Ira Forman, Jewish outreach director for the Obama campaign, will meet with Los Angeles Jewish leaders for what is described as an "initial strategy session" in organizing efforts for the 2012 campaign. The event is being spearheaded by Mel Levine, and will be held on Nov. 9 at the offices of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher.
In September, after Democrats lost a New York congressional seat in an Orthodox Jewish district, media attention has focused on the prospect of Obama losing support among Jewish voters — and the campaign's efforts to shore it up. It was a core constituency for Obama in 2008. But even then, there was concern that candidate Obama would have trouble drawing Jewish voters, and the campaign organized a meeting at the Beverly Hills home of Carmen Warschaw to tamp down rumors and clarify positions in the face of Internet claims. According to exit polls, however, Jewish voters ended up supporting Obama that year by an overwhelming 78%.
Dropped: Entertainment Weekly reports that 42 West has dropped Hilary Swank from its client roster following the bad press she received last month for appearing at an event that honored Chechen president Ramzan Kadyrov, who has a poor record of human rights. Swank dropped her manager, Jason Weinberg, last week.
"Disappointed": Add Ben Stiller to the list of stars who have expressed disappointment in President Obama's term. Answering a question that will inevitably be asked of any celebrity who supported Obama in 2008, he told Piers Morgan on Thursday, "I'm disappointed that we haven't seen more bold decisions from him and a willingness, I think, to maybe stick to more of what he had, in his campaign, had said in terms of what he was willing to do.” He did acknowledge that the president is in "a very tough position." (Politico).
Fear of a Black Republican: That's the name of a new documentary — apropos to supporters of Herman Cain after this week. "Fear of a Black Republican," directed and co-produced by Kevin J. Williams, will have a screening in New Jersey on Nov. 12 at the New Jersey State Museum. Former RNC chairman Michael Steele, who is in the film, is scheduled to participate in a Q&A afterward.
Pipeline Politics: Stars are jumping on the movement against a proposed pipeline from Western Canada to the Gulf Coast. The latest is Julia Louis-Dreyfus will be among those participating in a protest in front of the White House on Sunday. She taped a video in which she asks President Obama, "Denying the permit for a brutally stupid, money-grab like the Keystone XL pipeline is a no-brainer, right Mr. President?" She noted that Obama campaigned on ending the "tyranny of big oil," but "last I checked, big oil was still pretty much running the show."