Hillary Watch: Week of October 24

Hollywood Hill. Hillary recently went on a fundraising tour in Hollywood, where she raised cash and reunited with some old friends. Events included a $500-per-person reception at the home of Rob Reiner and a $1,000-per-person brunch hosted by film producers Bruce Cohen and Dan Jinks. In addition, Hillary visited the home of television producer Marta Kauffman for another fundraiser.

At this point, the money raised from her trip is for her 2006 re-election campaign, but she will be allowed to use whatever funds are left over for a possible 2008 presidential run. A Democratic insider says, “Certainly she hasn’t announced yet, and she’s probably not decided yet, either. … The immediate task for her supporters here is to win re-election. That’s what everyone is focused on.” Other celebrities at her events included Marisa Tomei, Kathy Najimy, Joely Fisher and Daphne Zuniga. There was also talk about Hillary’s attending a “strategy session” with key donors to discuss how Democrats could gain seats in Congress and win the White House.

Warring With Celebrities? Despite Hillary’s supposed popularity with this ultra-liberal crowd, some Hollywood sources say the senator’s backing of the Iraq War might siphon off some support in Tinseltown. “There’s a growing feeling among many of the Hollywood players that even though [Hillary] has backers like Stephen Bing and Haim Saban, many others are looking for an alternative,” said columnist and blogger Arianna Huffington. “A lot of them are determined not to be in the same position they were in 2004, when they backed a candidate that equivocated on so many issues and no clear vision was ever articulated. And there’s one issue driving that, and that’s the war.”

Return to Sender. It has been reported that Jeanine Pirro is having trouble raising money for her Senate campaign, but it wasn’t known things were this bad: When she recently sent out letters urging her potential supporters to help her raise funds for the 2006 election race, she accidentally sent a letter to Hillary. The letter claimed, “I cannot win without your support,” and asked for donations of up to $1,000. Pirro also wrote, “Whether it was my first campaign for district attorney in 1993 or my most recent re-election in 2001, your support has been a source of comfort and proved to be critically important to my election victories.” Then the letter specifically addressed “Hillary,” saying: “But today, Hillary, I need to know if I can count on you to stand by my side in my campaign against Hillary Rodham Clinton. I need you and every New Yorker on my side. But most important in this difficult campaign, I need people like you who I can trust.”

The letter was not addressed to Hillary’s Chappaqua address, or even her residence in Washington, D.C. It went to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., where, of course, Hillary used to live. The letter came to light just three days after Pirro reported raising $438,555, while Hillary reported raising $5.3 million. “No wonder Ms. Pirro raised so little money,” joked Hillary campaign spokesman Howard Wolfson.

They Love Her. The New York Post reports that when Hillary showed up at an event at the Eleanor Roosevelt Legacy Committee luncheon at the Grand Hyatt in Manhattan to support a faltering Democratic candidate, her appearance drew attention only to herself. The event was supposed to benefit Fernando Ferrer’s collapsing campaign to unseat New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg. But when HRC showed up, she was introduced lavishly by Manhattan Borough President C. Virginia Fields as “the Democratic front-runner for the presidency in 2008.”

New York gubernatorial hopeful Eliot Spitzer praised Hillary, comparing her to legendary baseball player Babe Ruth. Noting that Hillary was inducted into the Women’s Hall of Fame last week, Spitzer said: “It struck me as a little bit premature, don’t you think? It sounded like having Babe Ruth inducted [into the Baseball Hall of Fame] when he only hit 400 home runs, not 714. Let’s wait for the right moment. There’s still stuff ahead for Hillary Clinton.”