Michael Moore’s Moment

That, and other news, on today’s Political Panorama.

To say the least, Michael Moore’s “Sicko” has drawn very good reviews and reams of publicity, but will people go see it? After all, last week’s “A Mighty Heart” skidded at the box office after a wave of favorable attention.

As Slate reported on Tuesday, The Weinstein Co. is waging a political-type campaign in getting moviegoers into seats, using “robo-calls” to inform potential audiences to see the film and “send a message” to the Bush administration. Callers are targeting Democratic activists, apparently to really make a splash on opening weekend. A similar strategy was used for “An Inconvenient Truth.”

The results? I hear that of some 40,000 calls, 45% say they will go see it; 22% say they will see it at some time, just not this weekend; and 11% are undecided.   Undecided? They show up in every poll.

Clooney Cash: George Clooney says that $9.3 million has been raised for Darfur in an effort led by himself and stars of “Ocean’s Thirteen” as well as producer Jerry Weintraub. More than half of the money already has gone to various charities.

The Deal on Debate:
Democratic candidates face each other again this evening at a debate at Howard University, with Tavis Smiley as the moderator.

Coulter Continued: The Edwards campaign continued to make the most out of Ann Coulter’s attacks (obsesssion?), with John Edwards sitting down for a pretty lengthy interview on “Hardball.” Among other things, Edwards called Coulter “crazy” and he got some sympathy from Chris Matthews, who has gamely managed the sideshow. Said the host, “I think Elizabeth may have made one strategic error last night. That’s assuming that she could get Ann Coulter to express shame.” The whole incident, of course, has helped Edwards raise cash in the final days of the second quarter. But he and his wife Elizabeth deny that they planned for it that way. As Elizabeth pointed out, it was not she that planned Coulter’s appearance on “Good Morning America” on Monday, the event that started the latest skirmish.

Bruce on Fred: Bruce Willis calls his one-time co-star Fred Thompson “a wonderful candidate.”

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