Kerry spent barely 48 hours in California, but heads back to Boston having raised, according to campaign sources, nearly $6 million during a whirlwind four-city tour.
Having spent the morning rallying against rising gas prices at the University of California-San Diego, candidate Kerry made Tuesday "Burkle Day," spending the remainder of the day raising money at two of the supermarket magnate-turned-investment banker's Golden State homes.
Ron Burkle, who ranks 231st among Forbes' wealthiest with a net worth of $2.3 billion, is a Democrat's best friend.
At Burkle's La Jolla Spanish-style hacienda by the sea on the north end of San Diego, 400 donors paid between $500-$2,000 per person to hear the Massachusetts Senator's 29-minute stump in between noshes on tangerine-honey glazed wild Alaskan salmon, curried chicken salad in miniature cream puffs, or sugar snap pea, roasted pepper, and corn salad.
But, the real show was in Hollywood, where Burkle's sprawling 5-acre "Green Acres" Beverly Hills estate hosted A-list celebrities paying a minimum of $1,000 per ticket to cozy up to the presumptive Democratic nominee.
Comedian/actor/producer Larry David, who entertained the crowd prior to Kerry's 22-minute speech sarcastically hoping for a Kerry-David ticket, joked, "You'll notice I'm limping. You gotta be a little bit careful when you jump on that bandwagon."
David continued to argue he could appeal to the 'C's, D's and F's' of America, "chicken hawks," and "exaggerators" but Kerry wasn't swayed.
In his speech, the Senator assured, "Tonight, rest assured, (Larry David) did absolutely nothing to change my mind about … the vice president."
Singer James Taylor also attempted to influence his longtime friend's selection process, playing "Carolina on My Mind" during the post-speech entertainment, and saying slyly, "It's way too early to say that song had anything to do with the prospects of Jonathan Edwards."
Despite their presence at the political rainmaker's gathering, other stars weren't quite as cozy showing their political stripes. Actor and director Kevin Costner claimed he had not yet decided on a candidate and when asked if he would still consider President Bush demurred to reporters, "That's kind of a private process, isn't it?"
Jason Alexander of "Seinfeld" fame gave a very un-Costanza like response when asked about his current political considerations saying simply of Kerry, "I like his approach. I like his direction. I think he would make a good president."
All told, the Kerry camp claimed a $3.2 million dollar day, raising $500,000 in San Diego, over $2.1 million in Los Angeles, and an additional $1 million for the DNC.
Kerry rushed out of the Golden State Tuesday, taking a redeye campaign charter back to Boston to undergo surgery to repair a slight tendon tear in his right shoulder. The minor procedure will force the candidate from the campaign trail until Sunday.
But, as the Senator briefly departs the trail, he goes with a fuller bank account and memories of all those stars.
And, here's just a partial list of those The Note spied turning out for Kerry:
Kevin Costner, Don Henley, Henry Winkler, Helen Hunt, Danny DeVito, Leonardo DiCaprio, Barbra Streisand, Peter Boyle, Quincy Jones, Jennifer Aniston, Tobey Maguire, Ed Harris, David Spade, Owen Wilson, Ben Stiller, Christina Applegate, Ben Affleck, Mary Steenburgen, Mark Burnett, Sharon Stone, Oliver Stone, Dustin Hoffman, and Harvey Keitel