From NBC/NJ's Athena Jones
SAN FRANCISCO, CA -- Hillary Clinton ended a swing through delegate-rich California with a low-dollar fundraiser at the 2,200-seat Orpheum Theatre here last night. The tickets for the event cost $50, but people were free to give more.
Clinton spoke about the importance of community. "That's what I want America to be again, to be a community where we each are doing our part to lift each other up, to see each other, to hear each other," she told the crowd.
She said she wanted her presidency to be about the "trend lines", what is really happening in America and in people's lives and alluded to the historic nature of her and Barack Obama's candidacies by saying the debate last night showed every child in America that they could be anything they want to be.
As she has in several recent speeches and as she did in the debate Thursday night, Clinton talked about having been endorsed by Iraq War critics in Congress. "I am so proud that I have been endorsed by leading members of the 'Out of Iraq' caucus now; congressional members like Lynn Woolsey and Maxine Waters and Jim McGovern and others who have said that they believe in me and know that I can make the difficult decisions to begin withdrawing our troops," she said.
Mayors Ron Dellums (Oakland), Gavin Newsom (San Francisco), Antonio Villaraigosa (Los Angeles), speaker of the California State Assembly Fabian Nunez, activist Dolores Huerta and actors Mary Steenburgen and Ted Danson were among the featured guests.
While the people chosen to introduce Clinton at her events often give speeches that seem longer than necessary, overly rehearsed and sound like the Cliff's Notes version of the senator's stump speech, the messages delivered last sounded like they came from the heart.
Dellums spoke powerfully about why he supported Clinton, saying he had come to his decision after extensive research on the candidates' ideas about how to help America's urban centers. "I read a quote that was so powerful that it brought tears to my eyes and I went into my bedroom and I said to my wife, 'Listen to this quote.' The quote said, 'Our continued acceptance of racial disparities in health care, in education and in economics is intolerable, unacceptable and un-American. What a powerful statement," he said. "That statement was made by Sen. Clinton."
Newsom talked about the need to not just support the New York senator, but to show up at the polls Tuesday. Danson called Clinton a "beautiful woman" that he wanted to represent him around the world. Steenburgen referred to Clinton as an icon and said she had been inspired by watching the senator be a mother, a daughter, a wife, First Lady and senator. She said that Clinton was a "world-class listener" and talked about what she was "really like."
"Her belly laugh is more raucous and dirty than mine and that's saying something and she loves, loves, loves it when you make her laugh," she said. "She does get tired and sad and hurt, but she's more able to pick herself up and dust herself off and start all over again than anybody else I know."
Steenburgen went on to list the Republicans Clinton had worked with, noting that Strom Thurmond even brought her candy bars "for crying out loud."
The audience was overwhelmingly white and while most seats were filled, there were a few dozen empty ones in the upper balcony (there were two balconies).