Do politicians who hang out with celebrities help or hurt themselves?
June 6th, 2012
04:00 PM ET

Do politicians who hang out with celebrities help or hurt themselves?

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?

soundoff (140 Responses)
  1. Pete in Georgia

    What they do is hurt America.
    By schmoozing with the entertainment crowd, the people who spend their lives in "make believe", they empower them and give them a false sense that they actually know what is going on in REAL LIFE. NOTHING could be further from the truth. Absolutely nothing.
    A huge part of Americans, those who spend their lives being entertained, fall for this illusion and worship and vote accordingly.

    It's all pure rubbish.

    June 6, 2012 at 1:07 pm |
  2. Bill of New Mexico

    It could be a two edged sword. Most celebrities are not liked by all.

    It can go the other way. I used to like Oprah. After Oprah gave us a bum steer on Obama, I haven't liked her since, and do not watch her stuff.

    June 6, 2012 at 1:17 pm |
  3. Bizz, Quarryville Pennsylvania

    I think it depends on the celebrity they are hanging out with. I think hanging out with George Clooney can only help. He makes sense when he talks and does a lot of humanitarian work around the world. But hanging out with the nut Donald Trump makes you look like an jackass. All this guy does is talk about how great his show is and the birther issue.

    June 6, 2012 at 1:18 pm |
  4. Ed from California

    According to the results in WI, I'd say no. If, you count Chuck and Dave as celebrities. I for one don't really care what a celebrity says. I read all the issues and check out who's running for office. And do I do vote for that candidate or issue that will benefit all of us, not just me. Our real problem today is...hurray for me, and you know the rest.

    June 6, 2012 at 1:21 pm |
  5. Doug Ericson

    I love "The Caffertry File", questions that I don't know the answer to, because then I will just let the keyboard keys buckle under my finger tips, one at a time hee hee hee,come up with a few more dribbled quips. Every time I tap on these key board keys every thing comes out a melodee. Tah dahhhhhh. This is a tough question, a little warming up is neccessary. OK. Celebrities and Politicians that hang out with them.That is the question. Hmmmm. Obama is such a big celebrity it confuses the question. Lets try Romney. What if Romney was hanging out with, .....hmmmmm. What celebrity would hang out with Romney? All the celebs are Liberals, or at least they pretend to be. Sean Penn wouldn't hang out with Romney. I don't even know who the celebrities are anymore. Are there any. Tiger Woods? He wouldn't hang out with Romney, and I don't think Obama would hang out with Tiger. I feel like I am at the supermarket and the check out person asks me if I want a paper or plastic bag. They ask me every time, every day, even the same person asks the same question. Paper or Plastic? Stumps me every time. I freeze. I slap my forehead with my left hand and press hard agaisnt my skull. Paper or Plastic, what do I say. After a while, I say you choose, I can't decide. What was the question? Doug, Pepperell, MA.

    June 6, 2012 at 1:22 pm |
  6. Oliver El Paso, TX

    Jack I think the celebrities have a right to support whom ever they want. I think celebrities help, they sure rise a lot of money.

    June 6, 2012 at 1:33 pm |
  7. Tom Bulger, Canandaigua, NY

    People are judged by the company they keep. If the president hangs out with philanthropists and humanitarians like Bono, Clooney, and Oprah, it puts all of them in a good light.

    June 6, 2012 at 1:34 pm |
  8. Dave

    Amesbury, MA

    Of course Obama hurts himself. He is seen by all the workders and job creators as "out of touch" and who is more "out of touch" than hollywood?

    June 6, 2012 at 1:36 pm |
  9. Ali Abdi

    if the celebrity is George Clooney–it helps. however, if it is Sacha Cohen Baron, it definitely hurts!

    June 6, 2012 at 1:38 pm |
  10. jk in MN

    It doesn't bother me as much as when politicand park their income off shore to avoid paying their fair share of taxes and say they are looking out for main street Amerca and understand their pain.

    June 6, 2012 at 1:39 pm |
  11. George in PA

    I think they hurt themselves. The prestige of the office of President of the United States involves being above the level of others. It should embrace the Truman adage of "The buck stops here" and making the final decisions. Hanging out with celebs comes off as an attempt to share their popularity by sharing some of that prestige.

