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Wyclef Thinks Palin Is 'Rad'; Trump Casts 'GOP Presidential Apprentice

James Hirsen By Tuesday, 20 September 2011 05:50 PM EDT Current | Bio | Archive

The Left Coast Report: A Political Look at Hollywood

Headlines (Scroll down for complete stories):
1. Harvey Weinstein Tries to 'Butter' Up Bachmann for Publicity
2. Jon Stewart Custom-Tailors His Solyndra Spin
3. Dianne Feinstein's Hollywood Campaign Cash 'Wiped Out'
4. Sarah Palin, Ron Paul Get Backing Musicians
5. Candidates Line Up for Trump Support

1. Harvey Weinstein Tries to 'Butter' Up Bachmann for Publicity

In the new movie "Butter," which is evidentally meant to satirize certain GOP candidates esteemed by the tea party, a woman steps into the state fair milieu of competitive butter carving.

Jennifer Garner plays the spouse of a renowned butter artist. After he is forced to retire, she embarks on a cold-blooded pursuit to become the butter carving champ.

At the film's international premiere, producer Harvey Weinstein accented the political metaphor with a transparent publicity stunt. He invited GOP presidential candidate Michele Bachmann to co-host the film's American premiere in Iowa, her birth state.

Co-star Olivia Wilde read Weinstein's statement to the press at the Toronto Film Festival screening.

"I would like to take this moment to formally invite Republican congresswoman from Minnesota and Republican presidential candidate, Michele Bachmann, to co-host with me the big premiere of 'Butter' in Iowa in a few months from now," Wilde announced.

Weinstein telegraphed that his intent was to rile up the tea party.

"I know Michele will already be in Iowa for the caucus, so we can save some money on airfare and travel. I would of course be more than happy to fly in the other leading members of the tea party movement to make an entire day of it," the Hollywood executive's statement read.

Then came the inevitable ridicule.

"We could take some math classes in the morning to help balance the budget, brush up on the Constitution in the afternoon, play some ping-pong and then maybe some verbal ping-pong on gay rights and women's rights (especially the right to choose)," Weinstein's statement read.

A description followed of Bachmann and Weinstein attending the premiere "hand in hand."

2. Jon Stewart Custom-Tailors Solyndra Spin

The White House's staunch allies in the mainstream media are in panic mode over Solyndra, a solar panel company in Fremont, Calif., which was the first to receive a loan guarantee from the Department of Energy as part of the 2009 stimulus package.

The Department of Energy appears to have rushed through the $535 million loan guarantee to Solyndra without waiting for the proper external reviews of the transaction.

Solyndra was the marquee company for the Obama administration's green energy program; however, in late August 2011 it was forced to file for bankruptcy.

Even Jon Stewart, host of Comedy Central's "The Daily Show," couldn't resist a poke at the Solyndra mess. Dedicating the first eight minutes of Thursday's program to the solar saga, Stewart unveiled the introductory episode of a new "series" called "That Custom-Tailored Obama Scandal You Ordered Is Finally Here."

He aired footage of Obama in which the president toured the now-bankrupt solar panel plant and praised green energy investment — words that "in retrospect, will seem ill-advised," Stewart deadpanned.

Along with the footage, Stewart displayed emails that had been obtained by ABC News. The emails revealed that the administration had directly overseen the loan process, even as analysts were sounding alarm bells over the risk to taxpayers.

Taxpayers were ultimately placed on the hook for the loan. This, coupled with the fact that a major Solyndra investor was an Obama fundraiser, supplied the requisite "whiff of sinister cronyism" to make it "weapons-grade political fodder," Stewart said, setting up some ABC News footage in which Brian Ross reported that the donor, George Kaiser, had visited the White House on several occasions prior to the loan's final approval.

The host closed the segment with what he said were "the most ironic word[s]" concerning the matter. Vice President Joe Biden had held a video-chat on the day the new Solyndra plant opened. The veep gushed about the "1,000 permanent new jobs, here at Solyndra," emphasizing the importance of the positions being "permanent jobs."

When Solyndra closed, 1,100 people lost their "permanent jobs."

3. Dianne Feinstein's Hollywood Campaign Cash 'Wiped Out'

Dianne Feinstein has long been a favorite of Hollywood political fundraisers and donors.

The California senator recently indicated that her campaign stash is likely "wiped out" due to alleged illegal activity by her longtime treasurer, Kinde Durkee.

Durkee is accused of stealing millions of dollars from Sen. Feinstein, Rep. Loretta Sanchez and other Democratic candidates in the Golden State. Feinstein announced that she plans to put $5 million from her own pocket into her campaign to make up for money that may have been misappropriated.

If she weren't able to self-fund, Di-Fi would have difficulty raising money in Hollywood due to campaign laws that limit the amount donors can give to a candidate in a particular election cycle.

Feinstein's top sources of funds, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, included Disney, Sony and the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees.

Many business folks in Hollywood have described Feinstein as their favorite politician.

