More on Obama-Clinton Spat: The Geffen-induced fued between the camps gets intensive coverage this morning, led by the New York Post headline, “The Big Chill.” Sen. John Edwards, who, outside of Republicans, may stand to gain the most from all of this, said on “Today,” “I think it’s awfully early for that sort of sniping.” ABC’s The Note rounds up the coverage, with a somewhat truthful tick-tock play-by-play. Among other things, the feud has shown which sides certain figures are on, including John Kerry’s former campaign manager Bob Shrum, who said on “Hardball” that the Clinton camp’s response was excessive. Ditto to Time’s Joe Klein: “The Clinton camp’s initial reaction was over the top: Do they really expect Obama to censor his campaign contributors? The Obama camp’s response was swift, brutal and elegant, another signal–after Obama’s take-down of the Australian Prime Minister–that he’s not going to take guff from anyone.” Time, by the way, compares the entire dust up to “All About Eve.”
And There’s More… It’s not even the end of the week, and already donors and fund-raisers are shaking their heads at the flurry of activity in Hollywood-political circles. Hillary Clinton visits today for a series of private receptions, and later tonight Al Gore is the guest of honor at an Oscar party at the home of Antonio Banderas. On Wednesday, Joe Biden raised money at the home of Richard Ziman and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer attended a reception in Beverly Hills.
And There’s Jack: A bust of Jack Valenti will be unveiled tonight at the American Film Institute’s campus in Hollywood, with Kirk Douglas on hand to present the sculpture along with the guest of honor. Also expected are Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, producer Jon Avnet and political consultant Joseph Cerrell. The National Italian American Foundation is co-sponsoring with the AFI.
Governator’s Warming: Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger lavished praise on John McCain on Wednesday at a joint press conference but stopped short of endorsing the Arizona senator’s presidential bid. The event at the Port of Los Angeles was to talk about the environment, and McCain took several swipes at the White House, calling President Bush’s record on global warming “terrible.”
Jackson’s PUSH: Jesse Jackson also is in Los Angeles this week, using the Academy Award buildup to push for more minorities in the entertainment business. Although he says progress has been made, given that Oscar nominees include Forest Whitaker, Jennifer Hudson and Eddie Murphy, he says, “We want to keep a light on unfinished business.” He singled out talent agencies and cable hosting gigs as areas for improvement.
“Last King” Critique: The son of Idi Amin challenges the portrayal of his father in “The Last King of Scotland,” for which Forest Whitaker is believed to be a front-runner to win the best actor Oscar on Sunday. “Dad is the only person who has veer been accused and sentenced, incarcerated by opinion, without it ever reaching any courthouse,” says Jaffar Amin, one of an estimated 40 children believed to have been fathered by the former Ugandan dictator. He did watch a DVD of the film, and says this about Whitaker’s performance: “A lot of the mannerisms were right. But the problem was the walk — Forest didn’t get that. My father strides and his hands would go like a paddle because of his wide shoulders. Whitaker is knock-kneed — my father was bow-legged.”