Michael Bloomberg: Is He Hollywood's Man For White House?
As we lead up to Super Tuesday I've been reporting on the intersection of Hollywood and politics. Hollywood plays a key role raising awareness about issues, and candidates. (Though I wouldn't say that a Hollywood endorsement is necessarily a good thing).
Hollywood has the kind of power and money to make it the perfect place to feel out a candidacy, which is exactly what Michael Bloomberg is doing. He's been making the rounds, schmoozing with the biggest names in the biz, and feeling out a potential presidential candidacy.
Lions Gate vice-Chairman Michael Burns told me about his hopes that Bloomberg will run for president at Sundance film festival in an exclusive interview. Burns, a self-described moderate Republican, and his partner, John Feltheimer, the CEO of Lions Gate, a liberal Democrat co-hosted a dinner for Bloomberg at Feltheimer's home, with a handful of select A-list Hollywood execs. Burns, who's also a John McCain supporter, said "it's time for common sense", saying he hopes that Bloomberg can, as an Independent candidate draw support from both sides of the aisle, bridging the Blue State/Red State divide.
Lions Gate leadership isn't the only Hollywood brass supporting the New York Mayor. The night after Burns and Feltheimer's dinner, Disney CEO Bob Iger hosted another dinner for him, with more high-powered Hollywood guests. And CBS CEO Les Moonves played golf with Bloomberg. And Bloomberg is said to be best buds with Arnold Schwarzenegger, whose aides and former aides, have reportedly been meeting with Bloomberg's folks.
Hollywood has some outspoken supporters of Barack Obama--from DreamWorks' David Geffen to Scarlett Johansson. Despite a historic affinity to the Clinton dynasty, more big Hollywood names seem to support Obama than Hillary Clinton. So if Clinton gets the nomination, that could spur a move by Bloomberg, to capture some of the vote of those that don't like Hillary. In fact, the rumor is that Bloomberg would only run against Hillary, not Obama, so it all comes together.
Will Bloomberg run? Too soon to say, but if he does, support from Hollywood will surely play a role.
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