Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Babs on Obama

By Liza Porteus Viana
Jul 29th 2008 9:35AM
Filed Under:eHillary Clinton, Democrats, Barack Obama, 2008 President

Barbra Streisand has granted Politico.com a pretty rare Q&A e-mail session, in which she talks about shifting her support from Hillary Clinton to Barack Obama for president, race in American in this year's elections, and why Hollywood celebs take so much heat for weighing in on politics.

Whether it's because she thinks she can sway some voters Obama's way or just because she wanted to put in her 2 cents, who knows, but here are a couple of the questions and answers, not all in their entirety. Check out Politico.com for the entire Q&A (Also posted on Babs' own Web site).

Oh, and yes, she has personally met and spoken with Obama the candidate (and no, she won't give the public details), and she would love to perform for him and the Democratic Party if asked. And she's closely following the U.S. Senate races this year, too.

Q. You strongly supported Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton for the Democratic nomination. Was switching to Sen. Barack Obama difficult?

We had a very deep bench of Democratic Presidential candidates in the primary, and we were very lucky to finally have two capable, dynamic and intelligent candidates vying to be the nominee. Supporting Sen. Obama for President was an immediate decision for me after Sen. Clinton ended her bid for the Democratic nomination.

Q. What do you say to Hillary's fans that might be moving to vote for [John] McCain - a figure that's been estimated to be as high as 15 % of her supporters?
I would urge those voters to take a step back and realize that our country is at an extremely serious crossroad . . . There is too much at stake right now to elect another George W. Bush to the White House. And John McCain is just that. ...There is just no reason for Sen. Clinton's supporters not to back Sen. Obama.

Q. Which Clinton policies do you think Obama should embrace, and what role would you like to see her have in his administration should he be elected?

I would like to see him embrace her universal healthcare policy. But it is ultimately up to the two of them to decide whether she will be more effective as a leader in the Senate or if she should work in the Administration. She has years of experience in public service and her work serving the needs of children and poor and working class Americans is incredibly admirable.

Q. A lot of folks object to "Hollywood celebrities" participating in political discourse. Aside from pure disagreement over certain issues, why do you think there's such a backlash when you or other well-known performers speak your mind?

On a very basic level, many people think celebrities have too much already so we shouldn't be entitled to our political opinions. Also, the other side objects to the fact that we might be listened to.

Q. Do you have any friends or family members who are conservative and/or Republican?

(Yes, but) ... I am often baffled by why they are Republicans, but I enjoy the dialogue and can move beyond politics to find common ground in my personal relationships.

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