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Sean Penn talking about “My President”

November 7, 2008

One of the most vocal opponents in Hollywood to President George W. Bush, the war in Iraq and the botched rescue of Hurricane Katrina victims declared peace with American politics this week with the election of Barack Obama as the next president.

“I was sitting on the edge of the bed with my family watching our new president-elect,” actor/director Sean Penn said Thursday night as he collected the Britannia Award for Excellence in Film from the Los Angeles chapter of BAFTA, the British Academy of Film and Television Arts.

“I have never been able to put the word ‘my’ before president before,” he added, prompting loud applause from the British-American film industry crowd that also honored actors Tilda Swinton and Don Cheadle and director Stephen Frears.

When not working on films — either acting or directing, which he did last year with “Into the Wild” –  the Oscar winner has hopped on planes and ruffled feathers by touring Iraq and meeting with Washington foe Hugo Chavez, the Venezuelan president.

Penn will be making new waves with “Milk,” in which he plays Harvey Milk, the late San Francisco gay activist and politician of the 1970s. The Gus Van Sant film opens later this month on the heels of a stinging defeat for California gays, who saw their right to marry overturned at the polls this week.

While he may have made peace with American politics, Penn did use the stage to take a parting shot at another foe — ex-wife Madonna, playing Thursday across town at Dodger Stadium.

After searching for “my British thing to say,” Penn shouted “Guy Ritchie’s back!”

British filmmaker Ritchie and Madonna are divorcing after nearly eight years of marriage.

-Photo credit: Reuters/Fred Prouser (Sean Penn arrives at BAFTA Awards)


That’s funny. I can’t do it now…

Posted by Dave M | Report as abusive

Well, that makes it all OK. Prince Buttercup approves of the Obamanation. Never mind that Prince Buttercup, while a big-time movie star, still doesn’t have the sense to be a decent human being. I figure he deserves about as much respect from me as he’s given to Bush and the American people.Odd how the universe balances out. Prince Buttercup can finally call someone his President; I can finally call someone “not my President.”

Posted by Passionate Conservative | Report as abusive

Passionate Conservative: How right you are!


“That’s funny. I can’t do it now…”Ah, you beat me to it.Yes, that’s right. I fully intend to give “his” president the same respect he gave mine.

Posted by hawkdriver | Report as abusive

Hollywood stars are such good judges of character… anyone they think is great will almost always turn out to be a scumball just like them.

Posted by sherlock | Report as abusive

Like I take advice or opinion from a 40 year old bicycle-messenger.

Posted by EZnSF | Report as abusive

and why do we care what sean penn thinks? Does anyone really say “I WAS going to vote for mccain… but then sean penn said obama was better”… This guy is a tool.I am a career military officer and I will support President Obama more, despite our ideological differences, than the diehard liberals ever did Bush. I disagree with his political philosophy, but I will never undermine his position and authority as commander in chief and the leader of this nation like what was done to President Bush from DAY 1.American political infighting should end at the US Border… a lesson sean penn obviously never learned.

Posted by Brad | Report as abusive

I could not agree with you guys more…..who cares what this Hollywood jerk thinks?!

Posted by Kim | Report as abusive

Well, you are all alittle stupid. Just realize who ever it is, unless you live in Paris, when this President goes to war, or not, you here with him or not…..from a citizen of the United States of America

Posted by Kathy Cantrell | Report as abusive

You all have the story wrong, he is talking About Hugo Chavez. That is his President.

Posted by I.M.Knot Fooled | Report as abusive

Yep, Republican lemon-sucking sore losers (respondents: flordia property, Passionate Conservative and hawkdriver) making dim-witted remarks about Obama. In a time of exteme economic peril, two wars, high unemployment, all caused by Republican incompetent hacks and demagogues, all these bankrupt morons could think and feel is their hate of Obama. You can wallow in your sorrow, heat your blood to a boiling point, spew out your hatred and incessantly complain about the demise of your GOP till kingdom comes. America is moving ahead, on ward and foreward. You will be ignored and left out on your own. The rest of the country, which cares deeply about America’s health and wellfare, will restore its dignity and prosperity. Sadly, when this is accomplished, hacks like you will be riding the coattails of the successful march of Obamanation only because you will be riding on it by default to share the provisions of the tribe. You think Obama is not your president? Obama is too nice to say to you ‘I am glad I am not your president’. America is glad it had enough of you and your leaders.