    June 6, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
  12. 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 of course Tweety Bird.

    June 6, 2012 at 1:42 pm |
  13. 1grasshopper

    It shows that they want to be famous and believe that if they "hang around" celebrities that it will rub off. If they weren't friends before they took office they hope that the friendship will last once they get out of office.

    June 6, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
  14. First

    Ask a real question. Reagan was an celebrity turn politician. Be Real. Aren't they people with a vote as well.

    June 6, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
  15. Andre R. Newcomb

    Children of lesser gods. We're dirt under their shoes. If a camera's there - they don't mind slumming it with us. Fact.

    June 6, 2012 at 1:55 pm |
  16. Richard Texas

    Celebrities and politicians have one thing in common. Some people will hate them and some people will like them. If a politician aligns him or herself with a popular celebrity who in the publics eye hung the moon then they are going to benefit from it. If the celebrity is hated and despised the politician will lose support. If the public does not know what the celebrity stands for then you get Donald Trump.

    June 6, 2012 at 2:01 pm |
  17. calaurore9

    As a former donor, I find it tacky and bad timing to flaunt frivolous fundraising extravaganzas in this economy. Turns my spigot off.

    Carol in Northampton, Mass.

    June 6, 2012 at 2:07 pm |
  18. Phyllis G. Williams

    Do politicians who hang out with celebrities help or hurt themselves?

    Since the Lord Jesus was God and He ate with publicans and sinners (Mark 2: 16)
    without being polluted by them, politicians could widen their knowledge of the
    communities they serve by visiting all communities.

    June 6, 2012 at 2:11 pm |

    But aren't the celebrities American citizens?

    June 6, 2012 at 2:11 pm |

    According to the GOP, president Obama was a "celebrity" in 2008. Remember, Paris Hilton chimed in?

    June 6, 2012 at 2:12 pm |
  21. John from Alabama

    Jack: President Obama hangs out with bonafide celebrities like Sarah Jessica Parker, Jon Bon Jovi, George Clooney, Barbara Streisand, and Rciky Martin. Mitt Romney is seen with people who are celebrities, because they are wild in their behavior, or say stupid things like Donald Trump. If the celebrities politicans hang out with are people with a real message like George Clooney or Ricky Martin then it is a good thing, but hanging out with someone because they are the flavor of the month is wrong.

    June 6, 2012 at 2:22 pm |
  22. Loren, Chicago

    Ultimately, a celebrity is just a person, but too many Americans are enamoured of them, so my guess is that it helps and that's why politicians do it. Personally, most of the celebrities are pushing their narrow agenda and it's the rare one who can see beyond their pet issue, but isn't that the nature of lobbying? Maybe someone should be looking at our lobbying laws and require these celebrities to register as lobbyists?

    June 6, 2012 at 2:24 pm |
  23. Karl in Flint, MI

    It's a mute subject. The Dems get their money from Hollywood, etc, out in public and the GOP gets their funds in a plain brown wrapper on a garbage can in an alley from God knows who and out of the spotlight thanks to the Supreme Court. As for personalities, the Liberal celebs aren't going to sway the neocons and the neocon celebs aren't going to sway the Liberals. I will point out that the GOP have far fewer celebs but they seem to embarrass their party and candidates far more then the liberals do.

    June 6, 2012 at 2:29 pm |
  24. Larry from Georgetown, Tx

    All of these people, the President and Romney don't know what its like to struggle to make ends meat and neither have given a plan to correct our pressing issues in the future, all they do is talk and blame and try to create fear. To me the lesser of the two evils is the President as Romney is a true elitists.

    June 6, 2012 at 2:29 pm |
  25. Larry from Georgetown, Tx

    If Donald Trump is the best Romney can do then how can we expect him to lead us to better things. I don't really care who they hang out with but it's like dressing like a bum and acting like one to; chances are, you're a bum.

    June 6, 2012 at 2:31 pm |
  26. Jim, Denver CO

    It can go either way. Depends on the amount and types of gaffes by either or both of them.

