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Eddie Vedder helps raise $1.7M for Obama

Billboard -- At an intimate dinner gathering in South Tampa, Eddie Vedder helped raise $1.7 million Thursday for President Barack Obama's re-election campaign.

Strumming a mandolin, Vedder played four songs for the president and 85 guests who attended a $20,000-per-person fundraiser at the home of songwriter Don Miggs and Lisa DeBartolo, a daughter of the former owner of the San Francisco 49ers, Eddie DeBartolo Jr.

"I can't say I've ever played that many songs in a suit before," said Vedder, who performed "Rise," "Without You," James Taylor's "Millworker" and Neil Young's "Rockin' in the Free World."

According to a pool report on the event, Vedder then referred to Mitt Romney's 47 percent comments, offering a personal story.

Bing: More on Romney and the 47 percent flap

"I'm an example of someone who never made it to university," Vedder said. "I did have this dream to be a musician. I felt that this dream had an expiration date."

He recalled signing up for a government security guard training program. He was hired for the midnight shift, and later became the security supervisor at a petroleum company.

"It was that job which allowed me to keep affording  guitars and microphones," he said. "For me, it all began with that ability to get the proper training for a decent job. It's very upsetting to hear a presidential candidate be so easily dismissive of such a ginormous amount of the population," he said.

More excerpts from the pool report, compiled by New York Times reporter Mark Lander:

Vedder introduced Obama, who thanked him for "for that unbelievable performance but more importantly for that story."

"For you to share that story with us, Eddie, speaks volumes not only about you but about this country," Obama said. "That story captures better than anything what this campaign is about and what this country is about," he said.

Also: Beyoncé and Jay-Z raise $4 million at Obama fundraiser

Sep 21, 2012 8:44AM
Thank God for the Eddie Vedder's of this world. He struggled to get where he is & he is not forgetting those days. Bless you Eddie. Life will reward you for your kindness.
Sep 21, 2012 8:43AM

As with most entertainers and public figures that sell their interlectual property to the public for far more than its worth and then get the arrogance to think their opinion is actually worth more than the average citizens is great. My options are to ensure Mr Vedder never recieves any moneys from my pocket book.

Sep 21, 2012 8:43AM
i will never listen to pearl jam again
Sep 21, 2012 8:43AM
Hey Eddie Vedder, Why don't you raise money for the people who are unemployed in this country, thanks to President Obama and his dream team of a cabinet.  Stick to music as you have no clue about politics. Just another stupid musician who thinks he knows what's good for the world or this country. You probably think that the economy is doing great, unemployment is down and the deficit is going down everyday!  Wake up! Just because you are doing great in your little world, does not mean the rest of us are. Why don't you re-distribute some of that 1.7 million to me & my family. I'm sure we need it more than President Obama does. Nice going going Eddie have another joint! 
Sep 21, 2012 8:42AM
i wouldn't buy his's like this don't like being free.should go to knya and sll his music see how much he makes
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