Politico's Jeffrey Ressner compiled short bios on the seven insiders who he calls Barack Obama's real friends in Hollywood. "Obama’s tightly knit circle is mostly Chicago-based, but there is a group of folks he considers his buddies here in L.A.," says Politico's man in Los Angeles. On his list are:
- Michael Lawson, partner with Skadden, Arps, member of the Los Angeles Airport Commission, and owner (with his wife, interior designer Mattie McFadden-Lawson) of the former Muhammad Ali home in Fremont Place.
- James Lassiter, Will Smith’s longtime manager and head of their production company, Overbrook Entertainment.
- Hill Harper, like Lawson a Harvard Law alum, he plays the crime scene investigator Sheldon Hawkes on “CSI: NY.”
- Jamie Lynton, sister of Newsweek columnist Jonathan Alter and wife of Sony Pictures Entertainment CEO Michael Lynton. Will.i.am met Obama at Lynton's home, Ressner says.
- Nicole Avant, one of Obama’s (and the Democratic Party's) major fundraisers in Southern California.
- Nancy McCullough, entertainment lawyer in L.A. who worked closely with Obama at the Harvard Law Review.
- Crystal Nix Hines, another Obama friend from the Harvard Law Review, wrote episodes of "Commander in Chief" and was executive story editor for the second season of “Alias."