Presidents don't come right out and make endorsements in primary battles between two congressmen from their own party. But Rep. Howard Berman got the next best thing from President Obama just now. Berman, not Rep. Brad Sherman, was invited to meet the president's helicopter at Bob Hope Airport this evening in Burbank. Berman then was swept into the car with Obama and got to discuss the weighty matters of state — or perhaps the Wolfgang Puck menu — on the drive to George Clooney's house for the big fundraiser in Studio City.
Actually, Berman's people were hoping the congressman and Obama would use the time to discuss Iranian nuclear threats, the need for more police officers on Valley streets, and the importance of protecting entertainment industry jobs. Berman then was going to attend the heavy-hitter event with Obama, and reportedly hoped to discuss the humanitarian crisis in Sudan with Clooney, a vocal advocate of relief for Africa.
These things don't happen by accident. And it can't be a happy development for Sherman, who recently lost the endorsements of both the Los Angeles Times and the Daily News to Berman. To give the snub a little extra zing, Bob Hope Airport used to be in Sherman's district until the recent redrawing of lines. If I read the lines correctly, the fundraiser at Clooney's home is in Sherman's new district.
Previously on LA Observed:
Some updates on Obama's visit to Studio City on Thursday