Posted by Jamaal Adam | Report as abusive

You know, I can understand Sean Penn’s frustration and anger and his summary rejection of Bush and neocons. He is brash, passionate and fearless while stating his opinion. It is because of his deep love and affection for America that he lashes out at those, who serve her ills by taking her to unnecessary wars, trampling on its civil liberties and severely damaging its reputation aborad. He is a true patriot and a decent human being. I can also understand that many of the hacks posting in this medium do not like Sean Penn. What I do not understand is why these same morons wish to hate Obama and declare that they do not consider him their president because Sean Penn now calls him “my” president.

Posted by Jamaal Adam | Report as abusive

The few words said about the reaction to the Obama victory are very nice. I wanted to read more. Thank you, Sean Penn, for speaking up for truth and justice for all human beings.

Posted by Rebecca Harlan | Report as abusive

Jamaal, well said. All these bitter, hateful people actually have is their hate. Nothing else.For your information, bitter haters and above all, LOSERS, the reason Sean Penn did not support “president” bush is because bush stole the presidency. Now we have a legitimately elected president after 8 years of letting a drunk clown completely ruin the country.Enjoy boiling in your hate. The rest of us are moving on. We have work to do, a country to heal, and a nation to rebuild.If you haters even spent one tiny bit of the energy you waste spewing hatred on comment boards doing something positive for yourself and others (uh, oh, would that make you a SOCIALIST? lol) your lives would be so much better.Well. I’m off to do my volunteer work for animal rescue. Enjoy your day stewing in your own juices, haters of America.


What a complete DOOFUS! He apparently can only respect someone he agrees with? How small-minded and ignorant can people be? But we are talking about someone from Hollywood and they don\’t live in the real world anyway. Maybe he can go make another smear movie about a former president so he will feel better.Every President is MY President whether I agree with them or not.

Posted by Michael | Report as abusive

Hey Jamaal Adam, now you know how I felt hearing “your” liberal whining while we were getting shot at. I don’t want to hear your croc tears about us being at war. Been there don’t that with a back-stabbing bunch of Dems back home.And as far as the ecomony you don’t have to look any further than your Dem Congress, Dem run Fannie Mae Freddie Mac, AIG Leman Bros and Republicans 5 years ago and then 2 years ago in conference trying to reel them in. But no, Maxie Waters, Chris Dodd and Barney Frank said nothing to see here.Sean Penn a true patriot. ROTMFingFLMMFingAO. I’m not a soldier but I play one in the movies. Jamaal, go back to your Dear Leader, I have some government hating to catch up on.

Posted by hawkdriver | Report as abusive

“I have never been able to put the word ‘my’ before president before,”I read this headline and thought well aren’t you special.You do not believe in democracy or a republicYou’re a self-centered Moron, who does not respect other peopleA childish ingrate, pathetic really.And then I clicked on the article and find out it’s fromSean Penn!Who woulda thunk it!

Posted by Injest | Report as abusive

That’s funny. That guy can now say “my” while suddenly I can’t even write the word ‘president.’ It always comes out “Messiah.” Even then, I keep writing the word “your” in front of “Messiah.”

Posted by Bill Carson | Report as abusive

And when this Herbert Obama Hoover Pres. sends our fragile economy the rest of the way over into depression Sean can still be his loyal subject albeit standing in a bread line like everyone else.Lie with the Devil, get the Devil’s due.Hey Sean where did you go when the bombing started?

Posted by Speakup | Report as abusive

If this flaming liberal is proud, the rest of us better be scared!PSSst,…Sean,…nobody give a rats behind what you think about hussein.The hussein without a birth certificate,.and before any of the screaming liberals say”it’s one his web-site”…NO,’s not,..that is NOT a certificate of live birth.I bet it’s “leaked” after the hussein is sworn in and, Joe gets the boot for knowing,..and Nancy steps in, wont that be a treat for the world!!

