She arrived to raucous applause from a crowd of about 85 after the host couple had each warmed up the crowd.
Speaking behind a glass lectern on a small riser, Mr. De Niro started by deadpanning: “Callista Gingrich. Karen Santorum. Ann Romney. Now do you really think our country is ready for a white first lady?” The crowd roared and someone yelled “no!” as De Niro asked, “Too soon, right?”
At the first mention of POTUS there were big cheers. Later De Niro mentioned keeping the president until “2006.” One guest at the bar, behind which pool was stationed, said “don’t turn the calendar back now.”
Hightower, in a shimmering sleeveless dress, cited a number of POTUS’ accomplishments while leading the crowd in a refrain of “keeping the focus on creating a better America.” She said he had been up against “dissenting voices, and I’d like to say, vampire energies.” She called FLOTUS “a stunner…even Republicans can agree with that,” and she reiterated the need to keep the first couple for four more years. “Then we might think about asking Michelle what are her thoughts…”
Before FLOTUS’ arrival, producer and Obama fundraiser Harvey Weinstein and singer Beyonce were spotted leaving the room and walking through the main restaurant, which remained open to the public (and where pool was holding before being allowed in for the remarks).
Beyonce’s mother, Tina Knowles was on the host committee, along with Star Jones, who lounged on a leather couch near the riser, and Whoopi Goldberg, who was milling about in the center of the room. Gayle King and Angela Bassett were also in attendance. Ben Stiller stood in the back of the room in a black shirt and black blazer, near a woodwind trio set up in front of a big stone fireplace.
FLOTUS entered wearing a silver and black sleeveless dress and called the De Niros “a dynamic duo in their own right.” She joked about seeing familiar faces she could “blame for getting us into this mess.”
Read the rest at Sweet Blog Robert DeNiro, Whoopi Goldberg, Star Jones at Michelle Obama fund-raiser. POOL REPORT – Lynn Sweet.