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Obama Holds Private Meeting With Hollywood Heavyweights

Obama Holds Private Meeting With Hollywood Heavyweights
DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg (AP) 

James Hirsen By Tuesday, 16 February 2016 10:34 AM EST Current | Bio | Archive

Following a number of recent left coast fundraising stops, President Barack Obama got down to business at a late night dinner meeting with some key members of the Hollywood elite.

Not only was the get-together with DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg, chairman of Walt Disney Studios Alan Horn, and A-list actor Will Smith not on Obama’s public schedule, it was also intentionally kept from the press.

The White House failed to make mention of the meeting to reporters who were traveling with the president as he made his way to fundraising events and a television studio in Los Angeles.

In a pool report, though, New York Times White House correspondent Mark Landler made note of the White House’s failure to communicate.

During a briefing to reporters, which took place on Air Force One, Deputy Press Secretary Eric Schultz refused to discuss the secret gathering. The spokesperson justified the concealment by couching the meeting as one that necessitated privacy.

“I am going to protect the president’s ability to have private conversations, whether that’s with lawmakers, whether that’s with candidates for president, or whether that’s with Hollywood artists,” Schultz told reporters.

In June of 2015, Obama had a similar meeting with Katzenberg and director Stephen Spielberg that also went undisclosed to the press.

There is a great deal of talk about why a meeting between the leader of the free world and a group of Hollywood players would have to be kept secret, and whether there are things that were discussed about which the Obama administration does not want the public to know.

Perhaps the explanation has to do with money. For electoral purposes, Hollywood has been a virtual ATM for the president. It is a place Obama has visited many times over the years, and he always manages to leave with loads of campaign cash in hand.

Obama’s most recent trip to Los Angeles was his 21st money-seeking one in his Oval Office stint. The stealth meetup took place on the same day Obama attended numerous lucrative Democrat fundraisers and did a taped appearance for “The Ellen Degeneres Show.”

Katzenberg is one of the president's go-to guys for campaign cash flow. He donated millions during the 2012 election season to the pro-Obama super-PAC, Priorities USA Action.

Horn, too, is a well-known Obama donor. Along with Katzenberg, he held events to raise money for Obama's 2012 presidential run and hosted further fundraisers for the midterm elections in 2014.

Smith hosted a fundraiser for the president in 2012 as well.

One of the possible topics that the president discussed at the secret meeting was the Democrat’s necessity for money in the upcoming general election cycle.

Obama's signature initiatives, which include Obamacare, open borders, and executive overreach, among others, are threatened by the potential election of a GOP president in 2016.

The argument for filling up the Dem coffers might additionally be that Republican congressional power could potentially be reduced if members of the Hollywood elite open up their wallets.

Obama could also have been discussing the Hollywood options that await him when he vacates the White House in 2017.

Like Katzenberg and Horn, Smith has been known to donate large amounts of currency to Obama’s campaigns.

However, there is another topic involving Smith's future plans that may have surfaced at the secret gathering. In November 2015, while promoting his controversial football film “Concussion,” the actor revealed that he is considering pursuing a political career.

“If people keep saying all the crazy kind of stuff they’ve been saying on the news lately about walls and Muslims, they’re going to force me into the political arena,” Smith said during an appearance on a Hollywood Reporter podcast.

“As I look at the political landscape, I think that there might be a future out there for me. They might need me out there. This is the first year that I've been incensed to a level that I can't sleep, you know?

So I'm feeling that at some point, in the near future, I will have to lend my voice to the conversation in a somewhat different way,” Smith added.

The actor is not interested in any political office other than the Oval one.

“I mean, I gotta be the president, you know,” Smith said. “Come on. Really? Keep it real. What else would I run for?”

James Hirsen, J.D., M.A., in media psychology, is a New York Times best-selling author, media analyst, and law professor. Visit Newsmax TV Hollywood. Read more reports from James Hirsen — Click Here Now.


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Following a number of recent left coast fundraising stops, President Barack Obama got down to business at a late night dinner meeting with some key members of the Hollywood elite.
Tuesday, 16 February 2016 10:34 AM
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