By Justin Sink
President Obama acknowledged that his reelection effort "will not be as sexy as the first one" at a star-studded fundraiser Monday night in Hollywood.
"This election will not be as sexy as the first one," Obama said. "Back then, I was — it was still fresh and new, and I didn’t have any gray hair, and everybody loved the 'Hope' posters and all that. But this time it’s — we’ve got to grind it out a little bit."
Actor Will Smith and basketball star Magic Johnson were among those in attendance at the $35,800 per head dinner.
"I carry around a little checklist, and I think we’ve gotten about 60 percent of it done so far," Obama said. "And that’s not bad for three years, because I need another five."
The president joked that his recently announced plan to allow homeowners to refinance mortgages would free up money so they could go watch Smith's movies at Johnson's chain of movie theaters.
"Today, I announced helping homeowners refinance their homes, because a lot of them are underwater now and so they’re having trouble refinancing," Obama said. "But that could free up billions of dollars for American consumers who can then shop and go to Will’s movies and spend money at whatever business Magic has and could help grow the economy overall."
Obama also criticized Republican leaders in the Senate for preventing votes on his jobs package.
"We have not gotten a single Republican vote out of this current Senate," Obama said. "And it’s primarily because they don’t think that, politically, it’s advantageous to do so. And I think that’s a mistake, and so we’re putting pressure on them."
Later Monday evening, Obama spoke at a $5,000-per-head event at the home of actors Melanie Griffith and Antonio Banderas. Actress Eva Longoria and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa were also in attendance.
The stops were part of a set of six fundraisers over three Western states that Democrats are estimating could bring in more than $4 million for the Obama reelection campaign. On Tuesday, the president will head to San Francisco for an event with musician Jack Johnson, and then head to Denver for two events at the Pepsi Center, site of the 2008 Democratic Convention.