WASHINGTON--President Obama hits California on Wednesday for a series of high-dollar fund-raisers, one where the Foo Fighters will play. One event is at the home of Colleen and Bradley Bell--producers of The Bold and The Beautiful. Bradley Bell has deep Chicago ties: his father, Bill was a soap opera pioneer and his mother is Lee Phillip, a long-time star on the Chicago television scene.
Variety's Ted Johnson, whose Wilshire and Washington blog covers the intersection of politics and Hollywood, reports that when Obama hit Los Angeles later today, he will be dealing with Hollywood executives who are not happy about how anti-piracy measures have been handled. Still, the money is flowing at a good pace for now--First Lady Michelle Obama scooped up big money when she hit Los Angeles on Jan. 31. California is the biggest donor state for the Obama re-election drive.
Johnson writes: "When President Obama treks to Los Angeles -- again -- on Feb. 15, he'll be looking to convey the sense of a winner: Improved poll numbers and a brightening economy, as well as the bandwagon effect of a smattering of stars coming out in support. The Foo Fighters will be playing for him, and Will Ferrell is among the co-hosts of a high-dollar event at a posh Beverly Hills estate."
"...But even as the campaign tries to reignite enthusiasm of the last election cycle, there remains some dismay among the highest echelons of studio and media executives over the way the White House responded in mid-January to a pair of anti-piracy bills in Congress, stopped in their tracks after the administration criticized parts of the legislation amid an Internet-fueled e-mail storm of protest that flooded Capitol Hill to oppose the measures.
"...Last week, Barbra Streisand posted a statement bemoaning Republican rivals' rhetoric and praising Obama's progress on the economy. "Because of the President's policies, our economy is on the road to recovery, and it's time we start celebrating the truth," she wrote. There was no mention of piracy or SOPA.
"Hollywood undoubtedly leans left. But it doesn't march in lockstep, particularly when it comes to its own issues."