Tags: hollywood | obama

Hollywood Bucks Back Obama

Monday, 04 Feb 2008 09:10 AM

By James Hirsen

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Just before the Super Duper Tuesday showdown, Hollywood’s coffers opened up and the Obama campaign reaped the benefit.

Obama continues to generate enthusiasm and excitement from the Hollywood community, which identifies with the Illinois senator’s charisma and star power.

Tinseltown’s love affair with Obama has translated into additional campaign cash for the presidential hopeful.

Contributions have come in from A-listers that include George Clooney and Eddie Murphy.

Barbra Streisand continues to play both sides, endorsing and introducing Hillary Clinton at an L.A. fundraiser and giving money to Obama as well, according to The Associated Press.

One recent night in Beverly Hills garnered $1.3 million for Obama’s campaign. Donations came from Hollywood hotshots that included Paramount Pictures studio chief Brad Grey, Walt Disney Studios Chairman Richard Cook and Universal Studios honcho Ron Meyer.

The event itself had been arranged by DreamWorks studio founders Steven Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg, and David Geffen.

Attendees of the event included Spielberg, Murphy, Jennifer Anniston and Jackson Browne. Gatherers listened attentively to Obama as he told them that they [actors and filmmakers] have “enormous power” that comes with “enormous responsibility.”

“Don't sell yourselves short,” Barack said. “You are the storytellers of our age.”

The cost of a ticket to the event was the maximum individual donation allowed for a federal campaign: $2,300.

Even though Spielberg was one of the hosts of the event, he had previously endorsed Hillary (in 2007), saying, “I’ve taken the time to familiarize myself with the impressive field of Democratic candidates and am convinced that Hillary Clinton is the most qualified candidate to lead us from her first day in the White House.”

In other Obama news, in an apparent effort to cut into Barack's support within the African-American community, Hillary’s other half, former President Bill Clinton, took to the L.A. pulpits.

In turn, the Obama campaign unleashed its own not-so-secret weapon — Oprah Winfrey.

The daytime queen was joined by Obama’s wife Michelle and legendary singer-songwriter Stevie Wonder at a “Get Out The Vote Rally” at UCLA’s Pauley Pavilion.

Showing that she doesn’t necessarily share the politics of her governor husband Arnold Schwarzenegger, California’s first lady Maria Shriver made a surprise appearance.

Tens of thousands of exuberant Obama supporters were in attendance as Oprah restarted her personal endorsement tour.

Oprah’s reemergence could help Obama with women voters, a group that has in the past displayed affection for Hillary Clinton.

Oprah moved the crowd to resounding cheer when she said, “I’m not voting for Barack Obama because he’s black. I’m voting for Barack Obama because he’s brilliant!”

James Hirsen is a media analyst, Trinity Law School professor and teacher of mass media law at Biola University.

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