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It was Senator Barack Obama’s first trip to Los Angeles since his victorious presidential primary in St. Paul, Minnesota. Obama attended a star-studded campaign fundraiser at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. The stars and the politicians were there to greet him as one of their own, not only as a star and a politician, but also as a statesman and the presumpted next President of the United States. The lineup included Samuel L. Jackson, Don Cheadle, Sugar Ray Leonard, Speaker Karen Bass and Supervisorial candidate, Council-man Bernard Parks.
Parks said that Obama exuded a calm and coolness that did not show any signs of the rigors of a presidential campaign. “Today, I had an opportunity to speak directly to the next President of the United States, shake his hand and let him know how proud I am of him,” Parks said beaming with excitement. Then he continued, “It put a smile on his face and clearly reflects in my mind that he is ready to assume the position of President.”
According to Obama’s campaign the proceeds from the fundraiser will go to the Democratic National Committee and the Senator’s campaign. Before he landed in Los Angeles, Obama reportedly told reporters, “We hope we do well; obviously, we’ve got a lot of work to do.” Besides the natural affinity of politics and Hollywood, Obama is expected to reach out to the people of Los Angeles whom he did not reach in the primaries. Their conversation veered towards his interest in politics as Parks continued, “I also had an opportunity to talk with him about local politics in the supervisorial district and let him know that I was the first elected official back in 2006 and early 2007 who came out for him. He seemed appreciative and he clearly knew that and so it was a great conversation. I also told him that I was looking forward to be in (Denver) Colorado, as a delegate for him, to the election in November and to see him go into the White House in January.”
In the area of presidential campaign finance, Obama has done in one presidential race what politicians have only been talking about for generations but have never done. He has financed his campaign mostly by small donations and in so doing has energized a major part of the “sleeping” electorate. Further-more, the fact that he has not accepted public funds is a testament to his independence and wanting to include the broadest possible spectrum of the electorate into the electoral process.
So far, Obama has broken many barriers and has debunked many myths about presidential politics, name recognition, fundraising and grassroots campaigning. Politics will never be the same. Compliments of Barack Obama!