Posted by Chico | Report as abusive

Jamaal, its so apparrent when you read a comment from a “true” republican. They are filled with so much hate that has been passed down from generation to generation that they can’t even pass up the chance to throw hate words at Sean Penn (a washed up actor) for expressing his feelings towards our new elect-President. They don’t realize that half of their neighbors with Mccain signs posted on their front lawns went to the polls and voted for Obama. Wake up and smell the coffee republicans….its time for change. And like Jamaal said, once Obama gets this country moving in the right direction you all will be the first to reap the benefits. Stop whining and admit you’re ready for a positive and progressive change too.

Posted by sincere | Report as abusive

“I have never been able to put the word ‘my’ before president before,”Back to grammer school for you … Idiot!!!

Posted by Al | Report as abusive

What a waste of a good actor. Let’s see his Father was an acknowledged Commie, apple falling not far from the tree. So yea Sean, I guess Obama is “your” president!

Posted by John | Report as abusive

I thought his Presidente was Chavez. Seriously, Penn is the reason Republicans want to torture anyone.

Posted by Fivo | Report as abusive

Interesting. We should all give The One our loyalty and respect according to His supporters. Funny how that loyalty and respect was never there for Bush from day one.And just because you THINK Bush “stole” the presidency, you might want to obtain a little proof. Of course, that would mean actually doing research instead of spouting conspiracy theories about how Bush made the re-re-recount stop. The fact is that Gore, et al, tried to have only specific precincts recounted. Did you ever stop to wonder why? Did you also ever stop to wonder why after the election was certified for Bush, that even the NYT and other rags not “friendly” to Bush ALSO recounted the ballots and came to the same conclusion that Bush won Florida?All the long eight years, including right after 9/11, there were people who claimed that Bush was an occupant, a pretender, the “selected, not elected” President. Are these same people screaming about ACORN and its VERIFIED attempts (and successes) at voter fraud? All you’ll hear is crickets in that regard.If conservatives give The One the same amount of respect that the rabid liberals gave Bush, there would be howls of “you’re not being loyal to the president!” and “Show some respect!” etc.We as Americans do not “Give” our loyalty; politicians have to earn it. We do not have to show respect; politicians have to earn it. The only loyalty and respect we as Americans need show is to our nation, and to the United States Constitution. We do not owe our loyalty to these temporary occupants. They will be gone in four or eight years, but we remain. And all the wishing by Prince Buttercup that we remake America in the image that The One wants will fall on deaf ears. Prince Buttercup should put his money (literally)where his mouth is. If he truly has compassion for the people of the United States of America, if he really wants to do some good, he should sell all he owns, give it to Barack Obama to distribute, and for the rest of his life, work for minimum wage in any endeavor he introduces himself in. My bet is that he won’t. He thinks he’s better than that.But that’s always been the problem with liberals; they think that it’s only someone else’s money that should be used. And the few wealthy liberals that actually say that they are undertaxed, well, nobody on this planet is stopping them from sending ALL of their money to the government. I wonder how many actually say to their accountants, “No, don’t take that deduction, I feel like giving MORE than my fair share.Hmph. Liberals. Always bravest when standing behind their protectors.

Posted by Passionate Conservative | Report as abusive

oh the conservatives are so bitter.. will the schadenfreude never end?

Posted by budee budinski | Report as abusive

I note more hate is wafting from posts of unlettered heads. I have stated what I think of them. And so I will address a more serious issue: that of a stolen 2004 election.Democrats consistently fielded superior candidates with impressive resumes. You will never see a low-information-extraodinaires Sarah Palin and Potato”e”-head Dan Quale, making it to the Democratic rank and file. Yet, Democrats fell victim to GOP voter suppression tactics in Ohio and Florida, which in effect disfranchised hundreds of thousands of votes that could have sent both Gore and Kerry to the White House.Enter Obama. A smooth, cool-headed, super-intelligent Chicago-tough candidate, who came in well-prepared to methodically render ineffective past GOP voter suppression tactics. John McCain cried ACORN to no avail. Ohio and Florida were saved, democracy won, every voter’s vote counted and Democrats won by almost a landslide.And the news gets worse for the GOP. The Democrats have now installed their own people in state election committees that oversee voter eligibility. America has regained its taste for voting. Republicans know high voter turnout consistently spells trouble for their party. And that is what will happen in the forseable future. GOP better get used to a life of obscurity for a while. Your candidates will only experience the White House as visitors, chaperoned by tour guides, while successive Democratic presidents, and their dogs, live in it.

