In a Beverly Hills mansion last week, President Barack Obama enjoyed dinner with 80 well-heeled supporters, including actors George Clooney and Jim Belushi.
At tables adorned with pink orchids, guests sipped French champagne and premium California wine at the $35,800-a-plate campaign fundraiser.
The president rose to thank his hosts.
"I want to make two other acknowledgments," he said. "First of all, your outstanding (Los Angeles) mayor, Antonio Villaraigosa, is in the house. And the mayor who is going to be responsible for making sure that we have a great convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, Anthony Foxx."
It was one of three high-dollar fundraisers Charlotte's Foxx attended with the president in California. While Obama was raising a reported $8 million, Foxx was courting donors to pay for the Democratic National Convention.
"I made a lot of contacts that will help us with the convention," Foxx said after his return. "I met a whole range of people who were involved in supporting the president, who we also hope will support the convention."
The mayor's travel costs were picked up by the Charlotte host committee, which is charged with raising nearly $37 million for the convention. A committee spokeswoman said the costs were unavailable Friday.
The West Coast trip came after a month in which Obama reported raising $29 million for his campaign and for the Democratic National Committee.
In addition to the Beverly Hills event, it included a Wednesday fundraiser at the home of a wealthy developer in the coastal community of Corona del Mar. At a Thursday fundraising dinner, the mayor joined the president at a private home in San Francisco, where singer Al Green serenaded 70 guests with "Let's Stay Together." For Foxx, it was a chance to rub shoulders with some of the donors helping the president.
He talked to Belushi about bringing the Blues Brothers to town for the convention. He and Clooney recalled his 2008 movie "Leatherheads," filmed in Charlotte. "George has been around this area before," Foxx said. "He had very good things to say about Charlotte."
Convention officials have said fundraising is "right on track," but they've consistently declined to say how much they've raised.
Republicans chided Foxx for going to "hang out with Hollywood's richest liberals." Said state GOP spokesman Rob Lockwood: "With unemployment remaining unacceptably high in Charlotte, and so many questions remaining about convention logistics, does Mayor Foxx think that networking with liberals in L.A. to lay the groundwork for his future political career helps his constituents?"
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