Billionaire Warren Buffet Hosts Fundraiser for Barack Obama

Billionaire investor Warren Buffett says it can get a little lonely being a Democrat in Nebraska.

The last Democrat to carry the state in a presidential election was Lyndon Johnson, in 1964.

But Buffett had plenty of company Wednesday night at a fundraiser for Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama — and local organizers say Obama made a valuable investment.

"I think his stock in Nebraska goes up from here," said Omaha businessman Harley Schrager, who co-hosted the event with Buffet and others.

The total raised wasn't immediately available, but the minimum price to get in was $500 a person, and organizers estimated the crowd at about 200. About 40 of those people attended an earlier reception, and each donated at least $2,300.

Obama said two Nebraskans — U.S. Sen. Ben Nelson and former Sen. Bob Kerrey — are proof that a Democrat can win in a historically red state.

"We can elect Democrats here, but we've got to show up," Obama said.

Obama called Buffett "one of those people I listen to," but said the support from the so-called Oracle of Omaha alone isn't enough to get elected, and he appealed to the gathered business people, lawyers and local politicians for their help.

Buffett hasn't endorsed a presidential candidate yet, but he said Wednesday that Obama "is going to bring outstanding ideas to a new administration."

He's said previously he'd be happy with either Hillary Rodham Clinton or Obama, and has also spoken favorably about the presidential prospects of New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who recently left the Republican Party to become an independent.

Buffett, 76, runs Omaha-based Berkshire Hathaway Inc., which has assets of more than $260 billion and more than 60 subsidiary business. He helped Clinton raise at least $1 million for her campaign at a June event in New York.

Obama took questions from the crowd, and was asked: "Why you and not Mrs. Clinton?"

"I think very highly of Senator Clinton," Obama responded. "I think she is tough. I think she is capable."

But he said while Clinton may be capable of being president, he can not only win the election but also unite the country and get things done in Washington.