    June 6, 2012 at 2:31 pm |
  27. Tom in Desoto, TX

    That depends on the issue at hand. On your website George Clooney is with the President. Clooney has been to Darfur many times over many years, he doesn't do it for publicity. I've seen him interview many times about such issues and not the 5 minute "in depth" interview from someone who's had more time spent fixing their hair. If any president starts hanging with any of the Kardashian's or any of the people of the "Real Housewife's" series, etc, then the president should have Sarah Palin read to them.

    June 6, 2012 at 2:33 pm |
  28. Gary in San Jose, California

    Celebs have little pull with the voting public but have lots of dough for campaign contributions. It's all about the money, Jack.

    June 6, 2012 at 2:37 pm |
  29. DT - Saint Paul, MN

    Truth is, we care a lot. Most of the time people are spending their last few bucks on a dinner and movie night, paying into the pockets of obscenely rich actors and actresses. Its a good thing to see them giving back, using the money to help people. Raising millions of dollars to help the President who wants to help the People. These professionals know who pays their salary, and theyre giving back. Obama wants to raise taxes on the ultra rich, and the entertainment industry is willing to pay. So where are all the CEO's Jack? Retired after their bailout bonus??

    Meanwhile Mitt Romney walks around with a guy who's mission is to fire people, and use bankruptcy to make himself money....

    June 6, 2012 at 2:41 pm |
  30. Barbara from NC

    Doesn't hurt, doesn't help. Shoot,, the God of the Repblicans was a class B actor.

    Besides they all do it. Some of them just sneak, while others are open about it.

    June 6, 2012 at 2:41 pm |
  31. Ken in Pinon Hills, California

    Can't hurt Jack, American Idol probably has more viewers than a State of the Union speech. Who cares if having a beer with Charley Sheen or Mel Gibson.

    June 6, 2012 at 2:48 pm |
  32. kattyusa

    Only thing I can see is it feeds their egos – it does nothing for me or those I know...and of course, the newsies so they can avoid the problems facing every American instead focusing on idiots and cramming down our throats their wanna-be celebs.

    June 6, 2012 at 2:51 pm |
  33. Jenna Roseville CA

    Do politicians who hang out with celebrities help or hurt themselves?

    First, celebrities are people and voters/

    Second, there are celebrities that actually do good work for their communities and world. There are some who do not. So it would depend on the celebrity that supported you.

    Third, what is the difference between a celebrity and a business mogul like Trump? If you have a problem with celebrities then you should have a problem with them as well.

    As for your question, I think that if you align yourself with a loser then you could be seen as a loser too..


    June 6, 2012 at 2:51 pm |
  34. Michael "C" Lorton, Virginia

    Jack: An idea can turn into dust or magic, depending upon the talent it brushes against--and smoozing with the celebrities can only bring "magic"-and the magic is the money it will afford the pollitician!

    June 6, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
  35. Matt, Miami

    It's so typical of Republicans: Rules are only for the other side. They throw lies based mud and when the other side retaliates they cry foul. Who's really out of touch with the common people? Red Whine anyone?

    As far as I'm concerned all politicians have the complete freedom of who they assocaite with, whether it helps them or not....FREEDOM!

    June 6, 2012 at 2:56 pm |
  36. Evinia Bruce

    it shouldn't have an effect either way ..good or negative ..after all one is suppose to judge the candidate on HIS merits and how well he can run the country ....
    .having said that .
    ..yes ,unfortunately the public can be influenced by celebrities... in that.. the average -not- too- well- informed public thinks ..." i see George Clooney playing a savvy business man ..therefore he must be a savvy business man !..[ smart ]..ergo that makes whoever hangs out with him a savvy business man ..and ..pretty smart as well !!!.".....not bothering to distinguish the perception of reality from fanatasy . this applies in a negative connotation as well .. . that's the mentality of the average voter !!!..... pretty sad !!...!BC Canada

    June 6, 2012 at 2:57 pm |
  37. Pete in Florida

    Rush Limbaugh and Donald Trump are celebrities. If hanging out and kissing the rings of these arrogant, dishonest blow-hards doesn't hurt Republicans, why would it hurt Democrats to hang out with intelligent honest people like George Clooney? Oops, I forgot, in the Republicans' world, intelligence and education are BAD, but ignorance, arrogance and dishonesty are GOOD. Fact is, the more misinformed a voter is, the more likely he is to vote Republican.

