Friday, April 11

George Clooney, AS Roma, and Italy's elections

Italy is holding one of its frequent elections on Sunday. For some reason, two-time conservative prime minister and media tycoon Silvio Berlusconi is the favorite to beat out Walter Veltroni, the former mayor Rome who recently helped reorganize Italy's two main left-of-center factions into a new Democratic Party.

Italian politics is bizarre. And if it takes bizarre political turns to boost the chances of the left, so be it. Richard Owen of the London Times reports:

With victory in his grasp in Sunday's Italian election, Silvio Berlusconi made a potentially disastrous error today by insulting Francesco Totti, the revered captain of AS Roma, suggesting that he was mad.

Walter Veltroni, the centre-left leader, meanwhile drew a huge crowd of 100,000 in the centre of Milan, Mr Berlusconi's home turf, and won the public endorsement of George Clooney. The actor, who has a lakeside villa on Lake Como and is touring Italy to publicise his latest film, Leatherheads, was pictured in a Milan cafĂ© sharing a cappuccino with Mr Veltroni while describing him as “Italy's answer to Barack Obama” because he offered “hope”.

Si, puo fare!

Meanwhile, Reuters reports that Italy is unlikely to have an answer to Hillary Clinton any time soon.
Silvio Berlusconi wins applause from a crowd of flag-waving Italian women at an election rally when he urges them to cook for his party's candidates.

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