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Oprah and Obama Take L.A. Stage

James Hirsen By Tuesday, 05 February 2008 08:02 PM EST Current | Bio | Archive

Headlines (Scroll down for complete stories):
1. Hollywood Actresses Stump for Hillary Clinton
2. Writers to Settle Strike
3. Barack Obama's Rising Hollywood Star
4. Oprah and Obama Take L.A. Stage
5. Grateful Dead to Rock for Barack

1. Hollywood Actresses Stump for Hillary Clinton

On the weekend of the Super Bowl just prior to Super Duper Tuesday, Hillary Clinton appeared on the campus of California State University, Los Angeles, accompanied by a slew of Hollywood actresses.

In an apparent appeal to two major constituency groups, the Clinton campaign arranged to have female mariachi performers entertain the crowd.

On stage alongside Clinton were actresses Sally Field, Christine Lahti, Mary Steenburgen, Amber Tamblyn, and America Ferrara.

Field, et al., made what appeared to be focus-grouped speeches to the crowd.

"Ugly Betty" star Ferrara declared, "I don't need a president who is going to talk about making college affordable. I need a president who has spent the past eight years making college affordable."

"Joan of Arcadia" lead Tamblyn spoke of a "16-year plan," as in eight years of Clinton followed by eight years of Obama.

Lahti, while emphasizing that Hillary has the mettle to be president, made a mistaken anatomical reference and then corrected herself by saying that Hillary has "the ovaries, to do it."

2. Writers to Settle Strike

It's about time.

Sources now indicate that the three-month-long writers' strike is finally going to settle.

The strike has cost the writers about $240 million in pay, and the cost to the local Los Angeles economy is an estimated $1.8 billion.

The Oscars have been looming as a Feb. 24 deadline. And it looks like the Writers Guild of America and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers will reach a deal just in the nick of time.

Any settlement, however, must be approved by a majority vote of the WGA's strike-weary members.

The writers apparently realized they had to start meaningful negotiations after a deal was cut with the Directors Guild of America, in which directors obtained a

3 percent increase in earnings for primetime shows and daytime serials and 3.5 percent for all other programming.

The WGA generated some pressure of its own with a "divide and conquer" strategy. It reached interim agreements with Lions Gate Entertainment Corp., United Artists, and Weinstein Co. and also cut deals with RKO Productions Inc., MRC, Spyglass Entertainment, and David Letterman's production company, Worldwide Pants Inc.

3. Barack Obama's Rising Hollywood Star

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

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 one 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."

4. Oprah and Obama Take L.A. Stage

In an apparent effort to cut into Barack Obama'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 re-emergence 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!"

5. Grateful Dead to Rock for Barack

It seems that some tie-dyed clothing is in order for Obama boosters.

The Grateful Dead, the 1960s cult rock band known for its interminable psychedelic jamming, will reunite for the first time in four years, and the group will do so on the Monday prior to Super Duper Tuesday.


Well, it all has to do with the groovy vibes of Obama that have apparently provided inspiration to the legendary band.

"They have agreed to reunite for this one-time-only event in order to lend support to Senator Obama leading into the crucial 'Super-Tuesday' series of primaries held on Tuesday, February 5," the band said in a written statement released to the press.

Surviving members of the band Mickey Hart, Phil Lesh, and Bob Weir will play at a San Francisco theater one day before California's primary.

Dead Heads are rejoicing.

No word yet on whether a patchouli-scented Oprah will be the retro emcee.

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Headlines (Scroll down for complete stories):1. Hollywood Actresses Stump for Hillary Clinton2. Writers to Settle Strike3. Barack Obama's Rising Hollywood Star4. Oprah and Obama Take L.A. Stage5. Grateful Dead to Rock for Barack 1. Hollywood Actresses Stump for Hillary...
Tuesday, 05 February 2008 08:02 PM
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