Budget talks crystallize the debate "about who we are, what we care about, what our values are [and] what our commitments are to each other," President Barack Obama told supporters gathered in Brentwood Thursday night, according to a Los Angeles Times blogger.
Obama made his remarks to backers at trendy , capping a half day of campaigning that began with an afternoon and ended at a star-studded Brentwood dinner with George Clooney, Tom Hanks, Will Ferrell, Steven Spielberg, Eddie Murphy, Gov. Jerry Brown and studio chief Jeffrey Katzenberg (DreamWorks Animation SKG) in attendance.
Earlier in the evening, that he needs their help to protect the changes he brought to Washington.
Obama told the crowd of about 2,500 people that he has shared their frustration at the pace of changes he promised to make during his 2008 campaign, but he named what he believed were his successes and his belief that the country is moving in the right direction.
"We knew that on a journey like this there were going to be setbacks, there were gonna be detours," he said. "There were gonna be times where we stumbled and we had to get up and dust ourselves off and then keep going. Because we knew that at each and every juncture in our history, when the future was on the line, when we were at the crossroads like we are now, the country somehow came together.
"The country somehow found a way to make ourselves more prosperous and deal with the transition from an agricultural to an industrial economy and then to an information economy. We figured out how to absorb new immigrants and finally deal with the stain of slavery, make sure that women were full participants in our democracy.
"At every juncture, we've been able to make the changes that we need. So when you hear people say our problems are too big or we can't bring about the changes that we seek, I want you to think about all the progress we've already made and I want you to think about all the unfinished business that lies ahead. I want you to be excited about the next 18 months and then the next four years after that, and I want you to remind everybody else those simple words that summed up our campaign in 2008 and still sum up our spirit: Yes we can."
Obama attended a pair of fundraisers at Sony. The first was a dinner with about 50 people at the studio commissary, with tickets costing $35,800 each. Among those in attendance were Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, philanthropist Eli Broad, actor Dennis Haysbert and Motown founder Berry Gordy.
The second event was at a studio sound stage, with tickets priced at $250 for general admission, $2,500 for VIP seating and $100 for those under 40. The sound stage was used for films including "Men in Black 2," "Iron Man 2" and the upcoming "Spider-Man 4."
All proceeds from the events will go to the Obama Victory Fund, a joint account of the Democratic National Committee and Obama for America, his campaign committee.
For the $35,800 ticket, the campaign gets the first $5,000 -- the maximum $2,500 contribution for the primary season and another $2,500 for the general election campaign. The $30,800 is the maximum an individual can give to a campaign committee in a year.