Michael Moore urged Democrats to hightail it to Hollywood, harness some star power and steer clear of “wonks” if they want to win the White House in 2008.
“When they run a rock star like Bill Clinton or a movie star like John Kennedy, they win. When they run the wonks, they lose. If I ever hear Evan Bayh … ,” Moore told a roomful of acolytes, including Faye Dunaway, Eli Wiesel, Nora Ephron, Tovah Feldshuh, James Toback, Jon Kilik and IFC Entertainment prexy Jonathan Sehring. He spoke at a lunch in Gotham after the New York Film Critics Circle named his Bush-bashing “Fahrenheit 9/11” best docu of the year.
“Who is our Arnold,” he asked, and “when are we going to stop being embarrassed to ask this question?”
The Democrats, he said, must embrace Hollywood — run to it. Dems, he griped, unlike Republicans, “don’t know how to tell a story that has a beginning, a middle and an end. … Republicans love Hollywood (and) they have the best scripts and the best sets” — like President Bush’s Crawford, Texas, ranch.
Moore insists America loves celebrities and actors and will vote for them whenever they have the chance — it almost doesn’t matter who (Arnold, Regan, Gopher on “Love Boat,” Sony Bono, Fred Thompson) — or, he joked, “how many naked pictures there are of them groping women.”
Moore has suggested Oprah Winfrey as a candidate. He mentioned Caroline Kennedy. If not, he said, “I always ask the question, who wouldn’t go for Tom Hanks? Everyone knows Tom Hanks won’t set policy, just as Bush doesn’t set policy.
“Don’t listen to pundits saying Americans hate Hollywood. Like Hollywood opens a movie, we need to open a candidate next time around.”
Moore’s controversial “Fahrenheit 9/11” was named best docu of the year by the Circle when the group cast its ballots Dec 13. Pic, which grossed nearly $120 million in theaters, was rolled out by Lions Gate Films, IFC Films and Harvey and Bob Weinstein after the Walt Disney Co. blocked Miramax from distributing the project.
Other attendees at the event included attorney Martin Garbus, CNN analyst Jeffrey Toobin, playwright Israel Horovitz, Griffin Dunne, Bob Balaban, John Stossel, Lynn Sher, Jerry Schatzberg, Karen Duffy and Ulu Grosbard.
The New York Critics Circle will hand out its awards Jan. 9 at Gotham’s Roosevelt Hotel.