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Party Time '08: Sean Penn To 'Reluctantly' Vote For Obama

DENVER -- The hottest actor at the Democratic National Convention, Sean Penn, tells the Sleuth he'll vote for Barack Obama and that his event this week with Ralph Nader is not an endorsement of the consummate party spoiler.

"I'm not supporting Nader for president," Penn tells the Sleuth.

Sean Penn shakes hands with Ted Koppel at an Oxfam America Hurricane Katrina event in Denver on Tuesday, Aug. 26, 2008. (AP Photo/Matt Sayles)

We hung out with Penn very late Tuesday night (and into the wee hours of Wednesday morning) by the pool at beer magnate Scott Coors's swanky modern mansion in suburban Denver, where Penn and other celebrities flocked to a party hosted by Newsweek's Jonathan Alter and others.

Penn, who supported Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) for president during the Democratic primary, expressed some reservations about Obama. But he's certainly not going to vote for a Republican.

"I will reluctantly vote for Obama," an exhausted looking, wild-haired Penn told us. Asked whether he'll contribute money to Obama, he said, "He doesn't need money from me."

Penn, who lives in San Francisco now, was being ushered around by Hollywood emissary Lawrence O'Donnell, a longtime former aide to the late Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D-N.Y.). And even though O'Donnell has lived and breathed politics for much of his life, he lost a crucial bet to Penn.

A while back, Penn predicted Obama's vice presidential pick would be Sen. Joe Biden (D-Del.). O'Donnell, a consultant to "West Wing" and other Washington-centric TV shows, bet $2,000 that Penn was wrong.

Last night, Penn was carrying the slightly crumpled $2,000 check from O'Donnell in his pocket, which he pulled out and showed us. Asked whether he planned to cash it or frame it, Penn said, "Frame it for now. But if SAG (Screen Actors Guild) goes on strike I might need to cash it."

Even though he's done so many amazing movies, such as "Mystic River," "21 Grams," "Dead Man Walking" and "I Am Sam" -- to name a few -- the Sleuth, a huge Sean Penn fan, still fondly thinks of him as the eating-pizza-in-history-class slacker Jeff Spicoli in "Fast Times at Ridgemont High." And he sort of had that vibe around 1 a.m. as he enjoyed his cocktail and indulged a small crowd of fans poolside.

Also joining Penn and O'Donnell at the party was Kerry Washington, who starred in "Ray" and "The Last King of Scotland." She told us she's excited about her newest movie, "Lakeview Terrace," which hits theaters next month. The flawlessly gorgeous actress described the film as a psychological thriller about an interracial couple in a blue-collar neighborhood.

Washington played the role of Penn's protector at the poolside party, checking on him occasionally to make sure he didn't need a rescue. She told us Penn is very shy around big crowds. And Penn himself admitted, "In a crowd of more than five, I hang on to my drink."

By Mary Ann Akers  |  August 27, 2008; 2:18 PM ET
Categories:  Party Time '08  
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Why would you vote for someone you don't believe in? If you know in your heart Obama is not your chose for President go with your seconr choice Republicans Mc Cain!!!!!!

Posted by: liz | August 27, 2008 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Ummm... I think Obama is his second choice. The reason he's not 100 percent about Obama is that he thinks he's too much like McCain. McCain=Bad.

Posted by: JDMac | August 27, 2008 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Why does it matter, anyway? Sean Penn is a political putz. I say this as an Obama supporter.

Posted by: ASinMoCo | August 27, 2008 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Also, I vote Democratic, because the Democrats are in favor of literacy.

Posted by: ASinMoCo | August 27, 2008 4:31 PM | Report abuse

I wasn't aware anyone cares about what Sean Penn thinks.

Posted by: ptc | August 27, 2008 4:35 PM | Report abuse

My intention from here forward is to vote a straight Democratic ticket, period. I don't have to be in love with the Democratic candidate because I already know he/she is better than the Republican. I already know the Democrat has better values, and values more akin to my own. I'm sure Sean Penn feels that way. I suspect if he was a Kucinich supporter, he l thinks Obama is not liberal enough. I formerly considered myself an independent, but after what the Rethuglicans have done to this country the last 20-30 years, I'll never vote for another one, and I do mean that with all my heart. I can't stand what the Republicans represent- greed, dishonesty, selfishness, cronyism, abuse of power, corruption, anti-democracy, anti-middle class, oligarchy, plutocracy, screw the little guy, opportunist, etc. The Party of Lincoln, Roosevelt, and Eisenhower no longer exists.

Posted by: spicegal | August 27, 2008 4:42 PM | Report abuse

ASinMoCo, what's literacy without correct punctuation?

Posted by: Tomhere | August 27, 2008 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Thank you, spicegal, we Democrats will screw you too, but you'll learn to like it.

