Clinton Losing Hollywood to Gore for 2008, Analysts Say

By Randy Hall | July 7, 2008 | 8:06 PM EDT

( - If Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) runs for president in 2008, she may lose an important Democratic constituency -- Hollywood -- especially if former Vice President Al Gore also runs, analysts told Cybercast News Service.

"Hollywood has gotten excited about Al Gore again," said Larry Sabato, director of the University of Virginia Center for Politics. "Absence makes the heart grow fonder, and he's been away for six years."

Sabato said a Gore comeback in 2008 would resemble what happened four decades ago, when then-Vice President Richard Nixon barely lost the presidential election in 1960 to Democrat John Kennedy, only to return in 1968 and win the White House.

"This is all the Nixon pattern," Sabato noted. "Incumbent vice president loses squeaker, runs eight years later and wins."

"Al is the man" to people in the entertainment industry, conservative talk show host Michael Medved told Cybercast News Service. "All you hear from everybody in the entertainment industry is they're very, very excited about who will be the left-wing alternative to Hillary: Al Gore."

One reason for Gore's popularity in Hollywood is that he "has a soon-to-be-Oscar-winning movie," Medved said. "An Inconvenient Truth," a film on "global warming" that opens in select theaters this week and nationwide on June 9, is "a sure thing" to take next year's Academy Award for best documentary, he predicted.

The former vice president also has a strong "Hollywood connection," Medved stated. Not only did he co-produce his movie "with Laurie David, who is married to Larry David, the 'Curb Your Enthusiasm' guy," but Gore even started his own television network, Current TV, which debuted in August 2005.

Medved added that most people in the entertainment industry like Gore because he's a known quantity to them. "They don't like Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) because they feel he blew it" in the 2004 election.

"They love Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean, but 'Howlin' Howie' appears not to be going anywhere," Medved said. Also, "they don't know Sen. Russell Feingold (D-Wis.)."

"I think the idea that the tremendous affection for former President Bill Clinton will carry over to Hillary is not accurate," Medved stated. "The Hollywood fascination with Bill Clinton always had more to do with adultery than it did with policy.

"If you look back at 1992, when Bill Clinton was competing for the Democratic nomination, he was not the favorite son in Hollywood," he said. "That embrace came after Clinton clearly demonstrated that he shared a consuming passion with all of the leading figures of the entertainment industry, which was sex."

Medved noted that in Hollywood's eyes, "It was Bill Clinton versus the Puritans; it was Bill Clinton versus [Whitewater prosecutor] Ken Starr; it was Bill Clinton versus the religious right."

Sen. Hillary Clinton is "reaching out to the religious right," he added. "She's doing joint things with Newt Gingrich. She has said that abortion is a tragedy. Now, a lot of people in Hollywood do not think abortion's a tragedy. They're the kind of people who bought those T-shirts at the 2004 Democratic convention that said, 'I had an abortion and I'm proud.'"

Medved said Sen. Clinton has another problem appealing to people in Hollywood: "She comes across as asexual, even though Michael Moore says that she's his dream girl of all time.

"When you see Hillary or you watch her on TV, you don't initially think, 'Whoopee,'" Medved said.

On May 14, nationally syndicated columnist Arianna Huffington used a highly anticipated movie -- The Da Vinci Code -- to criticize Sen. Clinton, claiming that she had been "Cracking the Hillary Code."

After listing such "clues" as the senator's "warm assessment of Bush," "partying with a Who's Who of the GOP power elite" and even planning a fundraiser to be hosted by Rupert Murdoch, Huffington said, "It doesn't take a dashing Harvard symbologist and a sexy French cryptographer to figure this one out.

"Hillary Clinton is determined to single-handedly remove every last vestige of authenticity from American politics," Huffington noted.

On May 16, actress Susan Sarandon, a long-time liberal political activist and outspoken opponent of the war in Iraq, endorsed a long-shot anti-war challenger to Sen. Clinton in the New York Democratic primary, which takes place Sept. 12.

"I am deeply honored to have Susan Sarandon as a supporter," said Jonathan Tasini, a labor advocate and former president of the National Writer's Union, on his campaign website.

Sarandon joins "a long list of prominent women who have endorsed Tasini," the site states, including feminist author Barbara Ehrenreich, Code Pink peace activist Medea Benjamin, Titanic actress Frances Fisher and Academy Award-winning documentarian Barbara Kopple.

Still, Sabato from the University of Virginia Center for Politics, found a silver lining in the New York senator's dark Hollywood cloud.

"If she sheds some of the far-left crowd in Hollywood, it might underline her efforts to portray herself as more moderate," Sabato said. "Even Hollywood isn't as far left as Susan Sarandon."

Sabato said he does not believe Gore will run for president in 2008. But "if he does, Hillary has a Class A challenger who might be able to snatch the nomination away from her," he added.

Medved said he believes that "Al is gonna go."

"And frankly, as a conservative and as a connoisseur of the media, it doesn't get any better than the idea of a Hillary-Al debate," said Medved. "That would be the most fun since King Kong versus Godzilla!"

See Earlier Stories:
TV Ads Seek to Upstage Gore 'Global Warming' Movie (May 18, 2006)
Hillary Clinton 'Already Focused' on 2008, Analysts Say (Oct. 24, 2005)

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