George Clooney Gives President Obama Campaign Advice: Explain Your Accomplishments
The Oscar-winner tells NBC's David Gregory that the Democrats are weak on messaging.
In The Ides of March, George Clooney plays a presidential candidate in the mold of 2008 Barack Obama, giving speeches filled with hope and change and inspiration. But while the future President inspired the movie character, these days, it's Clooney who has advice for the man on the campaign trail.
Speaking on Meet the Press Sunday, the Oscar-winner said that he felt that Obama was in good shape for re-election, but needed to do a better job selling all of the landmark accomplishments that he achieved during his first term.
"The Democrats are just very poor, in general, at explaining what it is, when they accomplished something, I think they’re pretty bad at it, and Republicans are very good at it," Clooney told host David Gregory. "If I was a Republican, and Obama was a Republican, I would be selling all of the, you know, he saved the auto industry and he got Osama bin Laden. He passed a health care bill that no one could pass -- if that was a Republican issue. I would be able to sell his presidency as a very successful one. But Democrats are bad at that, we like to pick each other apart."
Clooney has long been an Obama supporter -- hanging in his living room is a copy of the famed Shepard Fairey-produced "Hope" painting that became candidate Obama's most iconic campaign poster -- and says that he's quite proud of the president. And it isn't just admiring from afar; Clooney met with President Obama to discuss the humanitarian situation in the Sudan on Thursday, and sat a seat away from him (and next to First Lady Michelle Obama) at last Wednesday's State Dinner.
As for criticism Obama has received from others in Hollywood -- including from Matt Damon -- Clooney said that he held firm in his belief in the president. Damon, he said, was disappointed in Obama's educational policies.
“No super PAC has given me money,” he said on Meet the Press, noting that he has more influence as an activist than politician.. “There is no outside influence for me. I can actually have an opinion and it may not fit what the U.N. wants and it may not fit what other people want, and I can say, ‘This is what I think is right’ and stand by it... I think it's a lot easier than running for office. I don't have any interest in that.”
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