Outside Influence

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


It’s doubtful that Antonio Villaraigosa or Arnold Schwarzenegger will play any role any time soon in the strike, reports the Los Angeles Times. I touched on this yesterday, but the Times reports that each politico has been talking to writers and producers. “The governor is ideally situated because of his position and his background to convince the companies to negotiate seriously,” said Howard A. Rodman, a board member of the Writers Guild of America, West, who is walking picket lines this week. “The fact that he is not using his official and unofficial powers to do that is very disappointing.” But Schwarzenegger first would have to be let in, and that is something that is doubtful anytime soon. The writers may want he governor to get involved; producers are bit leery of any politico taking a role.

And on that note, the campaigns of Barack Obama, John Edwards and Hillary Clinton are watching the progress (or lack of progress) of the strike situation, after each releasing statements in support of the writers. Their positions place them directly opposite that of some of their studio mogul donors, and while that rankled a few of the latter, the campaigns only see upside in siding with labor. “Any Democratic donor gets that,” says one top Democratic fund-raiser. There are also doubts that the candidates will get much more involved than their statements, for obvious reasons. And their statements didn’t exactly condemn the studios as money grubbing bastards. In other words, they will take sides, but not get carried away with it. “No one is going to risk putting their reputation on the line, on the eve of the primaries,” the fund-raiser says.

On the Huffington Post, “Brothers & Sisters” creator Jon Robin Baitz calls on the Governor to get involved: “As this strike worsens, and as more wounds are inflicted, the more all parties will be damaged. For the governor to simply observe, the more it would resemble the unthinkable notion of your doing nothing as fires rage through dry Californian canyons. That should not be part of your legacy.”

In Like a “Lion”: Presidential-like security greeted guests at the premiere of “Lions for Lambs” on Wednesday in Washington, reports the Washington Examiner’s Yeas and Nays column.  “Following the screening, those in the know were bused to the Ritz-Carlton for an after party, which lasted until midnight. [Robert] Redford made an entrance with Speaker Nancy Pelosi, but he didn’t stay long: It was off to his own hotel, the Four Seasons, for a chat with Albright at the bar. For their part, TomKat was out of here in a hurry, via a private plane at Dulles.”

Just About Right Stuff:
The Examiner also reports that author Tom Wolfe will “probably” support Rudy Giuliani.

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