Neither President Barack Obama nor former President Bill Clinton have officially picked sides in the clash of Democratic Congressmen from California’s San Fernando Valley. But Obama and Clinton have dropped strong hints regarding where they stand.
It was Rep. Howard Berman — not Rep. Brad Sherman — who greeted Obama on Thursday at the Bob Hope Airport in Burbank, which is in Sherman’s current district. Berman then rode with Obama in the motorcade to a campaign fundraiser at the Studio City home of actor George Clooney, which is in the Congressman’s district.
The Thursday fundraiser came almost four years to the day after Berman endorsed Obama over then-Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, who ended her presidential bid about three weeks later.
Sherman endorsed Clinton in November 2007, about a month before the Iowa caucuses. A quote from Bill Clinton, who has backed several candidates this cycle that endorsed his wife in 2008, is featured on Sherman’s campaign website. “Brad has worked tirelessly for the people of California and I hope he will continue to do so,” it reads in part.
Berman, attended the star-studded event that included actors Tobey Maguire, Robert Downey Jr., Salma Hayek, Barbra Streisand and Jack Black. According to producer Jeffrey Katzenberg, the event’s organizer and a Berman donor, it raised almost $15 million, including proceeds from an online contest for two people to join the Hollywood affair.
Drawn together in redistricting, Berman and Sherman will face off in a June 5 all-party primary, and both are likely to advance to the general election in the solidly Democratic 30th district.