Posted by: William Jefferson | August 27, 2008 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Sean Penn for President!!!

Posted by: playa | August 27, 2008 4:47 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, who cares who Sean Penn will vote for? Like the Sleuth, though, I would like to hear Jeff Spicoli's take on this election ;-).

Posted by: David Seibert | August 27, 2008 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Sean Penn is voting for Senator Obama for the same reason that other democrats for whom Senator Obama was not the first choice are. Even though I don't get a big fat welfare check as most republicans think democrats do, I have always fared better financially when the democrats are in charge and I have no idea why. I guess democrats just aren't as greedy as republicans.

Posted by: alma simmons | August 27, 2008 4:51 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Hil's the Only Way Out... | August 27, 2008 5:02 PM | Report abuse

My projection of Spicoli's take: "So what Hillary was saying was that we left that Republican party because it was bogus. And if we don't get some cool rules, pronto, then we'll just be bogus too!"

Posted by: ChrisW | August 27, 2008 5:06 PM | Report abuse

Q. How many Republicans will be voting for McSame even though he was not their first choice?

A. Most of them.

Remember, in 2000, "Gigolo John" McMansions was rejected by the Republicans.

Rather than subject themselves to the possibility of a McLame presidency, they chose the equivalent of a hapless village idiot (who, while destroying the economy, took America into an unnecessary war of choice).

Now they want America to accept as its leader the increasingly geriatric, self-styled "maverick" that they themselves rejected eight years ago.

What is it, in Republican eyes, that McLame has done in the last eight years that now makes him a credible Presidential candidate?

And for how many of them was McSame the first choice?

Posted by: pali2500 | August 27, 2008 5:07 PM | Report abuse

BTW, Sean Penn does not live in San Francisco.

He lives across the Golden Gate bridge, in Ross (next to Larkspur), in Marin.

Posted by: pali2500 | August 27, 2008 5:12 PM | Report abuse

Since spicegal nailed it, there is no need for me to reword it. I'll just quote her:

"I can't stand what the Republicans represent- greed, dishonesty, selfishness, cronyism, abuse of power, corruption, anti-democracy, anti-middle class, oligarchy, plutocracy, screw the little guy, opportunist, etc. The Party of Lincoln, Roosevelt, and Eisenhower no longer exists."

Check out

Posted by: Arjuna9 | August 27, 2008 5:15 PM | Report abuse

“McCain is like a Grumpy Elephant with no vision and a flip flopping memory! There is a reason this Elephant is always attacking without a postive message. His trainers are Rove & Schmidt at the circus! We know what to expect at the McCain’s convention a Grumpy Elephant entwining his trunk with 2 Rogue elephants in Bush/Cheney with two cheering trainers in Rove & Schmidt who are trying to sell the American People a 3 rd George Bush Term.” RFK

Posted by: Yeil Raven | August 27, 2008 5:43 PM | Report abuse

Yup, spicegal nailed it, I agree. Summarizes what I've been feeling for many years. The Republican Party just went insane somewhere along the way and decided to become the party of Wall Street, the military industrial complex and the Southern Baptist Convention exclusively. Lincoln is spinning in his grave.

Posted by: The Gator | August 27, 2008 5:50 PM | Report abuse

Why would anyone be reluctant to vote for God?

Posted by: Anonymous | August 27, 2008 5:56 PM | Report abuse

Dude, that was gnarly. You totally gagged on that one, ass master. If I had been eating, I would have totally spewed! Obama's IS the man, dude. He's just wearing like a cool bro track suit is all. But if the Obamas can party, dude, I say bring it on, Mister Man!

Posted by: Anonymous | August 27, 2008 5:59 PM | Report abuse

Dude, that was gnarly. You totally gagged on that one, ass master. If I had been eating, I would have totally spewed! Obama IS the man, dude. He's just wearing like a cool bro track suit is all. But if the Obamas can party, dude, I say bring it on, Mister Man!

Posted by: Aberforth | August 27, 2008 6:00 PM | Report abuse

Granted WaPo has a lot of news to fill during the convention, but I could give a flying fig who Spicoli is voting for. His opinion on anything other than movies starring himself is not needed.

Posted by: The Franchise | August 27, 2008 6:10 PM | Report abuse

Sean Penn has only one acting method if you watch his work, he not capable of understanding anything but on thing!

He should be a Republican and NRA member though!

Posted by: theaz | August 27, 2008 6:22 PM | Report abuse

Sean Penn- I just loved him in Lord of the Rings. He was great as Schmeegle.

Posted by: majorteddy | August 27, 2008 7:24 PM | Report abuse

Ralph Nader is venerable and most deserving of the american people's votes. Obama is a corporate president

Posted by: liza | August 27, 2008 8:18 PM | Report abuse

A Party With Penn:

The story provoked questions I would have went after:

1. What's the connection between Scott Coors and Johnathan
Alter .. when the latter is hosting the party at Coors' house?
Are these two connected? Was Coors at the party?

