BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. – John Kerry (search) collected the support of Hollywood stars including Meg Ryan, Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Aniston, Kevin Costner and Barbra Streisand (search) during a fund-raiser that capped a two-day swing through California.
Kerry thanked the celebrity-filled crowd for helping him raise more than $3 million in two fund-raisers throughout the day and "reclaim the capacity and the quality of our own democracy in the United States of America."
Guests were treated to a mini-concert by James Taylor and a standup introduction by Larry David, producer of "Seinfeld" and star of the HBO series "Curb Your Enthusiasm."
David joked that Kerry should consider him to be vice president because he considers himself "a nincompoop, a chicken and a liar" who could offset President Bush and balance the ticket. David said the only problem is that if something were to happen to Kerry, those qualities "would obviously be disastrous for anyone who was actually the president."
"You are qualified," Kerry responded, "to be a Republican."
The Beverly Hills fund-raiser, which attracted about 1,500, was the second of the day hosted by supermarket tycoon Ron Burkle (search). The first was a luncheon at his beachfront hacienda near San Diego attended by about 350.
Organizers said Kerry raised about $3.2 million for the day and donors gave an additional $1 million to the Democratic National Committee (search). Kerry also held events Monday in Sacramento and San Francisco that raised around $3 million.