Oliver Stone’s “W”

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

An early script of Oliver Stone’s George W. Bush biopic “W” shows a portrait of the current president as a hard partying son of privilege who cleans up his life yet still struggles under the shadow of his father, a competitive streak that played a role in his decision to invade Iraq. That’s according to a screenplay obtained by ABC News.

The project, which stars Josh Brolin as Dubya and James Cromwell as Poppa Bush, will surely be grist for  any notion that Hollywood has it out for the president, and the veracity of dialogue and scenes is already being picked apart. Ari Fleischer, Bush’s first White House spokesman, already is challenging some of Bush’s expletive outbursts in the pic.

There is a chance that the movie will premiere before the November election — and some suggest that this will be bad news for John McCain.

“It’s happened before where movies such as ‘All the President’s Men’ have had an impact on an election,” Robert Brent Toplin, a professor of history at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington and the author of “Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11: How One Film Divided a Nation,” tells ABC News.

“That movie hurt Gerald Ford by revealing the investigation and focusing on the corruption of the Nixon administration. He lost by a few points in 1976 and the movie came out early that spring.”

Really? A damning indictment of the Bush years is just what you would expect from Stone, given his support of MoveOn and other liberal and progressive causes. And I’m coming to the conclusion that the impact of a movie is inversely proportional to how direct its message is, and subtlety is not something usually associated with Stone. What really will draw attention is the nature of the portrayal of Bush, and whether it in any way suggests something unexpected, like sympathy. It is surely not out of the question.   

Endorsements, Endorsements:
Alice Walker says Barack Obama is “the change that America has tried to hide,” and Michael Stipe, who performed at one of Bill Clinton’s Inaugural balls, goes for the Illinois senator.

A Murdoch for Obama:
Elisabeth Murdoch is co-sponsoring a fund-raiser for  Barack Obama at her home, with Gwyneth Paltrow among the co-hosts, reports the Politico’s Shenanigans blog.

Ralph Reed’s Novel:
The former Christian Coalition leader has penned a new political thriller, “Dark Horse,” reports Talking Points Memo. One of the characters: “David Petty, his lackluster replacement, the first African-American
presidential nominee in history, is hobbled by a grassroots rebellion
led by a politically savvy and occasionally demagogic television

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