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Oprah's Obama party instructions

August 17, 2007 |  8:29 pm

OK, listen up, party people.

Those of you heading over to Oprah's big house in Montecito for the big Obama fundraising party on Sept. 8--and you all know who you are--need to know some very important planning information, which The Times' Tina Daunt has just obtained exclusively.

Yes, yes, you've each already shelled out at least $2,300--and maybe $4,600 if you're thinking of the general election too. That's for the invite alone.

Now, according to the instructions just sent out to attendees by Julianna Smoot, Obama's national finance director, here come the clothing requirements:

First, you need to wear "Garden Attire." And that don't mean clothes to go garden in, folks. It means summery, sheer, lots of linen, maybe some floppy hats, blazers, contrasting slacks and open collars for the guys (because you know Barack likes open collars).

Also--and this is very important--they're not calling it a fundraiser anymore. Fundraiser is kind of crass, don't you think? Sounds like they're after money. And fundraiser is what Hillary Clinton is calling her event over at Magic Johnson's house six days later. So, the Oprah-Obama event has become "a celebration."

The celebration will be held on Oprah's meadow. You've got one of those too, don't you? Big grassy...

area like where livestock graze only without the piles of you-know-what to step in. "Comfortable footwear is recommended," the instructions say. "Ladies, flat shoes are a must!"

What if it rains?

Also, even though you've already dropped thousands on this affair, you may well have been considering bringing a gift for Barack and Oprah. Don't do that! "Due to security and space limitations, no gifts or packages for Ms. Winfrey or Senator Obama will be accepted onsite." So, you'll probably want to ship your special somethings.

There are no repeat no tickets to this event. So don't be buying any from scalpers. Your name will be on an approved list, and government-issued photo ID like a driver's license or U.S. passport will be required for entrance. Invitations are strictly non-transferable, so if you aren't on the official list, take a hike. The confirmation e-mail letter is the only document. "Do not duplicate or distribute."

"All purses and bags will be searched." And "For the comfort of all guests, no cameras or recording devices will be permitted."

The party will be from 3 to 7 p.m. that Saturday. The official check-in place is now being called the Greeting Center. It will be off-site at the Earl Warren Showgrounds, Gate B, in Santa Barbara and open for check-in or greeting only from 2:15 until 3:45. So don't be late, or your $2,300 will only get you an empty check-in desk. Valet parking is required. Then guests will be escorted onto a motorcoach for "the short ride to the celebration."

Oh, and if you plan to stay overnight, some blocks of rooms have been set aside at several area hotels. Be sure to ask for the special Obama 08 rate, which starts at $280 at the Upham Hotel and runs up to only $1,600 for the night at the Bacara Resort and Spa. So you might want to stay two.

--Andrew Malcolm

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