2. If Penn is supporting but is reluctant on Obama, and won't donate to
to Obama's campaign .. does Penn have a vote with O'Donnell ..
that sees McCain the next President?

3. What outcome does O'Donnell see with Biden on the ticket?

Sleuth go for it. Or will the censor assign it to file 86?

Posted by: 3rd-Party Advocate | August 27, 2008 8:46 PM | Report abuse

"Ralph Nader is venerable and most deserving of the american people's votes. Obama is a corporate president"

Exactly. He's done more for Americans than any president.

Posted by: Andrew Austin | August 27, 2008 8:47 PM | Report abuse

Democrat, Independent and Obamacan voters for Obama/Biden '08

“The best defense against usurpatory government is an assertive citizenry.” William F. Buckley, Jr. quote

Posted by: Eagle Clan Yan yeene | August 27, 2008 8:53 PM | Report abuse

The Chantay's - Pipeline (Lawrence Welk Show)

Obama/Biden '08

Posted by: Yeil nas’gadooshú | August 27, 2008 8:54 PM | Report abuse

Oh, please. Who really cares who Sean Penn is going to vote for?

Posted by: Music Lover | August 27, 2008 11:34 PM | Report abuse

Spicegal is right on target. I think the Republican party represents nothing short of absolute evil. Nevertheless, they are very clever deceivers and successfully convince people to vote for them. Mostly they prey on people's fears and try to divide people based on religion, race, sexual preference etc. It truly amazes me that so many people vote against their own interests and vote Republican when they serve only the interests of the greedy rich 2% of Americans. I guess they will win again by cleverly fooling most of the people most of the time.

Posted by: Vince | August 28, 2008 8:05 AM | Report abuse

According to Sean Penn yesterday, your story saying he will support Obama is not accurate. He did't say he will vote for Obama reluctantly or otherwise.

Posted by: Toby Heaps | August 28, 2008 11:36 AM | Report abuse

Um, so why is Sean Penn's (or Spicoli's) take on Obama newsworthy, but WaPo (and every other news outlet) TOTALLY IGNORED Kucinich's fiery speech last night?

Was it because of the content, condemning mainstream corporate media, by any chance?

Posted by: Dave | August 28, 2008 1:39 PM | Report abuse

McCaine = PC Obama = Macintosh
McCaine = Raisin Bran
Obama = Total
Mccaine = Depends
Obama = Pampers

You grow out of Pampers but you die wearing your depends. NUFF SAID!

Posted by: kowboi | August 28, 2008 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Sean Penn is a self serving troll. He manages to inject himself into high profile news events. The guy married MADONNA, enough said.

Posted by: LS | August 28, 2008 2:28 PM | Report abuse

No one has to vote for Obama or McCain. The best choice for President of the USA is Cynthia McKinney of the Green Party.

Posted by: Dr Arthur Frederick Ide | August 28, 2008 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Anyone who supports Cynthia McKinney over Barack Obama is a RACIST.

Posted by: JO | August 28, 2008 4:33 PM | Report abuse

At least three people here have it right--Nader is the only viable candidate, who is for the people one hundred per cent of the time.
He's also intelligent enough and well versed enough on all issues, to be able to debate both McCain and Obama under the table.
For more of the same, vote for McLame, for rhetoric that skirts all the imprtant issues, vote for Obama, for integrity and an end to corporate tyranny and foreign influence in our government, vote for Ralph Nader.
For those of you who want Nader but have bought the propaganda that you're wasting your vote, you've already wasted your vote by accepting second best. Voting for the candidate of your choice is never a wasted vote!

Posted by: Doubtom | August 28, 2008 6:42 PM | Report abuse

Nader ia as big a fool as mcbrainless. HYe runs for prez ? times? He has never been elected prez so why vote for him?

Posted by: Anonymous | August 28, 2008 8:00 PM | Report abuse

I think all of us should vote reluctantly. We do not personally know these candidates and we don’t know what they are really feeling or thinking. I’m sure they all lie at times and their parties force them to say certain things. I think it’s wise not to get too excited about any of them.

Posted by: BA Century City | August 28, 2008 9:38 PM | Report abuse

I love Nader. The only one who sticks to the issues and knows them well. Nader is a true servant who doesn't turn his back on the unspoken for even when they trash him. God bless him.

Posted by: EK | August 28, 2008 11:30 PM | Report abuse

Um, cuz Sean's not an idiot, Liz! Get a clue.

Posted by: Marie | August 29, 2008 7:37 PM | Report abuse

To pali2500:

Their house in Ross is for sale,
and looks pretty empty now - sounds
like he is now living in SF

Posted by: marinite | August 31, 2008 2:10 PM | Report abuse

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