Robert Rodriguez, Dave Grohl Dish on Palling Around with President Obama

Robert Rodriguez, Dave Grohl Dish on Palling Around with President Obama

If he’s not on the golf course during his downtime, President Obama is likely to befound either at a Democratic fundraiser or chatting up some celebrities, orsometimes both.

And if hehas to sidestep the illegal-immigration crisis at the border to hobnob with aceleb pal, all the better.

On day threeof the biannual Television Critics Association Press Tour at the Beverly Hiltonin Beverly Hills, California, Breitbart News and the assembled press got to hearfrom a couple of showbiz folks who recently had sit-downs with the POTUS.

(Frankly,it’s a little surprising that the POTUS hasn’t shown up at the TCA Press Touryet. I mean, Karl Rove was here a few years ago, and Obama does drop by L.A. ona regular basis to snarl traffic and collect checks from the entertainmentelite.)

Anyway, directorRobert Rodriguez was on hand on yesterday to talk to about his El Reytelevision network and one of its new shows, a spy drama called Matador (which got renewed for a second season in advance of its first-seasonpremiere on July 15).

(For FIFAfanatics, it’s about a DEA agent who goes undercover for the CIA as a playerfor the LA Riot soccer team. Yep.)

But before Rodriguez hopped on a plane to Los Angeles, he playedhost to President Obama, who dropped by at 10:20 p.m.Wednesday night atRodriguez’s lavish castle home in PembertonHeights, an affluent neighborhood of Austin, Texas.

Rodriguezraised the topic, mentioning he was “just talking to the president aboutit last night,” during a conversation about Latinos in America wanting tosee themselves represented in entertainment.

Callinghaving Obama in his house “an amazing experience,” Rodriguez said he’s updatedthe Commander in Chief on what’s been going on at the El Rey network.

“We’vetalked a lot with him,” said Rodriguez, “identity and belonging and the needfor something like this. And he asked to be updated as things went on.”

Eventhough Obama has been knownto skip the odd security briefing, it’s comforting to know that he’s fullyup to speed on the inner workings of El Rey.

But, Rodriguez, perhaps for reasons of national security, couldn’telaborate further.

“That wasthe gist of it,” he said. “I won’t go into too much details now, because Imight have to save that somewhere” … here a word was lost in thepress-conference transcript … “but it was pretty amazing. It was really aonce-in-a-lifetime chance.”

Incidentally,Obama wasn’t in Texas to make a visit to our embattled border, but for yetanother high-priced Democratic fundraiser. But one of the reporters had a question,not about the whys and wherefores of all these unaccompanied minors, some withcommunicable diseases, somehow crossing the southern border of Mexico and thentraversing the entire country to get across the southern border of the U.S, butabout some conspiracy theory he said he’d heard, regarding Texas Gov. RickPerry.

Here’sthat exchange in its entirety:

QUESTION: If I can ask another Obama question, just because it’s pretty cool that thathappened, he also met yesterday with the governor of your home state –and Iwant to try to get this right–who has said that Obama is either incompetent orpart of a conspiracy to bring children from south of the border across theborder to–for some purpose.  I’m not totally clear on how it wouldwork. Did you talk at all about that theory and how he’s–the pressurehe’s gotten on immigration in general?

ROBERT RODRIGUEZ: I didn’t talk to him about that theory inparticular, but I can’t really say what we talked about right now. Ihadn’t heard that theory.

But that wasn’t the last the TCA members heard about the president. Late in the day, during an extended presentation of new HBO shows,Foo Fighters lead singer Dave Grohl took the stage to talk about a new series he’sdirected, written and executive-produced–along with doing host duties- for thepay cable net.

It’s called FooFighters: Sonic Highwaysandit airs in October. Grohl and the band celebrated their 20th anniversary bydocumenting an eight-city recording odyssey that produced their most recent,and eighth, album. By visiting Chicago, Austin, Nashville, Los Angeles,Seattle, New Orleans, Washington, D.C., and New York, the series delved intothe unique musical contributions of each city.

Also, each visit contributed ideas–and appearances by locallegends–to one new song for the album, written by Grohl on the last day of thesession, incorporating words and impressions from the experience.

By way of background, Grohl has been a public supporter of Obama, dedicating his song “MyHero” to thepresident during a performance at the 2012 Democrat Convention in Charlotte,North Carolina.

In the course of filming, Grohl had a chat with Obama, who apparently impressed him less than meeting a amusician he admires from his youth, the guitar player of Austin punk band theBig Boys.

“I could sit with the president,” said Grohl. “He’s cool, man. Iknow that guy. But the guitar player of the Big Boys? Scared the hell out ofme.”

One might wonder why Grohl had to seek out Obama to talk aboutmusic in America-aside from the president’s demonstrated crooning talents whilesinging an Al Green tune, which had reportersgushing.

Said Grohl, “Because I wanted him to talk about America as acountry, where you have the opportunity to start with nothing, like Buddy Guy,make your guitar from strings and wires in your screen porch, and then become ablues legend that’s inducted into the Kennedy Center Honors, or be ahigh-school dropout from Springfield, Virginia, that winds up in the Rock andRoll Hall of Fame, or being a kid from Hawaii that winds up becoming president.”

He continued, “All of these people are really brave, driven, focused,passionate Americans. Most of them started with nothing, zilch, no training,just a dream. So I thought”…at this juncture, Grohl broke into a wide grin…”Well,God, who better to talk about that than my friend, President Obama?”

Who, indeed?One supposes he could have asked Florida Sen. Marco Rubio – whose Cuban-immigrantparents worked at such jobs as bartender and hotel maid – or Sen. Tim Scott ofSouth Carolina, a child of divorce raised by his single mother.

But they’re not lucky enough to be pals with a Foo Fighter.