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BREAKING NEWS: Rob Reiner endorses Hillary Clinton

September 26, 2007 | 11:58 pm

Earlier this week, Washington's political elite took notice when Indiana Sen. Evan Bayh --- the very definition of a moderate, heartland Democrat --- endorsed Hillary Clinton's presidential bid. Now, she's scored a coup in Hollywood, earning the support of Rob Reiner, one of the entertainment community's quintessential liberal activists.

As The Times' Tina Daunt reports tonight, the announcement will be made Thursday. And Reiner, in a sequel to Oprah Winfrey's much-publicized fundraiser for Barack Obama at her spread near Santa Barbara, will underscore his commitment by hosting a fundraiser for Clinton at his Brentwood home. The event is planned for Oct. 21 --- the candidate's 60th birthday.

As we noted when Steven Spielberg signed up with the Clinton camp in June, the bigger news would have been if Reiner had strayed from the brand name that long has been a Hollywood favorite. He may have shopped around among the Democratic White House contenders longer than many in the industry. But with Clinton running a nearly flawless campaign so far, there was little reason for one with his political pedigree to take a flier on someone else.

Perhaps not by happenstance, Reiner's endorsement will be made official on the same day that a leading Republican presidential candidate is hoping to make a large endorsement splash in California. ...

Rudy Giuliani, as reported two days ago, is expected to announce that former Gov. Pete Wilson is backing him.

The Washington Post notes in a blog posting that the two "are in many ways political soul mates, both Republicans in blue states who are pro-choice but more conservative on foreign policy and national security."

Yet, as the item recollects, they were at odds, in 1994, over Proposition 187, the controversial California ballot measure that sought sweeping cuts in government services to illegal immigrants. Wilson was --- and remains --- closely identified with the initiative that many analysts believe served the immediate interests of California Republicans but seriously harmed them long-term; Giuliani denounced the proposal as "inhumane."

The Post piece wonders if the link to Wilson might damage Giuliani's prospects of wooing Latino voters in a general election campaign. Others have recently wondered if any GOP nominee can succeed on that front, given the tenor of the debate within the party on immigration policy.

While the Reiner and Wilson endorsements vie for attention on the West Coast, Democrat John Edwards is playing a celebrity card in the key state of Iowa.

A release from his presidential campaign on Wednesday announced that stumping for him there this weekend will be "America's favorite prime-time plumber." That would be James Denton, who, as the release quickly added, plays the character Mike Delfino on ABC's "Desperate Housewives."

Could be, now that we think about it, that Edwards has more to be pleased about today than either Clinton or Giuliani.

-- Don Frederick 

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