Last time we were in the land of glitz and glamor aka La La Land/Tinsel Town or as we fondly put it, the Pacific Punch, we were privy to a private briefing hosted by theArtists and Athletes Alliance and UCLA held at the Four Seasons in Beverly Hills entitled “2012 Race for the White House with Wolf Blitzer”. There has been much talk of the love affair between the two powerful seats: Washington DC and Hollywood and while there will always be ebbs and flows, as with any relationship, there’s no sign of a breakup too soon. It was especially apparent during this function.
Mega-journalist (yes, I wrote that), CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, who is based in DC, and whose long and illustrious career spans decades, including 22 years at CNN, was the star of this event. Wolf appeared as comfortable on stage in the hot seat in front of a few hundred people, versus him putting someone else in that place, as he is in front of the camera. Have we ever seen this print journalist turned broadcast house-hold name, ever not at ease? Perhaps “back in the day”, as he joked that the transformation wasn’t easy in the beginning. But with a “fabulous, fabulous career” that offers him a “front row seat to history” not only does he work his tail off (as I’m sure his research team does as well), but he really, truly loves his job. Wolf is one of those lucky ones who lives the career for whom he is made, but this 24/7 profession comes with ups and downs, as he candidly shared with us that evening while being interviewed by Jim Newton (LA Times, UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs).
Artists and Athletes Alliance and UCLA (Wolf met with students earlier that day) invited those in the entertainment industry and friends who have a political interest to hear his candid thoughts on the presidential race, the current state of the world, the story of his life, watch a few videos highlighting his career, and ask questions. It’s not surprising the room was so full, after all, it is an election year and the state of the union is one that is uncomfortable to put it lightly. If you are old enough to vote, you should care. On top of that, we are looking at two very different men who will be either re-elected or elected as POTUS , the incumbent who is our first black president and the other a successful businessman who happens to be Mormon. This event was “over sold”, a tell-tale sign of Wolf’s popularity and his respect within the industry, as well as our interest in what he had to say about the 2012 Race for the White House. A huge take away message from the night: # 1 PRIORITY : JOBS.
Some of those who showed up to support included explorer and environmental activist Philippe Cousteau (EarthEcho International), writer/producer/director Michael Nash (“Climate Refugees”), An Olive Branch Productions film producer George Zakk (“Casino Jack”, “The Philosophers”), Jonathan Glickman, film producer and the President of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Film Division, actress Marg Helgenberger (“CSI”), actor Ben Feldman (“Mad Men”), actor Keith David (“Crash”), former NFL kicker Nick Lowery, and many more added to this group who paid fine attention during the hour long interview and Q&A.
Wolf and his wife Lynn socialized easily with attendees (and fans) during the reception prior and post the main event, talking about everything from politics to restaurants, their travel experience and where to go while in LA. The connection between east and west coast is never a hard find, as we met many others who were either from DC and had chosen a sunnier life in LA or had family or business in both areas and found themselves bi-coastal.
The Artists and Athletes Alliance, a not-for-profit organization, operates at the nexus between the entertainment community and Washington, D.C. They assist artists and athletes in navigating the halls of government, as well as helping them better understand the political process.
Photos by John Sciulli
Pamela Lynne Sorensen is the founder of Pamela’s Punch, a leading source of information for the “who, what, when, and where” of Washington, DC’s elite social, professional, and philanthropic scene, which she founded in November of 2006. In 2012 she launched Pacific Punch, based in Los Angeles. Pamela comes from an extensive background in sales and business development from a variety of industries, has been involved with charities and fundraising for a number of years and holds several Board and leadership positions. She currently resides in Arlington, Virginia and when she’s not out on the town, she’s reading or writing while sipping fine wine, or traveling the country and the world ISO adventures, beauty, fun, food, style, libations, music, and the good life. Follow her on Twitter at @pamelaspunch.