Dinner With George Clooney Is the Perfect Way to Woo Voters

Americans respond to star power, for better or for worse. The use of celebrities to sell products has permeated our culture, and from what I have seen, it is even more haywire abroad. Fashion. Hair care. Makeup. Charities. Cars. Furniture. Pretty much any time you see Brooke Shields these days, she’s pimping some product. She’s endorsing everything from lash extension serum to La-Z-Boy. It’s no surprise that celebrities jump on the campaign trail too.

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The difference is that superstars are not paid huge endorsement checks to stump for a candidate. Stars like George Clooney use their star power to help draw attention to an issue or a candidate that might otherwise be overlooked by certain target audiences. I don’t think it adds any negativity to politics. In fact, it can help draw people in. I got to meet Edie Falco and Ashley Judd in the last presidential election when they came to small, intimate venues to talk about why they support Barack Obama. They were regular women in regular clothes having regular conversations. I almost forgot they were celebrities while we chatted with no signs of glitz and glamour.

Democratic candidates have traditionally enjoyed loads of star power. All those left-leaning people in Hollywood and the Big Apple come out to support progressive candidates. It’s a striking display of riches, both in terms of money and influence. The truth is, celebrities do indeed influence voters. Despite how erudite some people think they are, that tiny bit of us that peeks at the People magazine cover in the grocery check-out line cares just a tish about the world of celebrities. Their support of a candidate might not be strong enough to change any minds, but the intrigue of what celebrities are doing is enough to be a hook for a candidate to share his message.

Campaigns have been luring voters with musicians too, keenly aware of the tone, connotation, and message behind certain artists and song lyrics. That can, however, backfire, as Wisconsin governor Scott Walker found out. It seems musicians everywhere are asking Republican candidates to stop using their songs for fear of associating with their views. And then there’s the issue of what to do when a boorish celebrity endorses you. Mitt Romney has the undesirable endorsement of Ted Nugent, whose comments have further turned women off from the GOP.

The Obama campaign has thrown out an offer of dining with George Clooney if your name is thrown into the donor lottery. I happen to be a huge fan of Clooney’s, and not just because he has Adonis good looks. I think dinner with George is way better than the Democrats’ other pitch to have my name on a NASCAR racecar.

This post is part of a weekly conversation with our 5 Moms Matter 2012 political bloggers. To see the original question and what the other writers have to say, read Should Presidential Candidates Use Star Power to Fuel Donations?


Image via Sharon Farmer/Wikimedia

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