Star Crossed: Starting today, campaign 2008 meets Oscar week, as Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden and other politicos are scheduled to swing to L.A. to raise money at the same time that the entertainment industry builds up to Sunday’s Oscarcast. Hollywood’s first major fund raiser of the ’08 campaign is tonight, at a cocktail reception at the Beverly Hilton for Obama that is hosted by Steven Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg and David Geffen. The New York Times estimates the event will bring in a haul of $1 million, with names like Tom Hanks, Jennifer Aniston, Eddie Murphy, Denzel Washington, Ron Meyer, Brad Grey, Dick Cook and Peter Chernin among the 600 or so who have purchased tickets. Biden visits Wednesday for a fund raiser at the home of Dick Ziman, and Clinton arrives Thursday for a series of receptions before taking off for Northern California on Friday for a meeting at Google. While much has been made of the Obama-Clinton-Edwards battle for fund raising dollars in Hollywood, but it is Hillary who garners the entertainment names on Newsweek’s list of the top ’08 donors, including Haim Saban and Steve Bing. Getting mention on the GOP side is Univision’s Jerry Perenchio, raising money for John McCain.
Movie Movement: Some 5,800 congregations in the United States are believed to have participated in a sing-along to “Amazing Grace” on Sunday, part of a campaign to urge Congress and world leaders to end slavery around the world. But the event also promotes the movie “Amazing Grace,” which opens Friday and is about 18th century abolitionist William Wilberforce. The pic comes from Walden Media, conservative Philip Anschutz’s production company, but it’s earned praise across the spectrum from Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) to Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kansas) and screens at the White House this week.
First Off: Mitt Romney will be the first presidential candidate out there with a TVl ad, with a spot scheduled to run in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Florida and Michigan. Among other things, the spot calls Romney a “business legend” who “rescued the Olympics.”
In All Seriousness: The Star Tribune notes that Al Franken, running for a Minnesota Senate seat, is trying to cast himself as serious, with his campaign calling him an “award-winning satirist” rather than “comedian” or entertainer.”
Turning the Tables: White House spokesman Tony Snow will grill White House reporters at the National Press Club Foundation tonight. Bob Schieffer moderates; NBC’s David Gregory is among those participating.
Deft Def: Mos Def and his 15-piece orchestra took to the stage in Brooklyn on Friday night all wearing T-shirts with Obama’s picture on them and the phrase “So fresh, so clean.”