Wednesday, January 16, 2008

The producer of a new documentary about Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton says he will produce a similar movie about Sen. Barack Obama, should the Illinois Democrat defeat the former first lady for their party’s presidential nomination.

“We already have our research staff working on Obama and, if he is the nominee, we will have a film out this summer, just like this one,” said David Bossie, president of the conservative group Citizens United and executive producer of “Hillary: The Movie,” which premiered Monday night in Georgetown.

Yesterday, a panel of three federal judges ruled against Citizens United in a Federal Election Commission case that so far has prevented the airing of TV advertisements for the documentary about Mrs. Clinton.

“We read the ruling as an invitation to appeal to the Supreme Court as the three-judge panel felt constrained by conflicting Supreme Court precedent,” Mr. Bossie said after yesterday’s ruling.

The judges unanimously rejected the group’s argument, presented last week by attorney James Bopp, that the ads are constitutionally protected free speech and should be exempt from campaign regulations that would require Citizens United to reveal the names of its donors and include a disclaimer in ads for the film.

“I can put it in theaters; I just can’t let anybody know it’s there,” Mr. Bossie said. “Michael Moore advertised his movie; I want to advertise my movie.”

“Hillary: The Movie” chronicles the New York Democrat’s role in several major scandals, including the firing of White House travel-office employees. The documentary shows one of those employees, Billy Dale, breaking down in tears as he describes how he was prosecuted by the Clinton Justice Department. Acquitted of all charges, Mr. Dale was widely considered a victim of the Clintons in the so-called “Travelgate” scandal.

At a reception following the premiere, which drew more than 200 attendees, another of the film’s stars said she was impressed with the quality of the final production.

“I can’t imagine how anyone could ever vote for [Mrs. Clinton] after seeing that,” said Kathleen Willey, who accused President Clinton of sexually assaulting her in the Oval Office and recounts her experience in the new movie.

Already available as a DVD sold online at, the film features interviews with Tony Blankley, former editorial-page editor of The Washington Times; columnist John Fund of the Wall Street Journal; R. Emmett Tyrrell of the American Spectator; Kate O’Beirne of National Review; talk-radio host Mark R. Levin; former Clinton adviser Dick Morris; former House Speaker Newt Gingrich; and syndicated columnists Robert Novak and Ann Coulter.

While Mrs. Clinton has faced a tough fight against Mr. Obama in the Democratic primary campaign, Mr. Bossie said he expects the New York senator to prevail.

Mr. Obama still “can win the nomination, but probably will not,” Mr. Bossie said, because of Mrs. Clinton’s reported advantage among so-called “superdelegates,” the elected officials and party officials whose votes at the Democratic convention could prove decisive in choosing the party’s presidential nominee.

“The analysis that I’ve heard from [Republican pollster] Frank Luntz and others who really know how to count these things is that Hillary has a 3-to-1 margin in superdelegates over Obama,” Mr. Bossie said. “A lot of these superdelegates [owe] their political lives and fortunes to Bill Clinton.”

A former staffer for Rep. Dan Burton, Indiana Republican, whose committee investigated many of the Clinton administration scandals covered in “Hillary: The Movie,” Mr. Bossie praised director Alan Peterson and director of photography Matthew Taylor for the “high production values” of the film, which combines still photos, video footage and images of newspaper headlines.

“We worked on this film for a long time, about a year and a half,” he said, noting that this is the sixth documentary since 2004 issued by Citizens United, which now has its own high-tech production studio in Washington.

“Having been Dan Burton’s chief investigator in the House of Representatives, I’m a guy who takes facts very seriously,” Mr. Bossie said. “I’m a document guy and a fact guy. And that’s what this movie did — it showed facts.”

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