By CNN's Jack Cafferty:
As the race for the White House heats up, the candidates are hoping star power can help them raise the big bucks and boost voter enthusiasm.
But Republicans are slamming President Barack Obama - much like they did in 2008 - for his hobnobbing with Hollywood and celebrities.
Obama held New York fund-raisers this week with the theme “Barack on Broadway.” The star-studded events helped the president raise millions for his re-election coffers. On the way to New York, the president hosted rock star Jon Bon Jovi on Air Force One.
The president is due back in New York next week for another fund-raiser at the home of actress Sarah Jessica Parker.
This visit follows the much publicized dinner at the Los Angeles home of George Clooney, where the Obama campaign raked in $15 million. A recent campaign ad featured Vogue editor Anna Wintour, and folks such as Ricky Martin, Barbra Streisand and Spike Lee have appeared at other events for Obama.
The GOP whines about all this at length, saying it just proves the president is out of touch with ordinary Americans - many of them trying to find a job.
In some cases, the Obama campaign hopes it can use celebrities to target key voting blocs, such as women, gays or Hispanics.
And the president isn’t alone here, although Mitt Romney doesn't have the same following among celebrities. Romney's been hanging out at campaign events with folks such as Donald Trump, Kid Rock, Jon Voight and Ted Nugent. No doubt about it, the president has much better celebrities.
But the point is: How much do Americans suffering under a shaky economy and high unemployment care what celebrities have to say about politics? I know I don't.
Here’s my question to you: Do politicians who hang out with celebrities help or hurt themselves?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
The polarization of America is like a cancer that is slowly killing us. And like many forms of cancer, there appears to be no cure.
We are more severely divided now than at any time in the last 25 years according to a new pew study.
And it's not the usual suspects of race, education level, income, gender and religion. Political differences are what's ripping the country apart.
This political divide peaked during the last decade - during the presidencies of George W. Bush and Barack Obama.
The Pew survey finds Democrats and Republicans are most divided on the social safety net for the poor with a 41-point gap between the two parties.
Other issues with huge divisions include: the environment, labor unions, equal opportunity and "government scope and performance."
This deepening polarization is something we see among voters and of course among our so-called leaders in Washington. The government is paralyzed - unable to get over their political differences in order to work together and address the people's business that desperately needs doing.
Perhaps the most serious consequence of partisanship is our skyrocketing national debt - now closing in on $16 trillion.
The Congressional Budget Office says that unless Congress does something about government spending and/or taxes, the federal debt is set to double by the middle of the next decade and will reach twice the size of the whole U.S. economy by 2037. We are committing economic suicide.
But don't expect Washington to do anything about it. There's an election in November.
Here’s my question to you: What can be done about the deepening polarization in America?
Jack Cafferty sounds off hourly on the Situation Room on the stories crossing his radar. Now, you can check in with Jack online to see what he's thinking and weigh in with your own comments online and on TV.
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