Michelle Obama presents an Oscar to Ben Affleck

The Oscar ceremonies finally sealed the deal between Hollywood and Washington DC.

In an unprecedented move, Michelle Obama appeared on the Oscar stage via big screen. Direct from the White house, she was there to announce who won best picture. To add even more dignity and state sponsorship to the occasion, Mrs. Obama was flanked by a US military contingent in full dress uniform.

 The winner just happened to be Argo, a movie produced and directed by ardent Obama supporters, Ben Affleck and George Clooney. Was it a coincidence?

Presidential campaigns are heavily choreographed; every word for a campaign speech is carefully scripted and inserted in the teleprompter. Crowds (extras) are bussed in, the locations carefully selected and decorated for maximum impact, including the use of Greek columns…. All hallmarks of Hollywood.

Everything is tightly controlled, including press briefings. Friendly questions are thrown to the President, by eager “journalists” hoping not to offend. If a journalist gets out of line and asks an awkward or difficult question there will be repercussions. Even more so for those who won’t settle for an evasive non answer to their questions. 

President Obama has proven to be remarkable in front of crowds, delivering powerful speeches that have even lead to people swooning in the audience…..and when he brings a tear to his eye during a touching moment, you can hear sobs in his audience.

Of course President Obama isn’t the only politician to use Hollywood props and tactics to help sway public opinion and give Oscar worthy performances.

President Clinton was also very closely tied in with Hollywood and a frequent visitor to the west coast during his presidency.

Mr. Clinton was known for his ability to shed a tear on command and get that raspy sound in his voice we all know so well. But he was caught turning the tears off and laughing when he thought the tape had stopped during a funeral…when he realized the camera was still rolling, he instantly transformed back to his tearful look.

It seems the best politicians are the ones who know how to play the camera. Oscar winning performances in front of millions can transcend them beyond leaders to celebrity status. Sadly, screen manipulation doesn’t transform into a good chief executive, or leader for our country.

Perhaps the best Oscar winning performances actually occur in Washington DC. Maybe in the future Hollywood can honor these performers with a special Oscar.