Hooray for Hollywood

May 2, 2014 7:59am

By MICHAEL FALCONE (@michaelpfalcone)

NOTABLES

  • DC GETS CREATIVE!: Today the Motion Picture Association of America in partnership with Microsoft and ABC News, brings you the second annual Creativity Conference featuring leaders from the worlds of entertainment, technology, media, business, and politics. On the eve of the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner, the Creativity Conference will address how creativity strengthens and shapes the U.S. and global economy, and how policymakers, educators, business leaders, entrepreneurs and artists can support and expand the creative community to continue the economic growth fostered by business sectors devoted to innovation. The event begins at 9 a.m. ET. FOLLOW: @Creativity_Con HASHTAG: #CreativityCon
  • BIDEN, DODD, GOODLATTE AND MORE: Today’s event, held at the Newseum in Washington, DC, will include remarks from Vice President Joe Biden; House Judiciary Chairman Rep. Bob Goodlatte; former Senator Chris Dodd, Chairman and CEO of the Motion Picture Association of America; “Scandal” star Tony Goldwyn, filmmaker and producer Morgan Spurlock and many others. Moderators of today’s panels include ABC’s ROBIN SPROUL, JONATHAN KARL, RICK KLEIN, JUJU CHANG and more.
  • FUSION DARES YOU NOT TO DANCE: Tonight, we are kicking off White House Correspondents’ weekend in style with our sister network Fusion – launched last fall by Disney/ABC and Univision. It is a coming out party for Fusion in our nation’s capital. The night will feature a live performance by two time Latin Grammy Award winner Fonseca as well as some special guests. Fusionistas including Alicia Menendez, Mariana Atencio, Yannis Pappas, Pedro Andrade, Nando Vila, Simon Carr and others will be getting down with the powerhouse political team of ABC News and special guests that include members of the cast of ABC’s “Modern Family.” We’ll have a full recap on Monday. MORE HERE: http://bit.ly/1hivUho HASHTAG: #ThisIsFusion.

 

THIS WEEK ON ‘THIS WEEK’: The powerhouse roundtable debates all the week’s politics, with ABC News’ Cokie Roberts, ABC News contributor and syndicated radio host Laura Ingraham, CNN “Crossfire” co-host Van Jones, ABC News Contributor and former Obama White House Senior Adviser David Plouffe, and former Sen. Rick Santorum, author of the new book “Blue Collar Conservatives.” And in our “Sunday Spotlight,” comedian John Oliver discusses his new late-night HBO program “Last Week Tonight.” See the “This Week” page for full guest listings. Be sure to use #ThisWeek when you tweet about the program. TUNE IN SUNDAY: http://abcnews.go.com/thisweek READ an excerpt of Rick Santorum’s new book: http://abcn.ws/1pU1GKY

 

WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENTS’ DINNER 2014:

–FLASHBACK: PRESIDENT OBAMA’S 10 BEST CORRESPONDENTS’ DINNER JOKES EVER. No president wants to be known as a big joke — except on the night of the White House Correspondents’ Dinner. Each spring, the commander-in-chief sets aside his usual gravitas to tickle the funny bones of the White House press corps — and their celebrity guests, notes ABC’s ERIN DOOLEY, JORDYN PHELPS AND ALI DUKAKIS. President Obama has already taken the stage at the dinner five times before. From cracks about the first daughters’ potential beaus to jabs at his political opposition’s personal grooming habits, here’s our roundup of the president’s best WHCD jokes to-date. http://abcn.ws/1rVOGSG

–HOLLYWOOD MEETS DC: THE HOTTEST CELEBS COMING TO WASHINGTON THIS WEEKEND. This Saturday is the night when the political glitterati mingle with Hollywood stars. Academy Award winner Lupita Nyong’o will be attending the dinner as a guest of Time magazine. After she won an Oscar for her performance in “12 Years a Slave” this year, Nyong’o has become Hollywood’s new it-girl: in April, the Academy Award winning actress was named “Most Beautiful Woman” by People Magazine. ABC has invited “Modern Family” stars Sofia Vergara, Eric Stonestreet and Jesse Tyler Ferguson who will be joining “Nashville” star Chip Esten, as well as “Scandal” actors Tony Goldwyn, Bellamy Young and Darby Stanchfield. Here’s ABC’s ALINA KLEINEIDAM’s look at some of the other celebrities coming to Washington this weekend: http://abcn.ws/1kvvOVH

