President Obama rewarded DreamWorks CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg, who spent millions on his reelection effort, with a private dinner at the hotel where Obama was staying in Los Angeles.
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney spouted some nonsense today about them having dinner together because they are simply the closest of friends. From a pool report released late-morning Pacific Time:
Press Secretary Jay Carney tells pool that POTUS had dinner with “his longtime friend, Jeffrey Katzenberg,” the CEO of DreamWorks, last night in Los Angeles.
The two dined alone at POTUS’s hotel, the Hilton Woodland Hills.
Carney did not answer questions about where in the hotel the dinner was held or who paid.
The White House did not release information about POTUS’s plans last night despite questions from pool.
I’ve never heard anything about a personal friendship between Obama and Katzenberg. What I have heard about, and what would better explain why the White House may have tried to keep the dinner secret – it wasn’t announced until today – is that Katzenberg is one of Obama’s biggest donors ever.
Just before Election Day, the Associated Press ranked Katzenberg third on the list of Obama’s “Top five fundraisers.” From the piece:
A reliable Democratic Party mega-donor in past years, Katzenberg has given $3 million to Priorities USA Action (the pro-Obama PAC) this election cycle. Katzenberg has helped bundle more than $500,000 for the president’s second term, making him among the campaign’s top volunteer fundraisers. He’s also given more than $66,000 to Obama’s campaign and the Democratic Party.
So I think that answers the question about who, ultimately, paid for dinner.