Writer and television producer would tell the president not to smoke cigars in the Oval Office

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Linda Bloodworth Thomason — the director, producer, writer and creator of the critically acclaimed television series “Designing Women,” “Evening Shade” and “Hearts Afire” — has written more than 450 scripts for episodic television and received numerous Emmy and Golden Globe nominations.  

Bloodworth Thomason also directed, produced and wrote the landmark documentary on former President Clinton, “The Man from Hope.” 

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That wasn’t her only piece on Clinton. She also worked on  the 1996 Democratic convention film, “A Place Called America,” and the subsequent Democratic Convention film, “Legacy,” as well as the introductory film for the Clinton Presidential Library and the Senator Hillary Clinton Democratic Convention film, “Hillary.”

 She has received the Eleanor Roosevelt Freedom of Speech Award from Americans for Democratic Action, as well as the Lucy Award from Women in Film, the GLAAD Media Award, the Women’s Legal Defense Fund Annual Award and the Silver Satellite Award, the highest honor bestowed by Women in Radio and Television. 

Her most recent project, “Bridegroom,” which will premiere this week at the Tribeca Film Festival, is a documentary that brings attention to the legal challenges faced by homosexual couples as a result of not having the same rights and protections as a couple married by law.

ROBIN BRONK: If you had five minutes in the Oval Office with President Obama, what would you discuss with him?  What issue would you like him to know about?

LINDA BLOODWORTH THOMASON:  I would actually like to tell him and all of his friends not to smoke cigars in there, and do a lot of guy stuff in the office, because I have a feeling the girls are coming.

RB: If you could ask the President one question, what would that be?

LBT: You know I don’t have a question for Obama, I think he has done a magnificent job.

RB: What piece of advice would you give President Obama?

LBT: I think he is already doing it. He appears to me to be relaxing more, showing us more of who he is. And who he is, is really pretty great. He is so enormously likable. He is so smart. I think he is letting us see just more of the great qualities that he has. And, I would just hope that he is enjoying it. I think he has had possibly even more detractors in modern political history than my friends, Bill and Hillary Clinton. I think he has had as many, let me say that. He has survived it all with great grace, as they did.

RB: If you were going to send the President to one of your favorite places in the United States for one day, where would that be?  Why?

LBT:  I would just hope that he goes to Hawaii. Because I think that Hawaii seems to me to have informed his spirit in a way that has been beneficial to the rest of us. It is a place of great moderations and even keel and kind of ‘live and let live.’ And, I think that has informed his presidency.  Maybe that is a little gift that Hawaii gave the rest of America, so I would wish for him to go back there.

RB: What CD/piece of music would you recommend that the President add to his collection?  Why?

LBT: Right now I’ve been listening to the music of Alabama Shakes. I think they are pretty fantastic, so I would steer him toward them.

RB: Would you ever consider a political career?

LBT: No, my career in politics has been to support my friends Bill and Hillary Clinton in any way that I can, and I will keep on doing that as long as they are in public life.

Robin Bronk is CEO of The Creative Coalition — the leading national, nonprofit, nonpartisan public advocacy organization of the entertainment industry. Bronk is a frequent speaker on the role of the entertainment industry in public advocacy campaigns and represents The Creative Coalition and its legislative agenda before members of Congress and the White House. She produced the feature film “Poliwood,” airing on Showtime, and edited the recently published book Art & Soul. Bronk pens this weekly column with assistance from Risa Kotek.


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