    June 6, 2012 at 3:02 pm |
  38. Willy in Las Vegas

    unfortunately because of that atrocious "Citizens United" ruling, the Obama campaign has to do SOMETHING to counter the Republican "money dump" by the likes of Carl Rove's PAC, the Koch Brothers and Sheldon Adelson. the Wisconsin recall just proved that in politics, as in most of life, "Money Talks". IF you can't raise enough money to get your message out, YOU LOSE!!!

    as for "helping or hurting themselves", I think it depends on the celebritie. IF it's someone well respected, it can HELP. IF it's some idiotic fool, it definately HURTS.

    June 6, 2012 at 3:06 pm |
  39. Josh from 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.

    June 6, 2012 at 3:11 pm |
  40. al in Delaware

    Yes, have you watched TV lately? From TMZ to all of the reality shows and stuff like Dancing with the Stars, I'd like to compare their ratings with your's. This is where the public hangs out and this is where the Politicians have to hang out. It can't hurt.

    June 6, 2012 at 3:16 pm |
  41. Paul in NC

    Other than raising funds I don't think it helps any candidate very much. Voters shouldn't be swayed by such affiliations and those who are shouldn't vote. But I also think that hanging out with the likes of Trump and Nugent will hurt Romney immensely. He already has a credibiltiy problem and being associated with a world class buffoon and a hard core radical isn't going to fix that. Isn't it amazing what desperation does to one's judgement ?

    June 6, 2012 at 3:17 pm |
  42. curtis in philadelphia

    Jack I think you 5pm questions speaks to this is a certain way: people already have their minds made up, they're either voting for Obama or against him, unless there's a huge October surprise, no celebrity endorsement will help or hinder him.

    June 6, 2012 at 3:18 pm |
  43. Gigi Oregon

    Well it's like this, of the names mentioned above the Hollywood mentions have a higher poll rating than all the "super pacs" or the Republican celebrities.. So good luck Romney! Politicians have about a -9% approval rating among "we the people". Donald Trump vs George Clooney LOL. Even little old conservative women would rather have dinner with George Clooney. Just thinking about it, puts a smile on my face and Obama wins my vote.

    June 6, 2012 at 3:20 pm |
  44. Dave, Orlando, FL

    I guess it depends on the celebrity. I don’t care either. But it sure beats hanging out with Wall Street crooks, jerks like Trump, Palin and Perry, and creeps like the Koch brothers.

    June 6, 2012 at 3:24 pm |
  45. Gary H. Boyd

    I guess it depends on how one views Hollywood Jack. There's no doubt celebrities have "drawing power" and most are liberal to the core which fits right in with the Democratic left. On the other hand, many see most Hollywood personalities as ego maniacs just like the guy in the Oval Office. How does the saying go? - Birds of a feather flock together.

    Gary in Scottsdale, Arizona

    June 6, 2012 at 3:26 pm |
  46. kattyusa

    Only thing I can see is it feeds their egos – it does nothing for me or those I know...and of course, the newsies so they can avoid the problems facing every American instead focusing on idiots cramming down our throats their wanna-be celebs.

    June 6, 2012 at 3:33 pm |
  47. bill j fl.

    as long as they can suck money from them they dont care.

    June 6, 2012 at 3:34 pm |
  48. Steve, NY

    It has to hurt him when he hangs out wth some non desirable celebrities. Good example Obama invited Kim Kardashian to a white house function. Kim made a porn movie/sex tape. This could be very damaging to Obama as seen through the Senior voter's eyes. Why would he associate himself with these type of people. Another Bill Maher who is an athiest. This has to hurt Obama. Just think if that was Romney associating with Kardashian and Maher, the press would have Headlines in the Press calling him a pimp and a biggot. Now when Obama associates himself with George Cloony, that would help him. I guess the bottom line Obama doesn't care where or who supports him as long as the money is coming in for his re-election. with the cash. What do they call those type of people???

