Some Hollywood Democrats disappointed in Barack Obama
WITH BILL ZWECKER December 7, 2011 7:00PM
George Clooney (with then-Sen. Barack Obama in 2006) helped Obama win the White House. | Mannie Garcia~AP
Updated: January 9, 2012 9:15AM
The long-simmering dissatisfaction with President Obama by some of Hollywood’s most famous liberals apparently is causing some concern at the White House.
It’s not that George Clooney, Barbra Streisand, Tom Hanks, Steven Spielberg or Leonardo DiCaprio won’t ultimately support Obama next year — it’s just that they are not rushing to make huge contributions to his campaign, or host major fund-raisers, like they did back in 2008.
Remember that big all-star bash Oprah Winfrey hosted at her Santa Barbara estate the summer prior to Obama’s election? As a top studio honcho put it Tuesday, “Oh, they’ll still vote for Barack, but they’ll do it while holding their noses.” On issues ranging from gay marriage to the handling of the economy to a perceived lack of support for Israel to immigration reform, quite a few veteran Democrats in Tinseltown are saying they find Obama a big disappointment.
† To offset all this, there’s word the president and first lady Michelle Obama soon will be adding a number of West Coast trips to try and re-invigorate their old supporters.
† One big ’08 Obama backer, Norman Lear, has been outspoken with his disappointment but told Britain’s Independent newspaper that he believes the president will be re-elected.
“Obama is in such difficult straits but has eight or nine people working so diligently for him. Mrs. Bachmann, Mr. Perry, Mr. Romney and Mr. Gingrich. … The Republican candidates are really doing a championship job in reminding people why they should vote for Obama.”
TOGETHER/APART: That fast-track romance between “Gossip Girl” star Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds continues in high gear. Not only have the coosome twosome been spied locking lips a lot, but a good New York real estate source tells me the couple are seriously shopping for fancy new digs they will share in the Big Apple. A key requirement: a high-rise home that will not have easy, nearby access for pesky paparazzi. (Not an easy request in high-density Manhattan!)
† Recent “Dancing With the Stars” runner-up Rob Kardashian is said to be dating gorgeous Rita Ora, an ex-model and singer just signed to Jay-Z’s record label.
† “Saturday Night Live” mainstay Jason Sudeikis adds yet another starlet to his dating resume: He’s now linked to Olivia Wilde.
† Rosario Dawson apparently is in the early stages of a fling with Otis Ferry, an ex-Burberry model, equestrian, and the 29-year-old son of music man Bryan Ferry.
† It’s official: Ashlee Simpson and North Shore native Pete Wentz are legally divorced. TMZ reports the marriage was legally terminated Nov. 22.
BLAST FROM PAST: A few notable figures from Chicago history — folks portraying Charlie Chaplin, Georgia O’Keefe, Marshall Field and Butch O’Hare — will be strolling around the Christkindlmarket at Daley Plaza at 4 p.m. Friday. The illustrious quartet are featured characters and performers in Windy City Circus — making its debut at Navy Pier, Feb. 17-26.
PLANNING AHEAD: “That 70’s Show” star Danny Masterson’s little brother Chris Masterson will be spinning at Hard Rock Hotel Chicago’s New Year’s Eve bash — along with the Gold Coast All Stars and Lupe Fiasco tour DJ Timbuck2.
TOAST TO ‘O’: For those looking for a fun, offbeat way to celebrate Oprah Winfrey, be aware “Oprah! A Comedy!” has been extended yet again, playing 9 p.m. Fridays at the Annoyance Theatre.
SEEN ON THE SCENE: The Hawks’ Patrick Kane filmed part of an HBO documentary series at the Boundary on West Division — showcasing the Blackhawk star’s daily routine. … “Jersey Shore” reality personality JWoww got her steakery fix at the Morton’s on State Street. … While home recently, “Curb Your Enthusiasm” mainstay Jeff Garlin made a beeline for Butch McGuire’s. … MSNBC’s Chris Matthews was spotted by news junkies at RL Tuesday night. … Bears Charles Tillman and Matt Toeaina — plus ex-Bears Alfonso Boone, Alex Brown and Adrian Peterson, and the Cubs’ Kerry Wood and Marlon Byrd — were on hand for Tillman’s Cornerstone Foundation’s special screening of “Alvin & The Chipmunks: Chipwrecked” at Kerasotes ShowPlace ICON.
VEGAN VOICES: Not only are Ellen DeGeneres and wife Portia de Rossi launching a vegetarian restaurant in L.A.’s San Fernando Valley, but the couple also are developing a line of vegan pet foods — after discovering a void in the market for people looking to feed their dogs and cats vegan vittles.