Robert De Niro is a great many things. He’s a screen icon with a pair of Oscars and close to 100 films under his belt, including classics like Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, and Goodfellas. He’s an entrepreneur who has, through real estate ventures and the Tribeca Film Festival, helped revitalize Lower Manhattan in the wake of 9/11. He’s a longtime supporter of the Democratic Party, having endorsed Al Gore, John Kerry, and Barack Obama for president. And he also might be a psychic.
You see, back in December 2006, De Niro was busy doing promotional stops for his directorial effort The Good Shepherd. One of his appearances was on Hardball with Chris Matthews, where he appeared opposite star Matt Damon. It was filmed at George Mason University, and in front of a crowd of thousands, De Niro was asked who he’d like to see as president of the United States.
His answer? “Well, I think of two people: Hillary Clinton and Obama.”
On Wednesday afternoon, I had the pleasure of sitting down with De Niro and his Tribeca partner Jane Rosenthal to discuss the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival, which this year boasts a very formidable lineup including live events, star-studded film premieres, and talks featuring the likes of George Lucas, Christopher Nolan, the Monty Python crew, and a 25th anniversary Goodfellas discussion with the cast moderated by The Daily Show’’s Jon Stewart. Our talk eventually veered to his prophetic 2006 Hardball appearance, and whether or not he’ll be endorsing Hillary Clinton for president in 2016.
“Hopefully it will be her, yes,” said De Niro. “I think that she’s paid her dues. There are going to be no surprises, and she has earned the right to be president and the head of the country at this point. It’s that simple. And she’s a woman, which is very important because her take on things may be what we need right now.”“She’s smart, has run things before, and knows how government works and how to get things done,” added Rosenthal. “She’s watched it from the sidelines, and the frontlines.”
Last November, De Niro joined Clinton in being honored at the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice & Human Rights annual gala. The actor received recognition for his philanthropy, while Clinton was the night’s chief honoree for her “long career in public service” and “deep commitment to human rights.”