Obama made the comment after gently mocking the enthusiasms of some of his most devoted supporters among the Hollywood left. “There have been times I’m sure during the past two and a half years where you’re reading the papers or you’re watching TV and you’re saying, oh, Obama — why is he compromising with the Republicans?” the president said. “Or, oh, why did health care take so long? And I want a single-payer plan anyway. And golly, if he was just as good a communicator as George Clooney, then I’m sure the American people would understand exactly what needs to be done. Gosh.”

The Clooney line “cracked the room up,” according to a White House pool report. The fundraiser, which was attended by about 60 people who have donated the legal maximum of $35,800 to the Obama re-election campaign, was held at Tavern Restaurant in Los Angeles’ tony Brentwood neighborhood.