Inside Move: Quiet on the left

Showbiz Dems huddle as Arnie campaigns

Democratic activists in Hollywood don’t usually shy away from political debate. But in the California recall fight that has broken out in their own back yardprominent Dems have remained on the sidelines.

Public policy consultants who work with Hollywood Dems like Barbra Streisand, Norman Lear and Rob Reiner say a concerted response will soon ramp up. But for now, Republican candidate Arnold Schwarzenegger has the stage largely to himself.

Says Streisand rep Dick Guttman, “I’m sure she has a position, but I haven’t been made aware of it.”

Of Dem activists in Hollywood, he says, “These people are waiting. I actually think people are smart to not contribute to the noise.”

Why the delay?

For one, it’s August, when many Hollywood types choose to vacation.

But it also reflects the general uncertainty among Dems, both in California and nationally, as to just what their recall strategy should be.

No one seems eager to rush to the defense of Gov. Gray Davis‘ stewardship in Sacramento. But few seem eager to cross him to campaign for Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamente, the only Dem on the ballot.

So, what is a Hollywood Democrat to do?

“There will be a vigorous, visible campaign after Labor Day,” says Donna Bojarsky, a Dem public policy consultant.

Chad Griffin, a political adviser for Reiner, says “Rob will do everything he can to ensure that this recall won’t pass.”

Peter Ragone, a spokesman for Californians Against the Costly Recall, says, “In Hollywood, you have some of the greatest communicators on earth, and there is no shortage of strategies and ideas. We’re in the process of implementing them now.”