Adrian Fenty to endorse Obama

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Hat tip: Washington Post by David Nakamura

D.C. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty plans to endorse Illinois Sen. Barack Obama‘s bid for the Democratic nomination for president today, sources said yesterday.

Fenty (D) had been noncommittal, though he has said he would endorse a Democrat.

Some city officials had speculated that he might not endorse anyone until he knew whether New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg (I) would run.

Fenty has patterned key initiatives after Bloomberg’s programs, including his takeover of public schools.

But Fenty’s support of Obama looked more probable recently when a Fenty adviser, Jim Hudson, organized a fundraiser for Obama that collected $600,000 and endorsements from three D.C. Council members: Yvette M. Alexander (D-Ward 7), Muriel Bowser (D-Ward 4) and Tommy Wells (D-Ward 6).

“Jim helped me get to where I am,” Obama said at a fundraiser two weeks ago.

Fenty would join other Democratic big-city mayors, including Chicago‘s Richard Daley and Newark‘s Cory Booker, in endorsing Obama.

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Oprah to host Obama fundraiser

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Hat tip: Huffington Post/Los Angeles Times-photo courtesy of AP

Invitations have been sent out for what promises to be a must-attend event for much of California’s Democratic elite, particularly those in the entertainment industry: a Sept. 8 fundraiser for Barack Obama at Oprah Winfrey’s home in the Santa Barbara area.

In the best tradition of Hollywood, the e-mail touting the afternoon gathering doesn’t mince words, promoting it as no less than “the most exciting Barack Obama event of the year anywhere …” And the invite urges haste in responding, saying: “Please get back to us soon before it sells out.”

Getting in the door costs $2,300 — the maximum individual contribution for the primary season. But, as is usually the case at such high-profile shindigs, there are incentives to gain a little extra face-time with the candidate.

Those who can tap friends and relatives for contributions to Obama’s presidential campaign that total at least $25,000 gain entree to a VIP reception; those responsible for at least $50,000 in donations make the cut for a VIP dinner.

The workers at the Santa Barbara airport best rest up before the fundraiser; we’re guessing the tarmac there is going to be packed with private jets.

As The Times’ Tina Daunt wrote in early June, Hillary Clinton — bolstered by Steven Spielberg’s decision to endorse her presidential candidacy — appeared to have beat back an early challenge from Obama for supremacy among the Hollywood crowd. But the Oprah event signals that the Obama camp is not going to cede ground without a fight, which Daunt will report on in Wednesday’s print edition.

Oprah endorsed Obama, who she got to know through their mutual home bases in Chicago, back in the spring — the first time she had ever officially embraced a White House contender. At the time, she told CNN’s Larry King, “I haven’t done it in the past because … I didn’t know anybody well enough to be able to say, ‘I believe in this person.’ ”

Al Sharpton on the Imus comeback

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Hat tip: Huffington Post, Radar Online/Photo by Getty Images 

Don Imus is back—and Rev. Al Sharpton is surprisingly okay with that.

Imus buddy Bo Dietl dropped heavy hints on a radio show over the weekend that the aging shock jock will be back at WFAN no later than September. That would mean a mere five months of wandering in the wilderness for the I-Man, who was fired in April by CBS Radio and MSNBC after calling female college basketball players “nappy-headed hos.”

Sharpton, of course, played no small part in Imus’s downfall, even inviting the man onto his radio show to apologize to viewers only to declare his apology inadequate. Yet the Rev. tells Radar he would not oppose Imus’s return this fall.

“My position is that we never called for him to be permanently barred from being on the air,” he says. “We’ll see when he comes back, and if he comes back, what are the boundaries and what is the understanding. We’ll be monitoring the situation, but we wanted him to pay for being a repeat abuser, and he paid. We never said we didn’t want him to make a living.”

As for the claim that Imus is seeking a black comedian to “take the sting out” of his racial humor, Sharpton says, “A sidekick is not cover. What he needs to give him cover is his own conscience and whether he’ll live up to the apology he gave those Rutgers girls.”

okay with that.Imus buddy Bo Dietl dropped heavy hints on a radio show over the weekend that the aging shock jock will be back at WFAN no later than September. That would mean a mere five months of wandering in the wilderness for the I-Man, who was fired in April by CBS Radio and MSNBC after calling female college basketball players “nappy-headed hos.”

Sharpton, of course, played no small part in Imus’s downfall, even inviting the man onto his radio show to apologize to viewers only to declare his apology inadequate. Yet the Rev. tells Radar he would not oppose Imus’s return this fall.

“My position is that we never called for him to be permanently barred from being on the air,” he says. “We’ll see when he comes back, and if he comes back, what are the boundaries and what is the understanding. We’ll be monitoring the situation, but we wanted him to pay for being a repeat abuser, and he paid. We never said we didn’t want him to make a living.”

As for the claim that Imus is seeking a black comedian to “take the sting out” of his racial humor, Sharpton says, “A sidekick is not cover. What he needs to give him cover is his own conscience and whether he’ll live up to the apology he gave those Rutgers girls.”