CINCINNATI (TDB) -- Nothing is on the record or confirmed. But rumor control is buzzing wildly -- the Cincinnati area's biggest Hollywood star just might appear on stage with Barack Obama Monday in Ohio. The Obama campaign reportedly has been considering staging its Monday rally in Cincinnati at Fifth Third Arena, the home of the Bearcats basketball team on the University of Cincinnati campus. George Clooney, who grew up in the area where his father was a TV and newspaper journalist, could do the introduction. Clooney has contributed money to the Obama campaign and has described the Illinois senator as a rock star. He has not yet made a formal endorsement. Officials with the Obama camp have been trying to line up a major venue, and the arena seats about 12,500. Xavier University's Cintas Center (10,500) is not under consideration. Time Magazine helped fuel the Clooney rumors:
"He feels passionately about Barack Obama but refuses his pleas to campaign for him -- other than an introduction in late February in Cincinnati, Ohio -- because he doesn't want it to backfire into a Hollywood vs. the heartland attack."
Obama's Cincinnati rally is set for Feb. 25 -- about as late in the month as one can get. In the past, Clooney and Obama have appeared at events aimed at bringing attention to the tragedy in Darfur.