fundraiser

... by quoting Talladega Nights at an Iowa GOP fundraiser: Thank you, Lord, for my red-hot, smokin’ wife. I know T-Paw is pushing his "regular guy" appeal as he positions himself for 2012, but this seems rather to overshoot the mark. No word on whether he also promised to come at Barack Obama "like a spider monkey."

Even as Neil Patrick Harris's star continues to ascend--and polls capture the ongoing sea-change in public acceptance of homosexuality--putatively pro-gay Hollywood continues to maintain the celluloid closet. In a fascinating piece on the subject, LA Weekly reports: Only a year ago most of Hollywood was publicly appalled by Proposition 8, the anti–gay marriage ballot measure that passed in November.

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Via Ben Smith, I see that John McCain is hosting a fundraiser for Mitt Romney in Phoenix next week. Back in January of 2008, this would have seemed more unlikely than Obama picking Hillary as his Secretary of State. But as Sasha Issenberg reported out a few weeks ago for this Boston Globe Magazine article on Romney, Mitt did a pretty masterful job of getting on McCain's good side once McCain secured the nomination: Romney returned to his office the following week [after dropping out of the race] in a T-shirt and jeans, ready to travel to his California home.

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The Chicago police declared today that the death of former Rod Balgojevich fundraiser Christopher Kelly was a suicide. The Times reports: [Kelly] had pleaded not guilty to the indictment, but had been due later this week to begin serving a prison sentence in a separate federal conviction on fraud and tax charges. Mr. Kelly had tried to commit suicide last Tuesday, hours after pleading guilty to the fraud charges, said the police chief, Regina Evans, at a news conference at the police station in Country Club Hills.

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Chic Radical

It's a rare musician who requires a biography devoted solely to his or her political activities. But as Barry Seldes shows in Leonard Bernstein: The Political Life of an American Musician, Bernstein is one of those exceptional cases. For his entire adult life, Bernstein was perhaps the most famous composer and conductor in America--which is not the same thing as being the best--and he had no qualms about using his artistic fame to advance his political beliefs.

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Howard Fineman has a web item in Newsweek suggesting that, contrary to the buzz surrounding that Times Obama piece this weekend, there really isn't a sense of panic in the Obama camp, and that Obama doesn't feel like he has to make some game-changing move in tonight's debate. For what it's worth, I spoke to a top Obama fundraiser earlier today who basically made the same point. This person told me that Obama's top money men split into two camps when they gathered in Des Moines three weeks ago for a meeting of the campaign's national finance committee.

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