obama mocks mccain

LOS ANGELES - Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama stole the show at a star-studded fundraiser on Tuesday, paying fulsome praise to former rival Hillary Clinton and mocking Republican foe John McCain.

LOS ANGELES - Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama stole the show at a star-studded fundraiser on Tuesday, paying fulsome praise to former rival Hillary Clinton and mocking Republican foe John McCain.

Obama, appearing at a fundraiser in California for the first time since clinching the Democratic race, delighted a crowd of around 700 guests at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion packed with members of Hollywood's elite.

Perhaps in recognition that he was treading on Tinseltown turf that was once the exclusive preserve of the Clintons, Obama gave a glowing tribute to his opponent from the marathon Democratic race. He said he and Hillary Clinton were now firm allies.

"Because of her campaign, my daughters take for granted that a woman can be president," Obama added, before ridiculing McCain's support for President George Bush's calls to end the federal ban on offshore drilling.

Offshore drilling is a sensitive issue for millions across California, and Obama couldn't help mocking McCain and his belief that to set up a "a bunch of oil rigs along the California coast was a good idea".

Actors Samuel L Jackson, Don Cheadle, John Malkovich and Dennis Quaid were just some of the stars in the audience, which also included supermodels Cindy Crawford and Heidi Klum.

Klum's husband, singer Seal, sang two songs to fire up the crowd, many of whom had shelled out R226810 per-head for a VIP dinner, benefiting the Democratic National Committee, followed by an R18 241 per-person reception. The ticket prices match the maximum allowable contributions to national committees and individual candidates. - Sapa-AFP

X