Roger L. Simon

Why Geffen Said What He Said

I’ve been trying to figure out why David Geffen was so harsh on Hillary Clinton. Whatever you can say about the music mogul, he is one shrewd character, quite savvy about the media and its ways. He’s been in the public eye for thirty years or more. In all likelihood, he knew precisely what he was doing when he opened his mouth to Maureen Dowd on the eve of the first public Democratic presidential “debate.” This was no accident.

So why?

Rumors are flying about. Geffen was angry that Bill pardoned the creepy Marc Rich but didn’t pardon the “heroic” Leonard Peltier. (Clinton was wrong about Rich but right about Peltier, in my view.) I don’t buy it. There would seemingly have to be something more personal or stronger to merit such vitriol (calling the Clintons liars on that level).

But I don’t think it’s personal at all. I think it has to do with something much more pragmatic to Geffen – and my wife Sheryl pointed this out. Geffen doesn’t think Hillary can win.

Think about it – looking at the polls right now (yes, it’s way early but still… you deal with what you’ve got), you see a Giuliani – Hillary head-to-head. Giuliani is winning. And the principal weakness Rudy has in a general election – his checkered private life – is completely useless to Hillary. Any comments by her and her supporters about Giuliani’s marriages would elicit nothing but snorts. And they should!

Obama may be another matter. So far he seems to have a pretty good home life. He’s personable in a way that Hillary isn’t, which would undercut another advantage for Giuliani. Maybe I’m reading too much into this here, but Geffen made his billions picking winners (The Eagles, etc.). He’s made another judgment. He may be right.