, $200,000-$500,000
  • Gave the legal maximum individual donation

John Lechleiter, CEO Ely Lilly and Co.; Indianapolis

  • Gave the legal maximum individual donation

Mark Nichols, business consultant; Washington, D.C.

  • Obama ’12 Bundler, $200,000-$500,000
  • Gave the legal maximum individual donation

Eugene Sepulveda, CEO Entrepreneurs Foundation; Austin, Texas

  • Obama ’12 Bundler, $500,000+
  • Gave the legal maximum individual donation

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


POTUS Toasts US-China Relationship, Announces Panda Agreement

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Raising his glass to President Hu and the Chinese delegation at the state dinner capping Wednesday’s events, President Obama gave a warm and fuzzy example of progress made in the U.S.-China relationship: pandas.

“Today, we’ve shown that our governments can work together, as well, for our mutual benefit,” Obama said Wednesday evening in the State Dining Room. "And that includes this bit of news: Under a new agreement, our National Zoo will continue to dazzle children and visitors with the beloved giant pandas."

Under the new agreement, pandas Mei Xiang and Tian Tian will continue to stay in the National Zoo in Washington, D.C. for another five years. Both pandas were on loan from China under an original agreement for a 10-year stay that ended in December.

Speaking more broadly of the relationship, the president said that while sometimes it is easy to focus only on the differences of cultural or perspective, he hopes both countries never will forget their shared values -- “a reverence for family; the belief that, with education and hard work and with sacrifice, the future is what we make it; and most of all, the desire to give our children a better life."

With that, the president raised his glass and toasted the people of China and the United States.

“May they grow together in friendship,” Obama said. “May they prosper together in peace.  And may they realize their dream of the future for themselves, for their children and for their grandchildren.”

Hu raised his glass to “the health of President and Mrs. Obama; to the health of all friends present here; to the stronger friendship between the people of China and the United States; and to the steady growth of China-U.S. relations.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio