|George Clooney once famously declared he could never run for public office because he’d ‘slept with too many women, done too many drugs and been to too many parties’.|
But now the Hollywood heart-throb has entered the political arena at the highest level – by becoming an unofficial adviser to US Presidential front-runner Barack Obama.
Oscar-winner Clooney, 47, is said to be helping the Democratic candidate to polish his image at home and abroad.
But he is also sharing with Obama his strong opinions on Iraq and the Middle East.
But Democratic Party insiders have revealed that Clooney and Obama regularly send texts and emails to each other and speak by phone at least twice a week.
One said last night: ‘They are extremely close. A number of members of the Hollywood community, including Brad Pitt, Ben Affleck and Matt Damon, offered to help raise funds for Barack but it was with George that he struck up this amazing affinity.
‘George has been giving him advice on things such as presentation, public speaking and body language and he also emails him constantly about policy, especially the Middle East.
‘George is pushing him to be more “balanced” on issues such as US relations with Israel.
'George is pro-Palestinian. And he is also urging Barack to withdraw unconditionally from Iraq if he wins.
‘It’s a very risky relationship. His hope of becoming America’s first black President depends heavily on winning over conservative voters and it would be suicidal for him to be perceived as a tool of a Hollywood Leftie, which is how they regard George.
‘But they text and email each other almost every day and speak on the phone at least a couple of times a week, often more.’
....One of Clooney’s trusted acquaintances said: ‘George is a master at crafting his own image and he is helping Obama to hone his image both domestically and abroad.
'He told me he feels Obama is a once-in-a-lifetime leader. He is doing everything he can behind the scenes to bolster support in Hollywood, not just with other celebrities but with the money men at the studios.’
The acquaintance added: ‘He has tried to keep the true extent of their involvement out of the Press because he is frightened of alienating voters.’
Update: More details on Clooney making a sympathetic movie about Bin Laden's personal driver. Remember, if its against America its for George Clooney.
|George Clooney, already one of Hollywood's leading liberal voices, has embarked on what may be one of his most controversial projects: the story of Osama bin Laden's driver.|
Clooney's production company, Smokehouse, has bought the rights to a book about Salim Hamdan, an inmate at Guantánamo Bay who last week was sentenced to jail for his role in helping the al-Qaeda leader. The book, The Challenge, is by journalist Jonathan Mahler and tells the story of Hamdan's capture and trial, defended by a US navy lawyer, Lieutenant Commander Charles Swift. It has had a big critical success.
Last week Yemen-born Hamdan, who has already spent seven years in US custody, received a surprisingly light sentence of just five and a half years for being bin Laden's driver in Afghanistan. Prosecutors had billed the case as a key plank in the 'War on Terror', designed to show that terrorists could be dealt with by Guantánamo. They had described Hamdan as a member of bin Laden's inner circle who had knowledge of his terrorist plans.
Defence lawyers, however, portrayed him as a simple man who had taken a high-paying job in order to feed his family. A military jury seemed to agree with that assessment, clearing him of terrorist conspiracy charges, but finding him guilty of providing support to a terrorist.