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Lessons for H’wood

Conventioneering D.C politicos shmooze through H'wood

HOLLYWOOD — The tired, huddled masses of Hollywood, yearning for a return to their screening rooms but bravely limping through one more convention week party, were schmoozing Wednesday at Lawrence Bender’s home during a Creative Coalition reception honoring the Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation.

The trick to spotting the D.C. politicos at these parties is they have a consuming obsession with collecting business cards. Pre-adolescents aren’t this fixated on Pokemon. The industryites spurn this quaint mating ritual: they already know who’s not returning their calls.

As the convention wound down, Harvey Weinstein said what he’d learned from the exhausting week of political chimera is “life is about choices.” Camryn Manheim said she was “glad (Joseph) Lieberman is a Jew. But when I run for president the VP will be a black female Jew. It’ll be the Manheim/Whoopi Goldberg ticket.”

The Democrats forming the eclectic D.C.-meets-glitzy crowd in Bender’s leafy back yard included Carl Bernstein, Michael J. Fox, Christie Hefner, Robert Kennedy Jr., Mark Gill, Ron Silver, Harry Hamlin and Melissa Etheridge, who performed to a warm reception.

Fittingly, Hollywood’s last political word came from Barbra Streisand at Thursday’s closing-night, Shrine Auditorium gala. The diva had three songs to sing, but a lot more to say.

In a speech that skirted on becoming a rant, Streisand let the crowd know she really, really didn’t want the Republicans elected (and she really didn’t want all the camera shots to be from profile. “Don’t you have a front camera?” she asked early on. “This is going to be on TV at some point. You have to think about that.”)

In a bravura performance that capped a show emceed by Goldberg and produced by Weinstein, Tom Carter and David Foster she camped with a play on “Alfie” lyrics sung to the nominee (“What’s it all about, Albert? … The other guy doesn’t have a clue, Albert”), spoke in Hebrew to Lieberman, and launched a blow-torch of a speech at the Republicans.

Among the subjects touched upon: the Supreme Court (“We need justices who will ensure our equal rights and not turn back the clock”), racism, bigotry, ozone depletion, hurricanes, bugs, oil companies, Texas executions, the current economic prosperity (“You don’t change the dice when you’re on a roll”) and Harry Truman.

And, of course, ended with the kind of standing ovation (from an audience that included Marvin and Barbara Davis, Billy Bob Thornton, Ron Burkle and Mike Medavoy) that would make a president jealous.

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