When George Clooney isn't busy hunting for the real leaker of the Huckabees videos or developing socially conscious movie projects to assuage the guilt induced by all the fun he's having placing Saran Wrap over the toilet bowl in Brad Pitt's double wide (Brad always falls for that one!) on the set of Ocean's 13, the committed actorvist spends time fretting about whether or not it's a prudent idea to publicly repress his intense feelings for Democratic Presidential mancrush Barack Obama for the good of his campaign. In discussing his acute case of Obamamania in today's LAT, Clooney notes the delicate balance between using celebrity to raise a politician's profile and tainting him with the perceived Gay Satanism of "Hollywood values" that Middle America so thoroughly fears:
So when Obama, an Illinois Democrat, told Clooney last year that he was thinking about running for president, the actor was excited but cautious. "I told him I would do anything for him, including staying completely away from him," said Clooney, speaking recently on his cellphone from the South Carolina set of his latest movie, "Leatherheads."
Obama, however, welcomed Clooney's involvement and support. They got to know each other a year ago while attending a rally to raise awareness about the genocide in the Darfur region of Sudan and have stayed in touch. When asked about Clooney at a recent event, Obama broke into a smile, gestured expressively and said simply: "He's a good friend."[...]
"We were at a rally on Darfur," Clooney said. "People were standing around backstage. All of a sudden, Obama walks out and steps onto the stage. Everyone stopped to hear what he had to say.... I've never been around anyone who can literally take someone's breath away."
Although the actor may not be campaigning publicly for Obama at the moment, he is certainly working for him behind the scenes.
"I spend a lot of time talking with other people, and I tell them, 'You really have to educate yourself on Obama because the guy is real,' " he said. "He fascinates me. People say, 'Oh, he's too young,' you know. But you cannot learn or teach leadership. You either have it or you don't."
The savvy Obama seems to have chosen the perfect Hollywood publicity partner to mesmerize (he's dialed back the charm ever so slightly since his bewitching of David Geffen drove the billionaire completely insane); he's obviously learned a crucial lesson from John Kerry's ill-fated choice to woo lesser Oscar-winner Ben Affleck, whose rampage across America on the doomed candidate's behalf resulted in an ugly chain of post-election recriminations that could have forever devalued the entertainment industry's important contributions to political discourse.