Skip to comments.Star power fails Kerry
Posted on 11/03/2004 8:39:34 PM PST by Pikamax
Star power fails Kerry By Marc Lavine November 4, 2004 - 10:17AM Page Tools
Even the mega-wattage of Hollywood's brightest stars from Titanic icon Leonardo DiCaprio to rock "Boss" Bruce Springsteen wasn't enough to illuminate US presidential candidate John Kerry's campaign.
A battalion of entertainment industry glitterati shifted their powerful names and images from America's theatre marquees to its campaign flyers as they stampeded to lobby for the Democrat's White House bid.
But it simply wasn't enough to defeat Republican President George W Bush and today many of the celebs had gone to ground.
Screen heart-throb Ben Affleck, the sultry Sharon Stone, rapper P. Diddy, actress Uma Thurman and superstars Brad Pitt and George Clooney bring hundreds of millions into movie theatres or concert halls, but couldn't lure enough Kerry voters into the voting booths.
"Stars, however big they are, just don't deliver votes to candidates," said University of Southern California communications professor Marty Kaplan.
"Stars can add excitement and draw crowds to rallies, they can attract news cameras and they can help with fundraising, but few voters will choose a presidential candidate because some celebrity has endorsed him," he said. AdvertisementAdvertisement
Celebrities who supported the failed White House contender remained firmly out of public view today, refusing to comment to reporters as Democrats licked their wounds following Kerry's concession of defeat.
For months traditionally-Democratic Hollywood put its star power behind Kerry as the United States was polarised by a bitter presidential contest.
The big-name mobilisation reached fever pitch in the last weeks of the campaign as a constellation of stars hi the airwaves and appeared at Kerry rallies across America to stump for their man.
Basic Instinct star Stone, pop idol Justin Timberlake, Oscar-winning actor Benicio Del Toro, singing legend Stevie Wonder, actor Samuel Jackson, Latin pop star Ricky Martin and comedians Whoopi Goldberg and Chevy Chase all did their bit for Kerry.
Celebrity testimonials may help (sell) erectile dysfunction products, but in politics, they're mainly eye-candy for the media. Professor Marty Kaplan
Some made gruelling cross-country trips in campaign buses, others headlined glitzy benefit concerts, while scores recorded a blitz of radio and television spots hoping to swing the vote.
Others concentrated on efforts to mobilise young Americans to get out and vote, irrespective of their choice of president.
"I realise this is the most important election of my lifetime," the 29-year-old DiCaprio told a crowd of Kerry supporters in Florida last week.
In the days ahead of yesterday's vote, the actor stumped in the "swing state" of Nevada along with veteran Hollywood activist and Oscar-winning actor Sean Penn. Actress Sharon Stone.
Actress Sharon Stone.
Penn, who along with stars such as Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins has long been among the most vocal opponents of Bush, also went to the other critical western state of New Mexico to knock on doors and energise voters against Bush.
During the months of campaigning, Democratic diva Barbra Streisand, crooner Neil Diamond, actor Matt Damon, country stars the Dixie Chicks and superstar Robert DeNiro also did public turns to support Kerry.
But voters ultimately were not dazzled by the star power and outspoken celebrities can actually be a liability for a Democratic candidate in more conservative and Republican areas of America.
During his campaign, Bush, who had the public support of few A-list Hollywood stars - with the exception of California's Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger - mocked Kerry's Tinseltown pals.
"Celebrity testimonials may help (sell) erectile dysfunction products, but in politics, they're mainly eye-candy for the media," Kaplan said after Kerry conceded defeat.
See, this is the kind of thing that just warms my heart - a gang of Hollywood's beautiful people (aggregate IQ: 17) crying themselves to sleep tonight....
Quite a list of has-beens, and never-should-have-beens.
Clooney's dad (uncle?) lost too didn't he? In KY, I think.
Very disappointed in Benecio Del Torro, that I will say.
Well, I'm just waiting for legalized rape, the draft, concentration camps for gays, etc., etc., etc. as predicted by the Hollywood elite.
That's quite a list of anti-Americans. Well done.
Some study discovered that celebrity endoresments for Democrats may do more harm than good for them. For every voter that a celebrity attracts for the dem, they create two voters for the Republican.
Elite + Celebrities = Waste of Time
Looney Clooney's poppa lost by double-digits.
At least now we know how to get them to shut the f- up ;)
His father...thank GOD! :-)
Glory days well they'll pass you by Glory days...
If only it would last!
That's because people generally don't like their stars to come out from behind the camera. They go to the movies or watch TV to be entertained, not to be lectured to by someone earning absurd amounts of money and living in a virtual la-la land. It's insulting to the common mans' sense.
Heard some interesting news today that two of Puffy's 'Vote or Die' cronies, Ludacris and Ja Rule, picked 'Die' as neither of them made it to the polls.
I thought for sure when Cher endorsed Kerry he would win in a landslide.
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