Republicans go on attack after Obama parties with the A-listers

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The Independent US

While his fashionable guests were working off their expensive hangovers, Barack Obama spent yesterday counting the political cost of the night before.

Although the Democratic presidential candidate had raised upwards of $9m (£4.9m) from the showbusiness community, his glitzy Los Angeles event allowed John McCain to claim that his opponent was out of touch with the working people of America.

"Barack Obama talks about siding with the people just before he flies off to Hollywood for a fundraiser with Barbra Streisand and his celebrity friends," McCain told a rally in the crucial swing state of Ohio. "Let me tell you my friends, there's no place I'd rather be than here with the working men and women of Ohio."

Jodie Foster, Leonardo DiCaprio, Will Ferrell and Steven Spielberg attended the $28,500-a-head reception at Greystone Mansion in Beverly Hills, which has previously provided a setting for films including Ghostbusters and Air Force One.

Later they moved to the nearby Beverly Wilshire hotel where a further 500 guests, who had paid $2,500 each, were entertained by Streisand, who ended with the song "Happy Days are Here Again." TV crews were banned from the event, partly in a bid to prevent a repeat of the 2004 campaign when John Kerry's White House bid was damaged by LA fundraisers that saw Republicans to portray him as a favourite of "Hollywood liberals".

Other stars spotted at the event – the biggest single fundraiser in US political history – included the comedian Chris Rock, the actors Tobey Maguire and Pierce Brosnan and the director Ron Howard.

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