The Hollywood Primary Begins

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THE SPINE JANUARY 28, 2007

The Hollywood Primary Begins

Steven Spielberg is holding a fund-raiser for Barack Obama. Steven
Spielberg is raising money for John Edwards. And, come spring, Steven Spielberg will host a money party for Hillary Clinton. So whom does he actually support? It's anybody's guess. Unlike the Wall Street houses and their executives who give to candidates from both parties, Spielberg and much of Hollywood sticks to Democrats. But what is his and its motive? To be where the action is?

An article in Friday's edition of the good old New York Post details the frantic competition among the candidates and particularly the high-profile contest between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. Post readers care who's getting the help of Oprah Winfrey, Matt Damon, Jamie Lee Curtis and Richard Gere. The article says that Owen Wilson is a supporter of Hillary. Alas, I don't know who Owen Wilson is. There's a big joke around the TNR office about
how I haven't a clue about popular culture celebs. Now, I'm letting you in on the secret, as well.

Who gives what to whom is not a mystery. The campaigns tell. The givers also issue press releases. Elizabeth Taylor released the following elevating statement: "I have contributed to Sen. Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign because she has a mind of her own and a very strong one at that. I like the way she thinks. She is very savvy and a smart leader with years of experience in government, diplomacy and politics." Given this send-up, Taylor's spokesman announced that the lady was giving Hillary $100,000, a "whopping $100,000." Alas, you are legally maxed out at $2,100 a person. Liz's flak immediately put her on the right side of the law.

And that's also all that Oliver Stone and George Clooney (who played a TNR reporter in his last movie, "The Good German") can give to a candidate. So candidates incur some risk when they run around telling voters that some Hollywood kooks are big fans. Since Clooney and Stone are supporting Obama, this is my fair warning to him. Remember, Michael Moore, certified nut case and sitting there in Jimmy Carter's box at the 2004 Boston convention, might have lost Kerry Ohio.)

Now, of course, anyone with sufficient liquid assets can start a "527" like George Soros, who probably shares the blame for Ohio ending up a "red state." (Liz, why don't you start one for Hillary!) But the truth is that Hollywood personalities give their bodies more easily than they give real cash.

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