Barack Obama this week denied that he had a running e-mail exchange going with Scarlett Johansson. The movie star told Politico that she had been amazed that Obama took the time to respond to personal e-mails. Obama said he merely responded to her once in a note forwarded through his assistant. “I write saying, ‘thank you Scarlett for doing what you do,’” Obama said, “and suddenly we have this e-mail ‘relationship.’” (The Washington Post’s The Trail blog)
What the commentators said
“Dang Barack! That’s some cold chicken soup!” said UGO’s Actress Archives celebrity blog. OK, so Johansson “may have embellished her relationship with the Illinois Senator just a tad.” But she has been effusive in her praise of Obama—even joking once that they were engaged—and called him the key to ending “the polarizing politics of the past” in pro-Obama robocalls. “One would think Barack might be a bit more reticent in slamming the door on one of his most recognizable supporters.”
Obama can afford to shrug off Johansson’s crush, said the celebrity blog Hollyscoop. “He's already got a lot of celebrity votes, so he can focus on the rest of the country.” It was probably smart to avoid getting too wrapped up “in the Hollywood game.”
Still, it was “inexplicably clumsy” of Obama to throw someone like Scarlett Johansson under the bus, said Mickey Kaus in Slate.com. She’s an enthusiastic supporter who made a highly effective video for Obama, and she must have thought she was helping him by saying how impressed she was that he took the time to write back. “Surely there's a way to get across the point that she's just an occasional e-mailer without making her look like a fantasist.”
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