Barbra parodies "People," while Republican Lee Iacocca turns his back on Bush

By Stephen M. Silverman
Updated June 25, 2004 03:00 PM

Democratic presidential hopeful John Kerry saw $5 million poured into his campaign coffers on Thursday night, as stars gathered for a fund-raiser at Los Angeles’s Disney Concert Hall and Barbra Streisand parodied her own 1964 standard, “People.”

“Rumsfeld,” sang the star, “we must get rid of Rumsfeld/He’s the spookiest person in the world. … This war we’re lost in/Don’t ask what it’s costin’/What’s a trillion or two to rule the world?”

Also on the roster, either onstage of lending their names behind the scenes: Leonardo DiCaprio, Ben Affleck, Jamie Foxx, Ben Stiller, Willie Nelson, Billy Crystal, Neil Diamond, Robert De Niro and producer Harvey Weinstein.

At a pre-show banquet held at the L.A. Music Center’s Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, candidate Kerry said that being vocal about political beliefs was “not something that everybody in show business chooses to do,” the Los Angeles Times reports.

In thanking those who did, he added: “Celebrate with me, if you will, each of those tonight who have chosen to put their beliefs out front for America to understand on behalf of our country. And we’re grateful to each of you.”

A similar fund-raising concert, to feature Jon Bon Jovi, Mary J. Blige and the Dave Matthews Band, among others, is slated to take place in New York July 8.

Thursday proved to be a good day for Kerry in the Golden State, where he picked up an unlikely endorsement – from former Chrysler executive Lee Iacocca, a staunch Republican and a backer of George W. Bush in the 2000 presidential election.

“All of my best friends are Republicans, and they ask me: ‘Are you crazy or something? Why are you doing this?’ ” said Iacocca, 79, as quoted by the Times.

He called his answer “simple. I tell them the world is changing. … We need a leader who will level with us about how we can adapt to that change and make things change for the better.”