Posted by Jamaal Adam | Report as abusive

Let us not forget that we as Americans are not used to having an ‘elected’ president for the last 8 years. Sean Penn’s remarks are right on target.


get a life,,, support our country,,,true americans will not allow harm to come to america

Posted by jo | Report as abusive

“You will never see a low-information-extraodinaires Sarah Palin and Potato”e”-head Dan Quale, making it to the Democratic rank and file.”You mean Barack “57 States” Obama doesn’t qualify? Report to the nearest deportation center “Jamaal” I have a hunch you’re an illegal. Or a victim of public schools. Btw, 57 million people voted against Obama. Hardly a “landslide.” Keep dreaming though.

Posted by LOL | Report as abusive

I, too, feel proud of calling Barack Obama “My President”. I didn’t feel that way about George W. Bush, about whom, frankly, I am quite embarrassed. But I remember the days when daring to express such opinion would bring out the ire of many who may know call themselves “passionate conservatives”, the pro-Bush flag-wavers, who were quick point to any dissent as un-American and treasonous. Americans like Sean Penn, the Dixie Chicks and many others were simply unfit to live in this country and call themselves Americans.So it’s quite funny to now see “passionate conservatives” expressing such critical and unkind views towards our new president-elect and see nothing un-American about it. What happened to all that flag-waving and my-president-right-or-wrong attitude they once so loudly proclaimed?None of us know how good or bad a president Obama may turn out to be, but that doesn’t seem to stop our passionate “patriots” from denying his leadership. Unfortunately, such premature attacks on a recently elected president tend to make dissenters, regardless of how passionate they claim to be, look like sore losers.

Posted by Pender B | Report as abusive

Are you kidding me? Talk about hate! What about the hate toward Bush, and ANY republican, spewed by these ungrateful, bigoted, Hollywood spoiled-brats. As an American, I have always been proud of my country, warts and all, just as the way I feel about my family. I will rally behind President-elect Obama. He’s got a tough road ahead and needs the support of all of us. But don’t try to talk hate as if it’s owned by republicans. Dems need to take responsibility for there own prejudice and hate.

Posted by Lily's mom | Report as abusive

Everyone needs to get over Sean Penn’s use of the word “my” before “president” – big deal; and also get over his occupation, actor, whoop-tee-do! What he was saying was he feels proud and probably grateful to have president-elect Obama:1) who was actually voted into office (unlike Bush who got in very wrongly),2) who is intelligent,3) who is deliberating in thought,4) who is well-spoken,5) who is willing to tell the American people what is going on in his administration (unlike Bush who expected secrecy from everyone),6) who values people of all ages and cultures,7) who is forward thinking, progressive and desireous of moving this country forward, out of our devastating economic and real estate slumps, and who hopefully will pull out of both wars (that’s unlikely, really).NONETHELESS, Sean Penn has a right to speak his mind as everyone does in the U.S. My neighbors said they are grateful to have someone intelligent in the White House; I could not agree more.HAS EVERYONE FORGOTTEN THAT SEAN PENN WENT TO NEW ORLEANS, BORROWING A FRIEND’S BOAT, AND BY HAND, HELPED PEOPLE WHO WERE STRANDED IN FLOODED WATERS? WHAT DID FEMA DO? HOW DID BUSH HANDLE THE ENTIRE HURRICANE KATRINA SITUATION? Give me Sean Penn (and any of you) in a boat to keep me and my family from drowning, anyday, and give me the continued freedom of speech to speak up anytime, anywhere!Let’s hear it for freedom of speech from anyone, regardless of occupation, including actors, anytime, anywhere! We need to pull this country together, people! GO OBAMA, GO!

