Hollywood celebrities campaigning and cavorting with national contenders is a staple of presidential politics. Frank Sinatra is remembered for backing Jack Kennedy. Paul Newman made waves for Hubert Humphrey in 1968. Warren Beatty was part of George McGovern's "Malibu Mafia" in 1972. Ted Kennedy used Carroll O'Connor, famous for playing Archie Bunker, to add to his lunch-bucket appeal in 1980.
Republicans, too, had their moments. Nixon had Hope; the Gipper had the Duke, Jimmy Stewart and others. But these were exceptions to the rule. For a generation this industry comprised of the very rich and very famous has been dominated by the Left. Some know whereof they speak, many are intellectual embarrassments, and all believe the Earth's axis revolves around the 90210 zip code.
In 1992, they flexed their muscle in a spectacular fashion, seemingly everywhere in support of the Man from Hope. The exercise would be repeated every four years thereafter; in the last go-round John Kerry lined up every Affleck and DiCaprio he could find.
Something else was happening within this industry. It has become increasingly radicalized, angry and ugly. The Alec Baldwins were taking to the airwaves to spew venom on anything conservative, while Jessica Lange held a press conference in Spain to denounce America, and Whoopi Goldberg took to the stage in New York to grab her crotch and make jokes about President "Bush."
So what's happening in The Year of the One, with all of Barack Obama's charismatic appeal to the liberal stars? You'd expect a mass levitation, so smitten are they by this man and his message. Instead, there's, relatively, an eerie silence.
Yes, Tinseltown titans have been furiously active with fundraising, but much of that is very hush-hush, behind closed doors, like Barbra Streisand's $9-million soiree in September. Babs kept off camera and kept her verbosity under lock and key.
A few have publicly endorsed him. Many recall how a cavalcade of cool celebrities and singers were featured in a popular YouTube video, but that was in the primary season, when Obama was still battling with Hillary Clinton for the liberal base in Hollywood.
On the other hand, many celebrities have made rapid motions backward to avoid being too closely associated with Obama. Take George Clooney, who publicly declared back in February that he told Obama he thought he was as inspirational as a Jack or Bobby Kennedy, but "I don't want to hurt him by saying that."
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