Photo courtesy of Ted Lieu

Photo courtesy of Ted Lieu

On his way to hanging out with Gwyneth Paltrow at a $15,000-a-plate Democratic Party fundraiser in Brentwood last Thursday, President Barack Obama paid an impromptu visit to the Venice campaign office of state Sen. Ted Lieu, who is running for retiring Rep. Henry Waxman’s seat in Congress.

Lieu said he learned that Obama would stop by his 724 Lincoln Blvd. campaign office only about 10 minutes before the president’s arrival.

Once there, Obama spent a few minutes making phone calls to Westside voters on Lieu’s behalf.

“It was the best phone bank in campaign history,” Lieu said. “I was very ecstatic and surprised to have the president of the United States stop by our campaign office.”

Lieu is running against gang prosecutor Elan Carr, a Republican endorsed by former Obama rival Mitt Romney, in the Nov. 4 election.

Also on Thursday, Obama addressed a gathering of young entrepreneurs at Cross Campus, a membership workspace in Santa Monica. Video of the talk is posted online at