Posted by good day | Report as abusive

I notice that the über left conveniently forgot the 8 years of “loyal opposition” they handed to GWB. Now they expect conservatives to fall in lockstep with The One and follow his commands. Sorry, ain’t gonna happen. The One needs to earn my respect, not expect my respect. And that cutie pie little sign “Office of the President Elect” is not helping things along.But hey, I’ll give BHO all the respect and loyalty that the über left gave GWB. Deal?

Posted by Passionate Conservative | Report as abusive

Though you may not agree with Sean Penn, his passion and love for his country is obvious. Barack Obama reminded us that while our passions may strain the bonds of civility, they should not be broken because we are all Americans – and presumably brethren.For those of you saying that Obama is not YOUR President, he will be whether you are willing to acknowledge it or not. You will be affected by the policies and legislation he puts into play.So get over it. If you love your country, if you have any sense of patriotism support your new President and support the United States of America.

Posted by OrchidIslander | Report as abusive

Bush campaigned on coming together and then stacked the courts with extremist judges, started a war based on lies, paid for that war with inefficient contracts (many no-bid) financed by a massive debt, surrounded himself with yes-men neo-cons who led him into decisions that may yet mean the decline of American power in the world. His margins of “victory” were way smaller than Obama’s yet he pursued his agenda without taking the rest of us into account.If Obama is even 5% more bipartisan (and I believe he will be more so), you guys should be grateful. Obama’s mandate would have been greater if those who don’t have the time to really check into these things hadn’t been scared by the “he’s a Communist” and “he’s a Terrorist”. He’s about as much of a socialist and terrorist Bill Clinton.

Posted by Paul | Report as abusive

Passionate Americans, aren’t we?I voted for Bush, twice. I voted for Obama. So far, once.It seems as if both Republicans and Democrats are getting a little ahead of the game. Obama won the election, and now he has to go to work. Let’s not trump him up as a Messiah or tear him down before he has even taken office.Simple question – would we like to see him succeed at being our American President and guiding us through the situation we’re in?I would hope the answer would be a resounding “yes”. We came together as one country during World War II, during 9/11. We find ourselves in another life-changing catastrophe. Time to work together again, like we’ve shown we can.

Posted by Gene B | Report as abusive

I am not a Seam Penn or Madonna fan, celebrities do not impress me most of Hollywood is built on sin. Most of them do not know which way is up. Their are not good role models and we need to teach our children values and morals. I find most of Hollywood Toxic, anything goes, and they make their money by shocking our morals. There are not very many people in Hollywood that I find are decent. They do not care about American family values or morals; take a good look at what they do money is not everything. Fox news was the only news station reporting fair and exposing the facts. Obama needs to prove himself and until then I do not trust him – he has shown nothing to me accept words, a great speaker, a junior senator with little experience and Media myth. There is a lot to be said about the health of society’s central institutions: family, church, and school. Capitalism sure didn’t hurt Obama to become President and it’s that same system that gave him the freedom to be what he is today, yet Obama wants to take away that freedom and turn us into a country dependent on BIG government programs – huge health care , higher taxes, and the list goes on. I want my constitutional rights protected – Obama will change that – we cannot let that happen. If that starts to happen we will need to march in Washington we cannot sit back and watch our constitution be stripped away and in four years he could do a lot of damage. It has been over 25 plus years since they took prayer out of schools and look what are high schools are doing now over 33 percent of all children do not know what gender they want to be. I know I work with children and teens in PA and we were considered a conservative state. Television and movies have desensitized our youth. Crimes have triple, schools have guards with guns – look how our society has become. Un-Godly Nation. Remember half of the County voted for McCain and McCain would have won if the people were not ignorant to blaming everything on Bush. President Bush deserved respect and I find it sickening that these same people think we should work with Obama. First, I do not trust him, there are many facts to back that up, and I pray we are not attacked on US soil.