Disney CEO Bob Iger held a fundraiser for her and some other Democratic candidates at his home in February 2011. Co-hosts included top executives from Paramount, Warner Bros., Fox, Universal, and Viacom.

4. Sarah Palin, Ron Paul Get Backing Musicians

Haitian music star Wyclef Jean recently revealed to Women's Wear Daily that he's "a huge fan of Sarah Palin."

The hip-hop vocalist and musician described the former Alaska governor as "rad," among other adjectives: "She's shrewd. She's cool. Because at the end of the day, I'm for the people, because this is the United States of America ... this is what America's really about."

"Anyone should have the right to say, 'Look I can do the job and this is what qualifies me to do the job,'" he added.

Jean knows many in the entertainment field differ with him concerning Palin, even those who are close to him. "Heavy debates in my house. Whenever I say Sarah Palin, people think I'm crazy, but I like her, I do. I can like whoever. This is America, right?" he said. "Now my wife probably will debate and disagree with me."

Last year Jean himself sought the presidency in Haiti.

Meanwhile Barry Manilow has apparently joined the Ron Paul fan club.

"I like him. I like what he says, I do — I think he's solid," the Grammy award-winning singer-songwriter told the Daily Caller. "I agree with just about everything he says. What can I tell you?"

Rumor has it the other GOP campaigns are looking to lock up the easy listening vote by seeking support from Neil Diamond, Tom Jones and Engelbert Humperdinck.

5. Candidates Line Up for Trump Support

Donald Trump has a new political reality show of sorts.

Even though Trump pulled out of his bid for the GOP nomination, Republican presidential wannabes are queuing up at Trump's boardroom door to try and win the top kudos in what could be called his "GOP Presidential Apprentice" show.

Mitt Romney is the latest candidate to seek an audience with The Donald. The former Massachusetts governor is scheduled to meet with the real estate and reality TV mogul on Sept. 26 at the Trump Tower offices.

According to an officer of the Trump organization, it was Romney who initiated a sit-down with Trump.

Romney's top opponents, though, were ahead of him in seeking to get in Trump's good graces. In May of 2011, potential contender Sarah Palin got together with Trump at his Manhattan residence. Following the meeting, Trump referred to Palin as a "terrific woman and a terrific friend" who he hoped would seek the GOP presidential nomination.

Michele Bachmann reportedly met with Trump back in July of 2011. Trump talked about meeting with Bachmann on CNN's "Piers Morgan Tonight." "I was very impressed with her, and I think she's highly underrated," he said. "I think she's very good."

Trump and GOP frontrunner Rick Perry dined at the Jean-Georges restaurant, which overlooks Central Park. The two reportedly discussed topics that included China and the jobs crisis. Trump called Perry a "terrific guy" and said that his meeting with the Texas governor "went really well." Perry had set up the meeting about two months prior.

Trump is critical of the large field of GOP candidates. "I think we have too many of them," he said. "Some of them just don't have a chance. It would be better if they would clear out so you don't have to listen to their answers."

Trump plans to pick a "winner" of his would-be "GOP Presidential Apprentice" show after he has fully evaluated the candidates. The finale prize would be a plum Trump endorsement.

He demonstrated his sizable endorsement power in New York's recent special election for the seat of former Congressman Anthony Weiner. Trump backed the Republican winner, Bob Turner, who won the heavily Democratic Queens-Brooklyn district by a surprisingly wide margin of 54 percent to 46 percent.

Trump had recorded a robocall, which told those on the other end of the receiver, "This is Donald Trump, and I'm not calling to fire you, as we say on 'The Apprentice.' I'm calling to fire you up!"

While appearing on ABC, Michael Cohen, Trump's lawyer, referred to his billionaire client as "the Godfather of politics." Cohen told the New York Post, "Everyone wants Mr. Trump's support."

However, Cohen revealed one caveat about Trump's political activities, telling CBS News that even as Trump assesses the GOP candidates, he's still not exactly out of the race.

"After 'The Apprentice' is over in June," Cohen said, "if he's still not happy with the choices, we are all ready to launch a campaign for him as a third-party candidate, as an Independent."

Unfortunately, if Trump decides to run as a third-party candidate, the likely winner of his presidential reality show would be none other than the current occupant of the White House.

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The Left Coast Report: A Political Look at HollywoodHeadlines (Scroll down for complete stories):1. Harvey Weinstein Tries to 'Butter' Up Bachmann for Publicity 2. Jon Stewart Custom-Tailors His Solyndra Spin 3. Dianne Feinstein's Hollywood Campaign Cash 'Wiped Out' 4....
Wyclef,Thinks,Palin-Is,Rad,Wyclef Jean,Trump,GOP Presidential Apprentice,Harvey Weinstein,Butter,Michele Bachmann,Dianne Feinstein,Jon Stewart,Solyndra,Sarah Palin,Ron Paul
Tuesday, 20 September 2011 05:50 PM
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