This post has been updated. See below for details.
Lady Gaga was front and center at a fundraiser starring President Obama held Sunday in Atherton, north of Palo Alto, near the San Francisco Bay.
Her tune "Poker Face" was playing in the house around 8 p.m., and Lady Gaga entered a party tent in the backyard moments later. She towered over the group of donors and even the president, courtesy of sky-high heels plus a bouffant black-and-blond hairdo that on its own added six inches to her stature.
Wearing a floor-length sleeveless lacy black dress, Gaga took a seat at the middle table in a seven-table setup and stood up with the rest of the guests when Obama entered. He spoke for about eight minutes, and though he didn't acknowledge the pop star's presence, it was likely they'd crossed paths earlier during greetings inside the house.
The New York resident had performed Saturday at the I Heart Music festival in Las Vegas, dedicating a song to Jamey Rodemeyer, a gay teen who committed suicide last week after being teased about his sexuality. "I am meeting with our President," Gaga said Wednesday on Twitter. "I will not stop fighting. This must end. Our generation has the power to end it. Trend it #MakeALawForJamey."
[Updated, 12:30 p.m. Sept. 26: During a Q&A session after the speech at the $38,500-a-head fundraiser, Gaga referenced 14-year-old Rodemeyer, read a letter from a fan about another bullying victim and thanked the president for what he's accomplished thus far in office.]
Lady Gaga, a champion for the gay community, had been outspoken in rallying her fans to support the end of the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy, which Congress in December voted to rescind. Obama and military leaders certified in July that lifting the policy wouldn't adversely affect the military, kicking off a 60-day waiting period that resulted in DADT coming to an end last week.
But another community that heard from the president over the weekend was not quite as rallied.
In response to an Obama speech Saturday to the Congressional Black Caucus, which he ended by saying, "Take off your bedroom slippers, put on your marching shoes, shake it off, stop complaining, stop grumbling, stop crying, we are going to press on, we've got work to do, CBC," Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Los Angeles) expressed some confusion about whom the president had been talking to.
Waters noted Monday that Obama "would never say that to the gay and lesbian community, who really pushed him on 'don't ask don't tell.'" (Or, she said, to the Hispanic or Jewish communities.)
Might Obama benefit from soaking up some essence of Gaga, as posited in a recent business-school case study suggesting entrepreneurs could learn a thing or two from her meteoric rise to success?
The top Lady Gaga-style moves, boiled down by Smart Money magazine: Build a community, rewrite the rules if they don't work for you, and position yourself as the underdog.
Makes sense, though we can't quite imagine Obama comfortable with a speech including the Gaga quote cited by the mag: "I was never the winner. I was the loser."
The president's West Coast fundraising trip -- with appeals tailored to each group he meets with, according to Politics Now -- hits L.A.'s Westside on Monday.
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-- Christie D'Zurilla
A pool report was used in this post.
Photo: Lady Gaga performs during the iHeartRadio music festival in Las Vegas on Saturday. Credit: Chris Pizzello / Associated Press