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The George Clooney-Mitt Romney Connection

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George Clooney, Mitt Romney
George Clooney, Mitt Romney CJ LaFrance/; Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

We doubt George Clooney will be holding a fundraiser for Mitt Romney anytime soon, but he does have a connection on the inside of the Republican presidential contender's campaign.

So who is he?

He's Romney's top strategist, Stuart Stevens, who as it happens is currently taking heat from conservatives for being the one responsible for Clint Eastwood's rambling empty chair ad-libbing at the Republican National Convention ahead of Mitt's nomination acceptance speech.

George Clooney narrates bio video at the DNC

Per, Stevens has a Hollywood pedigree, having worked as a writer on such TV shows as Northern Exposure, I'll Fly Away, Commander In Chief and the HBO show K Street, which is how he came to meet the Oscar winner. He then went on to serve as a political consultant on the latter's 2011 politically themed drama The Ides of March, which Clooney starred in, cowrote and directed.

In a seven-minute extra on the film's Blu-ray edition titled "What Does a Political Consultant Do?" the actor praised the UCLA film school grad and American Film Institute Fellow's contributions.

"Stuart was a really valuable voice," remarked Clooney. "We would send him things and say, "Tell us where we're going wrong. Tell us what you would do in this situation."

President Obama talks about "good friend" George Clooney

The actor-director, of course, is a huge supporter of Barack Obama's reelection bid, holding a fundraiser earlier this year for the president at his Hollywood home and even narrating a video that preceded Obama's keynote speech at the Democratic National Convention. The commander in chief has also called Clooney a good friend.

But it's cross-party connections like these that aren't exactly sitting well with Republicans in the wake of the 58-year-old GOP operative's decision to put Clint front and center at the RNC. A number of right wingers are privately and now publicly scapegoating Stevens for helping to distract from Romney's core message to voters.

"He's a smart, capable guy but he sends bad signals [to the right]," suggested one anonymous Republican affiliated with the Romney team to Politico.

Stevens, who also serves as Romney's chief admaker and chief speechwriter, has worked for every GOP presidential campaign going back to Bob Dole's unsuccessful run in 1996.

It's a tough gig Stu's got, so let's just wish him (good night and) good luck.

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