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Valenti Remembered

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

Updated

Corrected from previous post.

House speaker Nancy Pelosi, director Steven Spielberg and Kirk Douglas are among the dignitaries expected at the funeral for Jack Valenti this morning in Washington. Valenti left a legacy that included the movie ratings system and spirited efforts to combat piracy, but a recently released memo shows that he also tried to motivate efforts to end the Vietnam war. The Lyndon Johnson 0806 Library and Museum in Austin, Texas released a memo to The Politico apparently showing that Valenti recommended that Johnson enlist Pope Paul VI to help end the war. The memo, believed to be from 1965, is unsigned but includes Valenti’s writing style. Valenti helped arrange a meeting between Johnson and the Pope in December, 1967.

U2 + HRC: In a conference call with reporters, Bono and Hillary Clinton will team up today to promote legislation intended to boost education efforts in impoverished countries.

Mediate and Meditate: Director David Lynch hosted a live webcast at noon today in an effort to promote meditation as one way of ending school violence. He’s coordinating the push through his David Lynch Foundation for Consciousness-Based Education and World Peace.

“Big Brother” Big Break: Phil DeVellis, who created the Hillary Clinton “1984” ad, has landed a new job with Murphy Putnam Media. Mary Ann Akers of the Washington Post says that the firm does work for Bill Richardson — no doubt further upsetting the Clinton campaign.

Nixon Raves: ABC News says the rave reviews for “Frost/Nixon” make it a lock for a Tony nod, and even the award for best play. Playwright Peter Morgan says, “What became clear to me is that Nixon simply didn’t traumatize the British the way he traumatized the Americans, and the anger at Nixon was still palpable. I could literally feel that anger when I was in the theater. In America, the president is both a politician and the head of state, giving him a much deeper connection to the people. The president is more like a parent, and when a parent lets you down, it is very traumatic.” David Frost agreed to cooperate for no payment — and pointed out some factual errors in the script. From ABCNews.com: “For example, Morgan scripted a drunken late-night telephone call from Nixon to Frost. Declaring they have much in common — they both came from modest circumstances and have been lifelong victims of snobbery — the Nixon character goes on to declare both men “headed for the dirt … the place the snobs told us we’d always wind up.” The scene “captures the Nixonian self-pity and his sense of being the wrong side of the tracks,” Frost told an interviewer. But unlike Nixon, Frost said he wanted to make it clear that “I never felt I was born on the wrong side of the tracks.”

Romney Loves L. Ron: Mitt Romney was asked what his favorite novel was, and he named L. Ron Hubbard’s “Battlefield Earth.” “I’m not in favor of his religion by any means,” Romney, a Mormon, said. “But he wrote a book called ‘Battlefield Earth’ that was a very fun science-fiction book.”

Quotable: “I say they will never know unless we try.” — Hillary Clinton, at the California Democratic Convention, on those who doubt whether a woman can be elected president.

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