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No happy ending for Barack Obama as Hollywood romance fades

By Guy Adams in Los Angeles

He was young, good looking, and photogenic. He swept to power against heavy odds on the back of a heart-warming message, completing a rags-to-riches tale that might have come straight out of a blockbuster. It isn't hard to see why Barack Obama's election in 2008 was the toast of Hollywood.

Five-figure cheques poured into his coffers bearing such names as Tom Hanks, George Clooney and Steven Spielberg.

By this stage in the last election cycle, the entertainment industry's hearts, minds and wallets were already won.

Four years later? Not so much. When they enter the polling booths, the stars and the power brokers will still put their crosses against his name. But the sense of warm, fuzzy optimism that characterised his last election has vanished.

Nowhere was the disillusionment more keenly felt than at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel last night where People for the American Way (PAW) -- perhaps the most influential advocacy organisation in the US -- celebrated its 30th birthday in style.

The list of patrons on the invitation included everyone from JJ Abrams and Leonardo DiCaprio to Larry Flynt and Jamie Lee Curtis.

Among these pillars of the entertainment industry's liberal establishment, there is palpable frustration with the president; he has failed to deliver on almost all their pet issues, from gay marriage and climate change to human rights and social justice.

PAW founder Norman Lear last week said: "(Mr Obama) can't make up his mind about anything." In 2008 Mr Lear gave just over £21,000 to Mr Obama but will not give a cent this time. (© Independent news Service)

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