Barbra Streisand backs Clinton's White House bid

LOS ANGELES Tue Nov 27, 2007 6:56pm EST

U.S. entertainer Barbra Streisand performs on the stage in Berlin in this file photo from June 30, 2007. REUTERS/Tobias Schwarz

U.S. entertainer Barbra Streisand performs on the stage in Berlin in this file photo from June 30, 2007.

Credit: Reuters/Tobias Schwarz

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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Singer-actress Barbra Streisand, one of Hollywood's leading Democratic activists and donors, said on Tuesday she was endorsing the presidential bid of Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton.

Streisand, a longtime supporter of the New York senator's husband, former President Bill Clinton, is the latest show business luminary to back Clinton's White House run, following directors Steven Spielberg and Rob Reiner.

"Madame President of the United States ... it's an extraordinary thought," Streisand, 65, said in a statement released by Clinton's campaign. "Hillary Clinton has already proven to a generation of women that there are no limits for success."

Clinton campaign spokesman Ken Sunshine said that while Streisand, an Oscar winner for her film debut in the 1968 musical "Funny Girl," has contributed to virtually every Democratic presidential contender dating back to the 1960s, she has rarely singled out a primary candidate to support.

Her endorsement of Clinton comes a day after another entertainment heavyweight, TV talk show host Oprah Winfrey, announced plans to join one of Clinton's leading rivals, Illinois Sen. Barack Obama, on the campaign trail.

Winfrey, who has already helped raise about $3 million for Obama, said she wants to drum up support for his White House bid in early voting states.

Clinton is lagging behind Obama in Iowa but leading the field of Democratic candidates in national polls.

Hollywood has long played a leading role as a source of cash for Democrats seeking national office, with many wealthy donors routinely giving money to multiple candidates.

The movie, TV and music industries gave a combined $33.1 million to federal candidates during the 2004 election cycle, mostly to Democrats, according to the nonprofit Center for Responsive Politics.

So far this year, Obama maintains a slight edge over Clinton in money raised from the entertainment sector, collecting more than $2.2 million through October 29, according to the center's Web site, opensecrets.org.

Clinton was No. 2 with just over $2.1 million in show business donations.

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