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              FILE-   In this Sunday, Feb. 22, 2009 file photo, Robert DeNiro and Grace Hightower arrive at the Vanity Fair Oscar party in West Hollywood, Calif. (AP Photo/Evan Agostini, FILE)
              FILE- In this Sunday, Feb. 22, 2009 file photo, Robert DeNiro and Grace Hightower arrive at the Vanity Fair Oscar party in West Hollywood, Calif. (AP Photo/Evan Agostini, FILE)   

De Niro fundraises with FLOTUS: ‘Do you really think our country is ready for a white first lady?’

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Caroline May
Political Reporter

On the evening of her David Letterman appearance Monday, first lady Michelle Obama continued her celeb-centric evening with a fundraising event in Tribeca, hosted by Robert de Niro and his wife Grace Hightower.

De Niro spoke before the first lady.

“Callista Gingrich. Karen Santorum. Ann Romney. Now do you really think our country is ready for a white first lady?” De Niro asked the crowd, according to the pool report.

The crowd collectively answered “no!”

De Niro asked, “Too soon, right?”

Mrs. Obama spoke to the gathering too, sticking to her signature look in a silver and black sleeveless dress. She offered the enthusiastic crowd a rundown of her husband’s work, his health care overhaul and his Supreme Court nominees — who she noted would protect privacy, security and “whether we can speak freely and, yes, love whomever we choose.”

President Obama is on record against gay marriage and for civil unions, but with “evolving” views on the matter. On Friday the president came out in opposition to a proposed amendment to ban same-sex marriage and civil unions in politically purple North Carolina.

She finished by asking: “Final question to you all: Are you in?” The question was met with cheers.

The first lady’s nearly half-hour spiel left one attendee faint according to the pool report — recalling the Obama pandemic during the 2008 cycle when devotees were supposedly fainting at his great aura.

The fundraiser of about 85 attendees was held at De Niro’s restaurant, the Locanda Verde. The pool report noted that tickets sold for $5,000 a pop, with proceeds going to the Obama Victory Fund.

Also in attendance were actor Ben Stiller, producer Harvey Weinstein, singer Beyoncé, Beyoncé’s mother Tina Knowles, “The View” co-hosts Star Jones and Whoopi Goldberg, “CBS This Morning” host Gayle King and actress Angela Bassett.

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