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A Mogul's Revenge

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By Howard Kurtz
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, February 22, 2007; 7:50 AM

It's a classic Hollywood plot line of power, money and betrayal.

The all-too-polite presidential campaign turned deliciously mean yesterday, courtesy of Maureen Dowd, who was channeling David Geffen, who was getting even with the Clintons, who wasted no time joining in the trash talk.

I haven't had this much fun since Britney shaved her head and went into rehab for another 20 minutes.

Geffen, the Tinseltown mogul, was a big Clinton backer--he even slept in the Lincoln Bedroom, twice--but he is no Hillary fan and just helped Barack Obama stage a million-dollar fundraiser (with his pals Spielberg and Katzenberg).

That would be heresy enough, but he unloaded on HRC in a chat with MoDo. (And none of this weaselly out-of-context stuff. Geffen's guy sent out an e-mail yesterday saying his man was quoted accurately.)

To wit: "I don't think that another incredibly polarizing figure, no matter how smart she is and no matter how ambitious she is -- and God knows, is there anybody more ambitious than Hillary Clinton? -- can bring the country together."

And: "Obama is inspirational, and he's not from the Bush royal family or the Clinton royal family. Americans are dying every day in Iraq. And I'm tired of hearing James Carville on television."

And: "Everybody in politics lies, but they"--that would be Bill & Hill--"do it with such ease, it's troubling." And Bill was "a reckless guy" who hasn't changed very much. ( He's playing the Monica card already?)

And then the issue that has infuriated the left: "It's not a very big thing to say, 'I made a mistake' on the war, and typical of Hillary Clinton that she can't."

By the way, Geffen is still steamed at Bill for pardoning fugitive financier Marc Rich but not pardoning someone who Geffen wanted pardoned. So thoughtless.

The Clinton camp fired back at . . . Obama. "While Senator Obama was denouncing slash and burn politics yesterday," said spokesman Howard Wolfson, "his campaign's finance chair was viciously and personally attacking Senator Clinton and her husband. If Senator Obama is indeed sincere about his repeated claims to change the tone of our politics, he should immediately denounce these remarks, remove Mr. Geffen from his campaign and return his money."

Geffen says he's not the finance chair and has no official role in Obama's presidential bid.

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© 2007 The Washington Post Company

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