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Film Distribution world in Hollywood comment on Obama, Page Ostrow on politics -

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It’s awards season here in Hollywood — and exactly two years since President Obama’s inauguration. What better time to ask a few of Hollywood’s armchair political junkies to weigh in on the work of the nation’s performer-in-chief? Does he deserve to be nominated for a Golden Globe or a Golden Raspberry? Does he merit a sequel or a remake? Opinions are divided about the pol who ran on a promise of “Hope” and “Change.”

Mike Farrell, who co-starred in the M*A*S*H TV series and who is now president of the anti-capital punishment group Death Penalty Focus. He said:
“After his actions and comments regarding the horrible, frightening and devastating tragedy in Tucson, Arizona, I am once again reminded of the decency and character of the man. His willingness to stand up and speak to and on behalf of the best that is in us as a people is a gift to be treasured in a leader. The power of his eloquence is deeply moving, but it is the clarity of his vision of human possibility and his desire that we reach, as a people, for the best within us that reminds me of his human touch. It is his courage, his ability to reach out and touch us, and by touching us remind us of that of which we are capable, that gives me reason to hope. There is nobility in the man and it asks that we recognize and honor the same in ourselves.”
“Obama’s refusal to pursue the lawlessness in the Bush Administration makes me sick and his continuation of so many of the Bush policies regarding rendition and other ‘war on terror’ nonsense makes me sicker. Learning that his people evidently pressured the Spanish to stop their plan to pursue charges against Bush Administration lawlessness in the international arena is an outrage.
“I understand that Congress has stifled his bid to close Guantanamo, but I yearn to see him stand up proudly and declare himself as a man of principle on some of these issues rather than muddling along and being satisfied with slow-going and compromise. I’m deeply disappointed with his pursuit of the war in Afghanistan and fear that, like [Bill] Clinton, he’s been bullied into agreement by the Pentagon and the military establishment.”

Page Ostrow represents producers in order to get their films distributed in theaters, on television and other platforms.

“President Obama is one of those rare people who showed the ability during the presidential campaign to come across as a person who could finally bring bi-partisanship to Capital Hill, so that Democrats, Republicans and Independents would work together in a transparent manner. He would stop gridlock and have all parties involved.
“Unfortunately, this did not occur during his first two years. One can argue why promises of transparency and working together to craft bills didn’t occur, but the fact is it never materialized.
“This has been a major reason why the mid-term elections brought an almost unprecedented shift in power on a state level, gubernatorial level and the biggest change in the House and Senate in more than half a century. How he reacts to this going forward is Obama’s real opportunity to bring about his early promise and truly ‘change’ how Washington works for the American people.”
“I believe that ‘hope’ and ‘change’ mean many things to people. To me, two years is too soon to judge a president in his first term.
“I prefer not to concentrate on the last two years but on the two years ahead. We need to give our president the benefit of the doubt. I believe he very much desires to deliver on his hope and change pledges and deserves our backing over the next two years.”

Tom Hayden, former California state legislator and “Chicago 7” defendant.

“Obama ran as a centrist and has performed as a centrist. His accomplishments will be seen as significant historically but are limited by the nature of the Senate, the Democratic Party and public opinion itself.”
Obama’s outgoing Press Secretary Robert Gibbs “lost his grip briefly when he started attacking the ‘professional left’ more than the Tea Party. In the next two years, progressives have to realize that they won’t move Obama without moving public opinion, especially on the trillion-dollar quagmire in Afghanistan.”

Danny Schechter, nicknamed the "news dissector" and executive editor of and director of the documentary, Plunder, The Crime of Our Times, about Wall Street’s financial collapse, believes Obama administration isn't progressive enough.

“The pragmatic compromisers of the Democratic center may convince themselves they are ‘getting it done’ in D.C., but they are also alienating the Democratic Party base and disgusting all those who believed it would be, or could be, different. Some bills were passed in the lame duck session with greater symbolic value than substance. The Democrats seemed to have done more after they lost then when they ruled the roost. There will be a price to be paid for their legacy of spinelessness and corporate complicity."