Obama, Clooney and the Reluctance to Schmooze

Billionaire donors — in Los Angeles and elsewhere — complain about getting short shrift from President Obama, a lack of attention given that their role in helping to bankroll his campaign. The New Yorker’s Jane Mayer writes about it this week, and Bill Maher and Chelsea Handler debated whether Obama will lose the election because he didn’t send thank you notes. But in an interview with “Entertainment Tonight,” Obama praises one of his star supporters who hasn’t complained a bit, George Clooney. And in so doing, he seems to suggest that Clooney gets the pitfalls of Obama spending too much time with the super rich and the Hollywood elite.

“He’s very protective of the fact of not bothering me,” Obama told “ET,” below. “And I think he is also sensitive to the fact that if he’s around a lot then some how it will be tagged as ‘Obama hanging out with Hollywood stars,’ and that’s not who he is.”

What is a bit ironic is that Obama has been on a record fundraising blitz, he’s drawing on show biz to make up for a decline in contributions from Wall Street and, to the chagrin of the D.C. media, he’s giving interviews to “Entertainment Tonight” and People (today Obama did have an impromptu press conference). His opponents have and will accuse him of hobnobbing with the elites even if those supporters are keeping or being kept at a safe distance. In other words, Obama is at once captive to Hollywood but also detached from it.

 

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