Posted by Ann | Report as abusive

Obama will soon be ensconced in the Oval Office, with all the people who helped put him there lined up outside for goodies. At the head of the line will be Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers. What will they ask for?The three things that they want from a President Obama are more money for their contraception and sterilization programs, an end to any and all restrictions on abortions, and taxpayer funding, including funding for abortion itself.Judging by what Obama has said over the course of the campaign, he will be happy to grant their wishes.First of all, Barack Obama has pledged to pay for abortions with our tax dollars. According to his own web site, he is an original co-sponsor of the “Prevention First Act,”What this reasonable-sounding languages disguises, of course, is the ugly reality that the Prevention First Act would actually force insurance companies to fund, doctors to prescribe, and pharmacies to dispense, abortifacient contraceptives. “Providing compassionate assistance to rape victims,” when translated into plain English, means forcing you and I to pay for morning after pills and abortions.Second, Obama has also promised – in the strongest possible terms – to sign the radical Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA), which would prohibit the states from “interference with a woman’s right to terminate a pregnancy prior to viability or … after viability where termination is necessary to protect the life or health of the woman.” It would also prohibit so-called “discrimination … in the regulation or provision of benefits, facilities, services, or information.” If passed, the Freedom of Choice Act would nullify any and all restrictions on abortion, from parental consent laws, to waiting periods, to informed consent provisions, and the like. All of the hard work of pro-lifers over the past three decades would be swept away.Our younger generation X cares, about the killing of Wolves, environment, world poverty, but I guess human rights of their own species apparently has no value – how sick is that! Before we give Obama’s other Bill 845 Billion dollars to World Provety Act – don’t you think we should fix America first? When business cannot afford to employ you, due to spreading the wealth and higher taxes and you do not have a job, maybe then you will wise up. And Please don’t tell me blacks are not racist your proof – 95 percent voted for him. I think what bothered me the most is he told Christians voters he was for Pro-Life. Anything to get a vote. I find it amusing that it was the 78 percent of the black vote that voted to ban gay marriages, but make no mistake – these new leaders with Obama have no intention of shifting focus from their big three issues: abortion, gay marriage and judges. Un-Godly Nation!

Posted by Ann | Report as abusive

If conservatives give The One the same amount of respect that the rabid liberals gave Bush, there would be howls of “you’re not being loyal to the president!” and “Show some respect!” etc.We as Americans do not “Give” our loyalty; politicians have to earn it. We do not have to show respect; politicians have to earn it. The only loyalty and respect we as Americans need show is to our nation, and to the United States Constitution. We do not owe our loyalty to these temporary occupants. They will be gone in four or eight years, but we remain. And all the wishing by Prince Buttercup that we remake America in the image that The One wants will fall on deaf ears. Prince Buttercup should put his money (literally)where his mouth is. If he truly has compassion for the people of the United States of America, if he really wants to do some good, he should sell all he owns, give it to Barack Obama to distribute and for the rest of his life, and work for minimum wage in any endeavor he introduces himself in. My bet is that he won’t. He thinks he’s better than that. Do not ever compare Obama to JFK, for JFK was a Catholic and give his salary to charities. Bill Clinton is the only President that raised the salaries of the congress, one of many of his big government spending, Obama cabinet is nothing more than the same polices of Bill Clinton, now due to the economy they will not be able to strip much they did a good job with sub-prime mortgages. I am not proud of my country (Carter, Clinton and Obama).

Posted by Ann | Report as abusive

It appears from many of the comments herein that we are still a divided country. This divisiveness is part of the message the McCain/Palin ticket was promoting. Didn’t you listen to McCain’s concession speech? Not even John McCain would tolerate this continued negative rhetoric. Everyone has the right to their own opinion, but that’s all it is, an opinion. It is not clear to me why you are so opposed to Sean Penn’s opinions or are you just taking advantage of his comments to criticize Obama? It is also not clear to me why you are objecting to the phrase “my President”. You have stated your objection, but you have failed to state the reason(s) for your position. If the President elect is not your President, then who is? Your statements are about as stupid as Sean Penn’s. Whether you like it or not, the President elect will be THE President.

Posted by Craig Puhrmann | Report as abusive

Am I the only one who wants to punch this jerk every time he uses his celebrity to assert his politics? What is it about being an actor that somehow makes you an authority on running a country? I am always surprised that someone can enter a “profession” that requires not one bit of education and then is able to command the attention mindless boob tube zombies everywhere. Good Lord people, for your own opinions.


sean peen is a communist. he should move to china, cuba or venezuela.the man is a jerk!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by realist | Report as abusive

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