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Starmageddon: Obama Could Make Us Hate Clooney

The ever-popular George Clooney should brace for local backlash.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Who doesn't love George Clooney? Your blogger is a big fan of his work.

    But loyalty to the movie star is sure to be tested this week because Clooney, in an utterly selfish move, has invited President Obama to his house.

    President Barack Obama's Visit: Traffic, Alternates, Maps

    What's wrong with that? Three things really.

    Location. Location. Location.

    Clooney lives in Studio City, a key point in the LA traffic grid. His home is not far from a major north-south thoroughfare over the Hollywood Hills.

    The president is coming over, apparently, during afternoon rush hour, which is likely to lead to disruptive street closures. Previous presidential trips to LA have created massive traffic jams.

    Let's be blunt: these Obama-jams aren't worth the costs to the daily lives of Angelenos, who have a tough enough time getting to work, getting home, and picking up kids at day care.

    It would be one thing if the presidential stop at Clooney's pad was for a public, governmental purpose.

    But it's not. It's for a fundraiser. When the president and a movie star schedule something like this, they're demonstrating arrogance: our party and our politics are more important than your life.

    Of course, the president and Clooney don't decide on road closures. The Secret Service does. And it would be nice if the service at least provided warning (it won't, for security reasons it never really explains).

    It also would be nice if the Secret Service could figure out how to protect the president without creating miles of backups and closing roads he goes down.

    Heck, if it's a fundraiser and not government business, the president should have to battle traffic just like the rest of us.

    Here's a little poiltical advice for Mr. Clooney: public support is important to your career too.

    There are  any number of wonderful locations -- hotels, restaurants, dance halls -- near LAX, where Air Force One usually lands on trips to LA, that you could rent out and use to host the president. Doing this event there, instead of your home, would minimize disruption to the rest of us. Look into it.

    Lead Prop Zero blogger Joe Mathews is California editor at Zocalo Public Square, a fellow at Arizona State University’s Center for Social Cohesion, and co-author of California Crackup: How Reform Broke the Golden State and How We Can Fix It (University of California, 2010).

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