–HOW TO TURN THE PRESIDENT INTO A COMEDIAN IN 5 NOT-SO-EASY STEPS. Presidents give hundreds of speeches every year on topics from the mundane to the consequential, but there are only a handful of times when they have to be funny – on purpose. Saturday’s dinner will be one of them. ABC’s ALEXANDER MALLIN spoke to former White House Deputy Chief Speechwriter Jeff Shesol, who offered an inside look at what it was like to build a comedy routine for President Bill Clinton in the years when his relationship with the press was at its most contentious. Clinton had returned to the United States and was set to deliver remarks at the correspondents’ dinner in 1998, following an almost-suspiciously lengthy time overseas at the height of the Monica Lewinsky sex scandal. “The press was starting to say he’s just avoiding the United States,” Shesol said. “So we did this riff that opened it where Clinton stands up and he acts like thinks he’s in a foreign country.” READ MORE: http://abcn.ws/1nLTxWL

 

BUZZ

6 VIDEOS THAT SHOW HOW FAR GABBY GIFFORDS HAS COME. You have to see it to believe it. Gabby Giffords’ recovery from the 2011 shooting has been remarkable. Along the way, the former Congresswoman has not only surprised medical professionals, but everyone who has followed her story. Though Giffords resigned from her Arizona Congressional seat in 2012, she was on Capitol Hill yesterday, making a push to find ways to prevent gun violence against women as the head of the gun control group, Americans for Responsible Solutions, which she and her husband founded last year. Here’s a look back on the journey that has brought Giffords from her hospital bed back to the halls of Congress from ABC’s ALEX MALLIN: http://abcn.ws/1u9Y9Yr

YOUR PRIVACY AT THE HEART OF NEW WHITE HOUSE ‘BIG DATA’ REPORT. Prompted by President Obama in his speech on surveillance practices in January, senior adviser John Podesta and his team have completed a White House review of “big data.” The 85-page report focuses on consumers and businesses, also touching on citizens’ privacy from government, and it includes a handful of policy recommendations. What you need to know from ABC’s CHRIS GOOD: http://abcn.ws/1miC1tO

–TODAY AT THE WHITE HOUSE: German Chancellor Angela Merkel visits the White House today and holds an 11:40 a.m. ET press conference with President Obama in the Rose Garden. Later this afternoon, President Obama will meet with Asian American & Pacific Islander business and faith leaders to talk about immigration

AFTER 4 DECADES ON CAPITOL HILL, MEET ONE GUY WHO GETS BI-PARTISAN PRAISE. You probably have never heard of Daryl Chappelle, but he has touched the hearts of many senators, staffers, reporters and visitors on Capitol Hill. For 41 years, Chappelle has worked in the Senate, starting in the night labor division of the Senate Superintendents office in 1972. Since 1986, Chappelle has worked as a mechanic and driver of the trains that run between the Capitol and Russell Senate Office Building, always sporting a giant smile and waving a big hello as the train cars whizzed by. Chappelle is retired yesterday — prompting senators to offer touching tributes to the train driver on the Senate floor, according to ABC’s ARLETTE SAENZ. “He showed all of us the power of the small gesture. He reminded us that when it’s all said and done what really matters is how we deal with each other,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said. “He has a smile that just covers his whole face. He has a voice that’s infectious. You can hear him and he laughs,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said. http://abcn.ws/1jlwtuZ

