UPDATE: Insiders now tell Deadline that Thursday’s fundraiser at George Clooney’s Studio City home now has reached close to $15 million. The breakdown when the total was at $14.5M equaled $6M raised for the dinner and $8.5M for the accompanying online raffle which attracted general public donations for a chance to attend by leveraging Hollywood star power. In actuality, the fundraising dinner co-hosted by Obama bundler Jeffrey Katzenberg and organized by his political right-hand Andy Spahn is attracting an expected 150 Democrats ticket-price guests who come from a number of industries in Los Angeles besides showbiz including finance, law and healthcare. They spent $40,000 per ticket for the Wolfgang Puck-catered dinner at Clooney’s canyon home. It’s the largest amount ever raised for a single Obama campaign event. And that exceeds the sum that the Obama campaign raised from the entire entertainment industry in the 2008 presidential race when Hollywood types were slow to embrace Obama as their candidate over Hillary Clinton. Meanwhile news reports are branding the fundraiser ‘Starmeggedon’ because of the traffic mess it’s expected to cause in the surrounding areas.
I have a response to that Washington Post report claiming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s transition to minority leader is being aided behind the scenes by Steven Spielberg. The paper makes it sounds as though Spielberg will become a veritable House Whisperer, helping “rebrand” Democrats in Congress. But when I reached out to Spielberg’s longtime publicist Marvin Levy, he wrote me back: “Today’s story regarding Nancy Pelosi made a reference to Steven Spielberg that requires a response. I can say as a long-time spokesman for Steven that he has made it his career to direct actors, not political figures.”
Michael Moore Calls On Democrats To Run Tom Hanks And Oprah As Candidates And Use Hollywood To Help Fashion A Message
Michael Moore today called for Democrats to run “beloved… smart… good” Hollywood stars like Tom Hanks and Oprah Winfrey as candidates and for the Obama administration to use Hollywood to “help fashion” its message. In an MSNBC interview with host Lawrence O’Donnell who was one of the writer/producers of The West Wing and other political TV shows, and Moore had this exchange about the midterm election results:
O’Donnell: Presidential elections have a movie star candidate to vote for. Midterm elections are like trying to open a movie on the weekend without a movie star. How do you do that? You’ve done that.
Moore: … [the Republicans] have actually run movie stars and won. They ran Ronald Reagan. Fred Thompson was a senator. Gopher from The Love Boat. Sonny Bono…
O’Donnell: Arnold Schwarzenegger
Moore: I don’t know why they hate Hollywood so much. When they run Hollywood, they win. When are the Democrats going to run Hollywood. For as much as they’re accused of going hollywood…
O’Donnell: Tom Hanks, step right up here for your nomination.
Moore: Seriously, if we ran Tom Hanks, if we ran Oprah, there’s a whole column of people who are beloved people, who are smart, good. But we have Obama, and he’s kind of like Tom Hanks, a nice guy. Why dont they make use of all the great communicators in Hollywood to help fashion a message? You don’t say things like, ‘Here’s your stimulus. What the hell, that sounds like a gynecological