July 23, 2024

The actor George Clooney, who had been among President Joe Biden’s biggest supporters and donors in Hollywood, called on Biden to bow out of the presidential race on Wednesday, just weeks after he headlined a major fundraiser for his reelection campaign.

“I love Joe Biden,” Clooney wrote in a New York Times opinion piece. “As a senator. As a vice president and as president. I consider him a friend, and I believe in him.”

But, Clooney added, the Biden he saw during the June 15 fundraiser, which also included former President Barack Obama, “was not the Joe “big F-ing deal” Biden of 2010. He wasn’t even the Joe Biden of 2020.”

“He was the same man we all witnessed at the debate,” Clooney added, referencing Biden’s faltering and disastrous performance at the June 27 presidential debate on CNN.

That statement was a stunning assessment of Biden’s current state from someone who has interacted with the president privately — that the way the president presented himself during that debate, which the White House and Biden campaign have alternatively blamed on a cold and a tiring travel schedule, was not an aberration.Georgia Bulldogs player, staffer die in car crash hours after national  championship parade - ABC News

Clooney is not just a movie star and a prominent donor: He’s someone who has spent time with Biden over the years and has always been a big fan. This goes all the way back to Biden’s early days as vice president, when Clooney came by the White House and dropped in to Biden’s then-office down the hall in the West Wing from the Oval Office and ended up having an extended visit talking about helping Darfur.

Clooney is friendly with Obama too, but he and Biden have stayed in touch over the years, and the strength of that relationship held even when Biden criticized the International Criminal Court’s May decision to issue an arrest warrant for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as a result of his actions in Gaza – which Clooney’s wife, international human rights lawyer Amal Clooney, had been a key part of crafting. Clooney called a top White House adviser to complain, but he did not pull back on his support then, or on his participation in the June fundraiser. Biden forcefully criticized the ICC’s efforts because of the implication of an equivalence between Israel and Hamas.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *