Star Wars Heat Up: Hillary's Hollywood Rebound

Jan. 26, 2007 — -- It's Act 2 of Star Wars, in which Sen. Hillary Clinton's Hollywood empire strikes back.

Just days after Sen. Barack Obama stole Clinton's thunder by getting entertainment moguls Steven Spielberg, David Geffen and Jeffrey Katzenberg to host a fundraiser for him on Feb. 20, she snagged some celebrity mojo of her own.

Spielberg, who has yet to endorse a candidate, announced yesterday that he will also host a fundraiser for Clinton in the next few months. His co-hosts will reportedly be producer Steve Bing, supermarket magnate Ron Burkle, investment banker Sim Farar, and Fox Family executive Haim Saban.

And Hollywood legend Elizabeth Taylor endorsed Clinton on Thursday, writing her a check for $2,300.

Taylor's enthusiasm was evident in the fact that the actress initially had announced that she would give $100,000 to the candidate but corrected that figure because the legal limit for donors is $2,300.

"I like the way she thinks," Taylor said. "She is very savvy and a smart leader with years of experience in government, diplomacy and politics."

After hundreds of Hollywood's movers and shakers received invitations Wednesday morning to the Obama fundraiser, the Clinton campaign went into overdrive.

"Jaws dropped when people got those invitations," said a source close to the campaign. Clinton's California fundraiser, Diane Hamwi, quickly hit the phones, reeling in some major donations.

Many of Hollywood's elite are expected to make donations to multiple candidates. Spielberg may also host a fundraiser for John Edwards, and liberal stalwarts Barbara Streisand and Norman Lear are expected to raise money for Clinton, Obama and Edwards.

"If you could take Barack Obama's image, add Hillary Clinton's money and John Edwards' voice, that would be my candidate," hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons, who has yet to endorse a candidate, told The Associated Press.

"It seems like an exciting conversation so everyone wants to hear what all three of them have to say," said Lara Bergthold, who was John Kerry's liaison to the entertainment community in the 2004 presidential campaign.

Spielberg, Geffen and Katzenberg, along with other employees of their entertainment company, Dreamworks SKG, have contributed $47,000 to Clinton since her 2000 New York Senate campaign and $19,000 to Obama, according to an analysis of campaign contributions tallied by

Katzenberg has also contributed $3,000 to Edwards since 2002.

In Clinton's two Senate campaigns, Tom Hanks and wife Rita Wilson, Sharon Stone, Billy Crystal, Jerry Seinfeld, Martin Scorsese, Susan Sarandon, "Rainman" director Barry Levinson, and former studio exec Sherry Lansing have all contributed to Clinton.

Chevy Chase, Yahoo chairman Terry Semel, and Spielberg's wife, Kate Capshaw, have contributed to Obama's previous Senate campaign.

And Streisand, Chris Rock, Bill Cosby, Melanie Griffith and Rob Reiner have contributed to both Clinton and Obama in previous Senate campaigns.