- The Washington Times - Monday, June 16, 2014

Hollywood on the Potomac: It is the stuff of fabulous dreams in the foreign press. Multiple overseas news organizations have become convinced that actor George Clooney is going to run for office in California, and possibly end up in the White House with a British first lady by his side. Journalists have already penned the script.

“Hollywood heartthrob George Clooney is set to follow in the footsteps of fellow actor Arnold Schwarzenegger by running for governor of California. Friends of the ‘Gravity’ star say the 53-year-old is being courted by Barack Obama’s [Democratic Party] who want him to run for office,” says a breathless report from The Mirror, Britain’s equivalent of The National Enquirer, a tabloid that has had its share of political scoops.


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George is planning to launch his new career after he ties the knot with British lawyer Amal Alamuddin, 36, in September, following an eight-month romance,” the Mirror declared.

The fetching, Lebanese-born Miss Alamuddin currently represents Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, along with assorted high-profile human right clients. The Mirror has the trajectory all planned, right down to the White House, noting, “If the Oscar winner eventually won the 2020 race for the presidency, it would see Amal installed as the only British first lady in history.”


Don’t laugh. Among news organization that are now trumpeting the news: Haaretz, International Business Times, The Daily Mail, The Times of India and more in Australia, New Zealand, Ireland and elsewhere.

“Democrats believe he could follow in Ronald Reagan’s footsteps and become president,” notes the account in The Daily Express, a London-based paper, which quotes Mr. Clooney’s aunt as saying, “Being married will make him look more serious.”

THAT COMMENCEMENT SPEECH

In between some golf and a little fundraising, President Obama tucked a commencement speech into his long weekend in California, which ended Monday on his return to the nation’s capital. Some are not happy that the students got a podium-load of policy during Mr. Obama’s visit after the speaker-in-chief asked them to take on climate change skeptics.

“It was inappropriate for President Obama to use his commencement address at the University of California at Irvine for a divisive speech promoting his own views on climate change,” said National Center for Public Policy Research Chairman Amy Ridenour. “He hijacked other people’s commencement to promote his own views on a contentious issue, no doubt leaving some of the graduates who hold differing views angry and frustrated on an occasion that is supposed to be in their honor.”

But that’s not all.

“If President Obama nonetheless was determined to break the above rules of etiquette, tradition and propriety, he should have done a better job of it. Parts of his speech made no sense, and nothing he said was likely to persuade a catastrophic global-warming theory fence-sitter to the president’s point of view,” Mrs. Ridenour observes. “Thus, the president insulted people, sowed division and hijacked an important ceremony in other people’s lives for no gain to anyone, including himself and his agenda.”

DOUR LUNCHES

So no more prime steak, loaded potato and wedge salad with blue cheese dressing while the policy talk rages at some back table? Some say the nation’s capital is pulling back from its culinary traditions.

“Washington, D.C.’s food scene has transformed from a place known for its power lunches to a four-course foodie destination,” notes Livability.com, a lifestyle site that placed the political hub in the top-10 list of “Foodie Cities” that feature organic local produce and artisanal everything — right along with Boulder, Colorado; Burlington, Vermont; and Scottsdale, Arizona.

We’ll believe this when we see it. The Palm, long a traditional eatery for the big shots on both sides of the aisle, still faithfully offers its “Three-Course Power Lunch” while The Monocle, located near the Senate side of the U.S. Capitol, is still very much the source of crab cakes, calves liver and short ribs. Yes, all for lunch.

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