That, and other news, in today’s Political Panorama.
On the eve of his presidential announcement, Fred Thompson unveils his first ad in which he tout his platform of “security, unity and prosperity.” It’s nothing out of the ordinary: Thompson speaks in a room with an American flag behind him.
“Today, as before, the fate of millions across the world depends upon the unity and the resolve of the American people,” he says. “We can’t allow ourselves to become a weaker, less prosperous and more divided nation.”
The ad will debut just before the Fox News debate with the rest of the GOP field, but Thompson will not be among them. He is skipping the New Hampshire meet up for an appearance on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.”
More on Oprah: Among those expected at Oprah Winfrey’s fund-raiser — the week’s other big entertainment political event — are George Clooney, Jamie Foxx, Will Smith, John Travolta and Stevie Wonder. Winfrey herself talked up the fund-raiser in a recent radio interview with Gayle King. “For me, this was the moment to step up,” she said. Winfrey confirmed that the Obamas will be the only political guests on her show. “It would be really disingenuous of me to be sitting up there interviewing other people . . . pretending to be objective,” she said. She did agree that offering up her home was something she would rarely do. “To offer it, you’re right,” Winfrey said, “it’s no small thing for me. . . . I’m really not a political person. I believe that he offers a fresh opportunity of hope for America. So that’s why I’m in it. I probably won’t ever be in it again.”
Winfrey’s event on Saturday is expected to draw some 1,500 guests and raise more than $3 million.
“Path” Passed: The screenwriter of ABC’s “Path to 9/11” is charging that the Walt Disney Co. is delaying its DVD release out of fear of upsetting the Clintons.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Cyrus Nowrasteh, also one of the miniseries’ many producers, said he was told by a top executive at ABC Studios that “if Hillary weren’t running for president, this wouldn’t be a problem.”
“Whatever anyone may think about me or this movie, this is a bad precedent, a dangerous precedent, to allow a movie to be buried,” added Nowrasteh. “Because the next time they’ll go after another movie. The Bush administration may go after a movie. The next administration may go after a movie. No matter who it is, they may go after a movie. I think this town needs to stand up.”
“Primary” Research: Another movie that caused a stir in Clinton circles, Mike Nichols’ “Primary Colors,” gets renewed attention on Slate today. Writer Charles Taylor says that the movie “deserves another look—if not for its political insight, then for what it might tell us about the current Clinton campaign.”
He writes, “God only knows what smears are being prepared against Hillary Clinton. But it must be obvious to the goons readying those attacks that she’s not just going to take them. The coiled energy of (Emma) Thompson’s Susan Stanton, that palpable resentment at having to downplay her own intelligence, suggests what might be unleashed in a Hillary Clinton no longer in the supporting role of candidate’s wife. Not only is she capable of fighting back—she can do it in heels.”