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?
Tom in Texas:
That depends. You mention George Clooney is with the President. Clooney has been to Darfur many times. He doesn't do it for publicity. I've seen him interviewed many times about such issues–and not the 5 minute "in depth" interview from someone who spent more time fixing their hair. But if they start hanging out with any of the Kardashians or any of the people of the "Real Housewives" series, etc, then they should have Sarah Palin read to them.
George in Pennsylvania:
I think they hurt themselves. The prestige of the office of president of the United States involves being above the level of others. Hanging out with celebrities comes off as an attempt to share their popularity by sharing some of that prestige.
Barbara in North Carolina:
Doesn't hurt, doesn't help. Shoot, the God of the Republicans was a class B actor. Besides they all do it. Some of them just sneak, while others are open about it.
Bob in Ohio:
Politicians could help themselves by hanging out with only a select few celebrities. Here’s the short list: Bullwinkle, Yosemite Sam, Daffy Duck, and Tweety Bird.
Josh in New Orleans:
Obama hanging out with celebrities is no different than Romney hanging out with CEOs and billionaires. If there was campaign finance reform, both politicians would be hanging out with the voters instead.
Larry in Georgetown, Texas:
If Donald Trump is the best Romney can do, then how can we expect him to lead us to better things?