Obama’s “Off the Record”

That, and other news, in today’s Political Panorama.


Barack Obama was queried before some 250 celebrities, media figures and journalists by Time Warner chairman Richard Parsons on Tuesday, but he conversation was off the record, of all things, reports FoxNews.com Roger Friedman. Something tells me that somehow details of this latest “Conversations on the Circle” at Manhattan’s Time Warner Center will leak out. And Friedman said that the best question came from New York attorney Michael Kennedy, who asked about the candidate’s choice for vice president. (Obama: Dick Parsons, if he can take the pay cut). Friedman himself asked Obama about his Hollywood support, and the Illinois senator said “I’ve known David Geffen a long time, and George Clooney is a serious man.”

And on the day that Hillary Clinton derided as “naive” Obama’s debate comment that he would be willing to meet with the likes of Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez, Obama told the TimeWarner crowd, “One thing I’m very confident about is my judgment in foreign policy is, I believe, better than any other candidate in this race, Republican or Democrat.” He added, according to ABC News, “The notion that somehow from Washington you get this vast foreign policy experience is illusory.”

Obama told the crowd of roughly 125 that he didn’t base his boast “simply on the fact that I was right on the war in Iraq. But if you look at how I approached the problem. What I was drawing on was a set of experiences that come from a life of living overseas, having family overseas, being able to see the world through the eyes of people outside our borders.”

Apparently the crowd, which included Charlie Rose, Frank Rich, Ken Auletta, and Barbara Walters; hip-hop mogul Damon Dash; actresses Edie Falco, Mariska Hargitay and musician Jon Bon Jovi, was told that the event was off the record and Obama’s comments could not be repeated, according to ABC News.

But with all of these media types, did anyone in the Obama campaign or Time Warnerreally think that would hold? If so, it might have been quite a bit, well, naive.

Photo gallery here.

Bo’s Perfect 10: Longtime Republican  Bo Derek is backing Rudy Giuliani for president. The Los Angeles Times’ Top of the Ticket muses, quite extensively, on what it all means.

The Fred Letters: As he preps for a presidential campaign, Fred Thompson is getting serious scrutiny. The latest is New York magazine’s exhumation of his Senate archives, now at the University of Tennessee. Among the gems: A thank you note from Oliver Stone for helping him get in to see James Earl Ray.

Major Endorsement: Another boost to Hillary Clinton’s California efforts came with the endorsement of Sen. Diane Feinstein. It’s no major surprise, but on a conference call today Feinstein showed that she will be more than willing to step in as a rather hard-charging surrogate. When a reporter asked Clinton about the trouble that another high-profile backer, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, has gotten into because of an affair with a Telemundo reporter, Feinstein snapped. From the L.A. Times: “I am surprised at you for that question,” Feinstein said, jumping in ahead of Clinton’s response. “My goodness! Hillary is running for the president of the United States. She doesn’t need to get into this.”

Say It Isn’t So: Gun enthusiast Jered Townsend, whose YouTube video inspired Joe Biden to say that he needs help, is looking into slander charges against the presidential candidate.

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