New D.C. Powerbroker-in-Chief: David Geffen
With the presidential election over and the President-elect the Democratic nominee, BarackObama, the sorting and parsing of the campaign in all of its intensity and drama has begun. For one blogger at the Los Angeles Times a likely starting point is openly gay billionaire businessman David Geffen.
A Nov. 5 blog by Patrick Goldstein pinpoints comments by Geffen that were included in a piece by New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd as a crucial moment in the primary race between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton
The column, which appeared on Feb. 21, 2007, quoted Geffen as saying, "It’s not a very big thing to say, ’I made a mistake’ on the war, and typical of Hillary Clinton that she can’t."
Moreover, opined Geffen in the Dowd column, "Not since the Vietnam War has there been this level of disappointment in the behavior of America throughout the world, and I don’t think that another incredibly polarizing figure, no matter how smart she is and no matter how ambitious she is--and God knows, is there anybody more ambitious than Hillary Clinton?--can bring the country together."
As for the other then-contender for the Democratic nomination, "Obama is inspirational, and he’s not from the Bush royal family or the Clinton royal family," Geffen said.
"Americans are dying every day in Iraq. And I’m tired of hearing James Carville on television."
Geffen, famously a Bill Clinton supporter, making such remarks was headline news; those comments also served as the beat of the butterfly’s wings that introduced the first perturbations into the Hillary Clinton campaign.
But is wasn’t just Geffen’s personal assessment of Hillary that led him away from her camp of loyalists. The Los Angeles Times article points out that it was also Barack Obama’s own personal magnetism.
"I thought he was a remarkable guy," the blog quoted Geffen saying about Obama’s televised speech at the Democratic national Convention in 2004, at which John Kerry was nominated for that year’s election race.
Added Geffen, "After I heard him give that speech, I called him up and said, ’You’re going to run for president and I’m going to support you.’"
Obama’s reply? According to Geffen, Obama thanked him for the compliment, but demurred, saying he was not throwing his hat into the ring.
But things changed over the next couple of years.
Said Geffen, "He called me one day and said with a laugh, ’David, I guess you’re right. I am running for president and I’d like your support.’
"And of course, I said, ’You have it.’"
The blog related the origin of the Dowd column, at an event in New York City. Geffen spoke at the event, which took place at the YMCA on 92nd Street. Someone asked for Geffen’s opinion on the Democratic contenders for the party nomination.
The blog quoted Geffen as recollecting, "I said that Hillary was an incredibly polarizing figure and that if she ran, she’d never be elected president."