- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 9, 2006

LOS ANGELES — Rep. Nancy Pelosi promised that her newly empowered Democratic Party would not be gloating, but there’s plenty of gloat in Hollywood, a hotbed of left-wing, hybrid-car driving, anti-Bush liberal activism.

“We’re absolutely cuckoo bananas for the Democrats,” said producer Lynda Obst, whose credits include “Flashdance” and “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days.” “And we’re especially happy because we know Ari.”

Ari is Ari Emanuel, Hollywood superagent and brother of Rep. Rahm Emanuel, head of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, who is being widely praised for masterminding the takeover of Congress.

With the help of his well-connected Hollywood brother — the pair talk on the phone two or three times a day — the Illinois Democrat managed to raise $104 million for his party in the final stretch before the midterm elections.

“I love my brother,” was the Hollywood Mr. Emanuel’s only comment on his blog at HuffingtonPost.com. A wiry, intense man, his Beverly Hills’ agency represents top names such as Michael Douglas, Martin Scorcese, Mark Wahlberg, Michael Moore and Larry David.

Writer-director Nora Ephron also blogged on the site about her jittery nerves on Tuesday night: “We’re afraid to go to sleep for fear of it being 2000, when we went to sleep elated about Gore and wakened to Bush.”

Friends of television producer and outspoken liberal Norman Lear spent Tuesday night watching the returns at his Los Angeles home, presumably celebrating. Now that the votes are in, Hollywood is officially elated.

“I would be elated if I lived in any state in America,” Mr. Lear said yesterday. And he predicts that the Democrats will take the White House in 2008. “I think so. I think the American people want to give it to another force.”

He added: “The voters certainly [were] fed up.”

Said Arianna Huffington, “The Democrats in Hollywood are delighted, but the election was won on the war in Iraq.”

As for the presidential election in 2008, Mrs. Huffington added, “Hollywood is up for grabs.”

Hollywood’s continued enthusiasm for Democrats was demonstrated several weeks ago, when a boisterous crowd of supporters greeted Sen. Barack Obama at the University of Southern California, where the Illinois Democrat later was mobbed at a signing for his book “The Audacity of Hope.”

An e-mail from actor George Clooney — later reprinted in the Los Angeles Times — spelled out the liberal leading man’s excitement in capital letters: “If SENATOR Obama becomes PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE Obama, it would be the most electrifying thing to happen to the Democratic party since Kennedy.”

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