Expect lots of pro-Obama efforts from the glitterati in the coming weeks. Moveon.org already has a major initiative underway. The group announced last week that it is teaming with Academy Award winners Ben Affleck, Matt Damon and Oliver Stone, multiple Grammy winner John Legend, author Naomi Wolf and others to hold a new ad contest called “Obama in 30 Seconds.”
The effort provides a platform for Obama supporters to show in 30-second spots what inspires them about the senator’s candidacy. MoveOn will buy time to run the winning ad on national television before Pennsylvania’s crucial April 22 primary. Affleck explained the effort this way: “MoveOn’s ‘Obama in 30 Seconds’ ad contest is a chance for everyone, from aspiring filmmakers to armchair pundits, to raise their voices to put Obama over the top and help make history.”
The beginning of the story is worth many chuckles:
After the YouTube videos surfaced showing Barack Obama’s pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, making racist statements, the senator’s entertainment industry supporters were beyond worried: Some thought Obama was, quite simply, finished.
I was getting calls from celebs who were pretty upset and pretty scared,” said music industry executive Steven McKeever, who serves on Obama’s finance committee. “Major figures in this town were nervous and losing sleep over it.”
And then, on Tuesday, their candidate made the speech of a lifetime: He talked about race relations in America in terms never before used by a U.S. presidential candidate. (By Thursday, the speech was viewed more than 1.6 million times on YouTube.)
If Hollywood had a prize for political reinvention, Obama would have won it.
“He spoke from the heart, and it was one of those most remarkable moments you’ll remember all your life,” McKeever said.
It had all the makings of a Hollywood thriller: disaster, triumph and the promise of a great finale. With everything on the line, Obama went into himself, wrote his own script and penned a comeback. Sort of like Bruce Willis making a great escape from a burning building.
And since Tuesday, McKeever said his phone hasn’t stopped ringing. Stevie Wonder, an avid Obama supporter, called, as did a number of other entertainers. “Everyone knew this was a historically significant moment,” McKeever said. “I even talked to people who weren’t even supporters. They came away with a sense of awe.”
Read the whole thing.
Not since George McGovern has the Hollywood left been this excited.