Clooney star guest at Obama fundraiser in Switzerland

Mon Aug 27, 2012 4:38pm EDT
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By Stephanie Nebehay

GENEVA (Reuters) - George Clooney was the star attraction on Monday in what was billed as the U.S. Democratic Party's biggest fundraising event abroad aimed at helping President Barack Obama win re-election.

The American actor and activist, who traveled by car from his residence on Lake Como, Italy, attended a private reception followed by a gala dinner in Geneva's Old Town.

"I'm very proud to be here and to be supporting the next President of the United States," Clooney told the reception, drawing applause.

"He deserves another four years to finish what he started," he added to shouts of "Yes" from donors.

Some $500,000 could be raised for Obama's campaign coffers as he battles to keep pace with the fundraising of his rival, Republican Mitt Romney, sources close to Obama's campaign said.

At least 100 American supporters paid $1,000 each to attend the champagne reception, while about 35 donors paid $15,000 a plate for the gourmet dinner with Clooney, they said.

"George Clooney, he spoke for about three to four minutes, very little. He just said we're doing good work and to keep it up," Walter Furth, a former chairman of Democrats Abroad Switzerland, told Reuters Television after the reception.

Michael Arnheiter, who was at the cocktail reception with his wife and two teenage children, said: "He told us what we've believed for the last several years, that the best opportunity for the United States to move forward is to re-elect Barack Obama.   Continued...

Actor George Clooney attends the White House Correspondents Association annual dinner in Washington April 28, 2012. REUTERS/Larry Downing