HERE’S ONE SIGN CHRIS CHRISTIE STILL HAS 2016 ON THE BRAIN. Just over a month ago, Chris Christie told ABC’s Diane Sawyer: ”I think they love me in Iowa.” He’s about to test that theory, returning to the critical first early voting state this summer, notes ABC’s SHUSHANNAH WALSHE. Christie will host two fundraisers for Gov. Terry Branstad, who is up for re-election this year. The first will be in May in New Jersey and the second will be held in Iowa this summer, an aide for the governor confirms. The Republican Governors Association chairman has held fundraisers all over the country, but this is the first time he will return to the state that gets the first chance at picking the president.  He went twice in 2011 stumping on behalf of Mitt Romney. With Christie’s help, the RGA has broken fundraising records, raising $23.5 million in the first quarter of 2014 — more than doubling the amount they raised at the same point in 2010. It was also almost double what the Democratic Governors’ Association raised in the same period. http://abcn.ws/1hhIr4F

ALISON LUNDERGAN GRIMES: ‘MITCH MCCONNELL IS IN TROUBLE NOW’ IN KENTUCKY DERBY TRASH TALK. With the Kentucky Derby on Saturday, Democratic Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes sees a potential political message in the upset hopes of a particular thoroughbred: Vicar’s in Trouble, who’ll be jockeyed by a woman who would become the first female rider to win the storied race. “Vicar’s in Trouble — I just love the name, and I think it resonates well with Mitch McConnell is in trouble now,” Grimes told ABC’s RICK KLEIN and ESPN’s Andy Katz in the latest episode of the Capital Games podcast, part of the new ESPN Perspectives series. “He spent over $12 million against me, and we have not spent any money yet on big advertising. And we are ahead now — even or ahead in these past 14 polls that have been taken,” Grimes continued. http://abcn.ws/R8onLo

 

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

U.S. GENERAL TELLS CONGRESS: ‘WE SHOULD HAVE TRIED’ IN BENGHAZI. A retired U.S. Air Force brigadier general who was on duty in Germany during the deadly Benghazi terrorist attack told Congress yesterday that commanders discussed “what we should do” as they waited for orders from the State Department to help the beleaguered Americans, according to ABC’s JOHN PARKINSON. But the request for help never came from the State Department, Ret. USAF Brigadier Gen. Robert Lovell testified before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. “There are accounts of time, space and capability, discussions of the question, ‘could we have gotten there in time to make a difference?’” Lovell testified. “The discussion is not could or could not of time, space and capability. The point is we should have tried.” http://abcn.ws/1iDhPjO

 

IN THE NOTE’S INBOX

PRECISION STRATEGIES MARKS ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY. Today marks the one-year of Precision Strategies, the strategic consulting firm built by former Obama advisers Stephanie Cutter, Jen O’Malley Dillon, and Teddy Goff following the 2012 presidential election. The Precision team tells The Note: “Our work over the past year has included the launch of a major television network, assisting one of the world’s most innovative movie studios reimagine how to target and engage fans, working with tech companies to tackle privacy challenges, and helping a major sports league position itself with women. Simultaneously, we’re helping governors win and Democrats keep control of the Senate by controlling the argument and overseeing the biggest turnout in a midterm election. We’re excited by how far our company has come in just one year, and looking forward to see where the next year takes us.” Read an anniversary message from the team:  http://www.precisionstrategies.com/news/entry/one-year

 

WHO’S TWEETING?

@DianeSawyer: Prepare to be surprised by the endlessly fascinating @louisck. I was when we shared a slice today – see it Friday. pic.twitter.com/5G56r9ZCfU

‏@rickklein: looking forward to joining #CreativityCon today @Newseum – my panel is how far we are from the world of HER…

@jeffzeleny: Look who I found at the White House? Since @barackobama was busy today, I sat down with @TonyGoldwyn. #Scandal

@jonkarl: One last ride on the Senate Subway with Daryl Chappelle, retiring after 41 yrs. I will miss him. #SubwaySeries http://instagram.com/p/neI6XrDTYk/ 

@powelldennis: QUIZ: Test your White House Correspondents’ Dinner trivia here: http://abcn.ws/1iEfLZ4  #WHCD

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