Tuesday, January 08, 2008

The rats are leaving the sinking ship

From the Los Angeles Times:

ON desks all over Hollywood, there's a note this morning waiting to be sent:

Memo to Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton: We think you're aces. Really. And we love your husband. But we're running off with Sen. Barack Obama. Hope you understand. It's all about being part of history. We'll do lunch after the inauguration.

Of course, in certain Westside mansions, loyalty to the Clintons runs deeper than any primary result. But in a town that for many months has been divided by head and heart, a lot of entertainment industry people who chose Clinton because she was the smart choice, the "inevitable" Democratic candidate, are going where their hearts have long wanted to take them -- to a place on the Obama bandwagon (and nobody wants to miss the last seat).

From the beginning, Hollywood has loved Obama's story -- his "pitch" as they say -- but were wary of his real box office potential. Iowa and now possibly New Hampshire have lifted that uncertainty. The only thing the town likes better than a great story is a winning one.

Phones started ringing even before the junior senator from Illinois had completed his Iowa victory speech, which hardened political pros compared to legendary addresses given by the Kennedys, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and President Ronald Reagan. West of La Cienega, the clips on cable news were the best audition tapes anybody had seen in a long time.

If Clinton loses in New Hampshire tonight, predicted longtime political operative turned Hollywood producer Brian Quintana, Hollywood "will defect to Barack in droves."

"It is not a question of loyalty; Barack is simply too close to making history for Hollywood not to be part of it," Quintana said. "For most of us, Hillary was our first choice, but she has come up short. Barack has become a movement."

The SS Clinton is holed, taking on water and beginning to list to port and the rats are heading over the side to look for something more seaworthy.

Sweet justice. Hollywood helped to prop up her worthless husband but here's the thing. Remember all those "hero president" movies that came out during the Clinton administration? In all of them the president was either single or the First Lady was deep in the background.

Even back then the entertainment industry loved BJ Bill but wished Mrs. Clinton was out of the picture.

They may be about to get their wish.