That, and other news, in today’s Political Panorama.
While indicating his support for Rudy Giuliani, “24” executive producer Joel Surnow told a conservative student group on Saturday that the notion that Hillary Clinton would be elected president is “nuts.”
According to the Washington Times, Surnow, one of the more high profile Republicans in Hollywood, said, “Are we nuts thinking Hillary Clinton could be president of this country? Honest to God, just stand back and think about it.”
He does not think it’s inevitable that she will win the nomination, either. He says he is “probably going to get behind” Giuliani, joining Dennis Miller and Adam Sandler in offering their endorsement.
Lear Lowdown: Norman Lear asks of the Democratic field, “When are my candidates going to show more outrage, directed to the opposition, than this poor fool is able to express in more appropriate language?” He writes — very explicitly — on Huffington Post that the contenders fail to show much indignation at the Bush adminstration and the state of the country, at least when it comes to the endless forums.
“Tuesday night, when the Democrat candidates debate, am I going to hear them clawing at each other once again — or am I going to see some representation of the pent up anger and bitterness and outright disgust most Americans are feeling for the near tragic situations the current administration has so ineptly and imprudently mismanaged, and, while winking to its neo-con and corporate supporters, lied and weedled and obfuscated its way into?”
Lear has not yet endorsed anyone.
Bob & Bob: At the D.C. premiere for “Lions for Lambs” last week, Robert Redford reunited with Bob Woodward. Yeas & Nays asks who’s aged better: “Oh, I think he might win that one,” Woodward said, ever so humbly.
Person of the Year: Jon Friedman guesses it will be Al Gore.
Barack Talk: Obama campaign manager David Plouffe and his California state director Mitchell Schwartz conferenced with reporters today, doing their best to heighten expectations for Hillary Clinton — and you could say lower them for Obama.
Clinton, Plouffe said, is the “dominant national front-runner. She has embraced inevitability like no other presidential candidate.” He added, “She needs to win each and every state or her campaign will be in serious jeopardy.”
“She has to win Iowa,” Plouffe said.
Even though there was talk that Obama needs to win Iowa — his wife Michelle told a crowd in September, “If Barack doesn’t win Iowa, it is just a dream” — Plouffe insisted that “we do not have all of our eggs in the Iowa basket.”
Instead, he and Schwartz said that they have a bigger presence in the Feb. 5 states than any other campaign.
As for Obama, Plouffe contends that one reason he’s not doing better in polls in California and nationwide is that “people may know Sen. Obama’s name, but they don’t know much beneath that.” Their claim: As people get to know him better, his numbers go up.
Of the latter, Clinton California campaign spokesman Luis Vizcaino told the AP: “The Obama campaign is kidding itself. Voters have taken a close look at Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama and she is winning because they see that she is focused on attacking America’s problems — not fellow Democrats.”
And the Rocky Mountain News’ M.E. Sprengelmeyer offers this pre-dinner exchange that Obama had with a reporter:
“Before Saturday night, the “too-nice” theme had been creeping into coverage of Obama’s campaign. At a separate news conference Friday, a television reporter flat-out accused him of being reluctant to throw “sharp elbows” at Clinton — as he had suggested he might in a recent interview.
“It seems like, (if) a slow pitch comes across the plate, you don’t swing,” the reporter said, prompting Obama to reject the premise of the question.
“I’m not interested in taking potshots just for the sake of taking potshots,” he said, saying he never has had a problem pointing out serious policy differences.
But Saturday night, with sign-waving fans egging him on from the cheap seats in the bal- cony, Obama’s tone turned almost angry at times. His voice rose. And he signaled that his campaign might grow louder and louder before the caucuses on Jan. 3, 2008.”
Photo by M.E. Sprengelmeyer.