The Comedy Campaign: One prerequisite for presidential candidates in the past few election cycles has been to make stops on the late-night comedy circuit, and it’s doubtful that will change any in 2008. The AP points to Joe Biden’s appearance/contrition on “The Daily Show” as proof that campaigns will seek unconventional appearances to prove they can take a joke. “We live in a culture of entertainment and we live in a society where younger voters matter,” Hank Sheinkopf, media adviser to Bill Clinton’s 1996 campaign, tells the AP. “If you want to set yourself apart from the other candidates, you have to do something very unusual.” Big question: Will Hillary do “The Daily Show?”
Dodd Fete: Presidential contender Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) will be in Los Angeles on March 29 for a fund raiser at the home of producer Tom Werner. Werner, Universal’s Ron Meyer and City National CEO Russell Goldsmith are the hosts.
Hillary Hit: We reported here back in November that Dick Morris and David Bossie were working on a Hillary Clinton attack doc, and Morris says that it’s now on track to debut in September. “It will feature Hillary herself making all kinds of statements and then we’ll explain the distortions and fabrications in her statements,” Morris tells the D.C. Examiner. Of course, he’s already predicted she will be the next President.
Early Numbers: Campaigns already playing the expectations game in advance of the March 31 filing deadline. Some are already reporting totals. John McCain reports he’s raised $660,000 in his campaign’s first few weeks, which started in November, while Rudolph Giuliani reported $1.3 million raised. Each had to file year-end finance reports because they formed exploratory committees before the end of 2006. Among McCain’s donors: Roger Enrico, chairman of Dreamworks Animation, a departure from the Dreamworks trio of Spielberg, Katzenberg and Geffen, who are throwing a fund raiser for Barack Obama. A scan of Giuliani’s reports shows that among his contributors are producer Sandy Frank, “24” executive producer Joel Surnow, Time Warner attorney Annaliese Kambour, Cablevision exec VP Joseph Lhota, actress Cynthia Petrello and public relations exec Howard Rubenstein. All were individual contributions of $2,100, the maximum amount they can give for the primary campaign.(Figures were corrected from an earlier version).
“Truth” in Britain: All secondary schools in England will see “An Inconvenient Truth,” the government announced, just as a United Nations report came out that concludes that humans cause global warming and the debate is effectively over. Al Gore’s pic actually was banned in one Seattle school district until teachers could prove they would present alternate points of view.
Primary Focus: The Washington Post’s Howard Kurtz predicts earlier primaries next year for California, Florida, New Jersey and Illinois will definitely curb some of the retail politics that has candidates courting one vote at a time in Iowa and New Hampshire. “The result: a campaign that’s all about attack ads and online videos and staged visits to health clinics and diners in L.A., Tampa and Newark.”
Nader’s Nadir: Generally positive reviews for “An Unreasonable Man,” the documentary about the life of Ralph Nader. The New York Times says the pic, opening today, gets a bit bogged down in rehashing Nader’s entree into the 2000 presidential race, but praises it for outlining his impact on consumer protection throughout much of the 1970s. The doc made it to the Oscar short list but not the final five nominees.
George for Governor?: Liz Smith notes that rumor that Phyllis George is moving back to Kentucky to run for governor or senator. George had been first lady of that state.