    June 6, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
  49. Paul, Parry Sound, Ontario

    Politicians must think association with celebrities helps them because they do it. And the reverse is probably true. Celebrities thrive on publicity and hanging out with high-profile politicians guarantees news coverage.

    June 6, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
  50. Michael Bindner, Alexandria VA

    Most voters don't really care. Celebrities are like everyone else, they like access and feeling useful. Whether they are more useful than an unknown blogger, phone volunteer or anonymous donor is up for debate. I suspect the best thing that anyone can do for the President is to buy something, especially an American made car. Every car sold is a vote in Michigan or Ohio for Obama.

    June 6, 2012 at 3:39 pm |
  51. Nancy

    Personally, I don't think celebrities help OR hurt. I pay no attention to them, and certainly have no intention of allowing some Hollywood elite to influence my vote. I'll make my own decision.

    June 6, 2012 at 3:42 pm |
  52. PreciousLife

    It has turned me away from celebrities and Hollywood! All these liberals do a pretty good job of hurting themselves with their morals and values leading people away from the Truth! Obama doesn't know what truth is!

    June 6, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
  53. Anthony from Swedesboro

    Obama can hang out with Snow White and the seven dwarfs and it won't hurt him considering Romney's homies . To name a few, Ted Nugent, Sarah Palin, The Koch brothers, Paul Ryan and let's not forget "the Donald". Who's next, Beavis and Butthead?

    June 6, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
  54. ONE question; does george clooney have any tax shelters?

    you think he pays his "fair share"? what about sean penn, or harvey weinstein, or oprah winfrey, or brad pitt....and just about all of the rest of the hypocrites in hollywood....

    June 6, 2012 at 3:45 pm |
  55. Mary

    Any person who would vote for someone based on what an actor / so called celebrity says is a dimwit that should just stay home election day.

    June 6, 2012 at 3:46 pm |
  56. Randy

    It's not the mere millionaire celebs who meet with the president in public that bothers me, it's the billionaire so called elite bankers class who meet in secret with government officials that scares the hell out of me. Everyone knows that the celeb thing is just a photo op. But the dual citizen bankers and investors who visit the white house multiple times under a shroud of secrecy handing out million dollar bribes is what should be put under a microscope.

    June 6, 2012 at 3:47 pm |
  57. Kimmy, Salisbury NC

    They hurt themselves. I am going to vote for the person who, I believe, will help the country with this problem economy. Anyone who votes for someone because of who they hang out with doesn't deserve to vote. I love Celebrities, on the big screen and small screen, they make me laugh, make me cry and make me happy I am not them. To see our President and his wife on TV so much is uncalled for. News TV, yes. Late night, the view totally uncalled for. Mr. President is supposed to be running our country, not going on news shows like the View. Mrs' O on Late night with David Letterman? Just how much did that cost the taxpayers??

    June 6, 2012 at 3:48 pm |
  58. Peg in NY

    This cult of celebrity is a crock of crap. I could care less who endorses any Politician. The fact that Obama has been busy raising money with celebs is not going to do him any favors. It makes any Politician look a fool. Seriously, winning a chance to dine with The Obama's and SJP? Trump feels compelled to endorse Romney? If today's Pols think this is good stuff, it's no wonder the USA is going down the drain at such a rapid pace. I think it hurts the Pols alot and more importantly, it hurts the Voters and our Country. I'm sick of it.

    June 6, 2012 at 3:50 pm |
  59. Jim, Cranford NJ

    Ever since Marilyn Monroe sang happy birthday to JFK, mixing celebrities with politicians has been a bad idea. It belittles the office of the President and the nature of his repsonsiblity. I'd rather have the President's autograph than that of most celebrities. Unlike the President, actors and actresses make pretend for a living. When celebrities do open their mouths about serious issues they too often reveal themselves unable to function in an unscripted world. We need leaders who do not make pretend or make believe. We need leaders who are serious and whom we can take seriously when they make hard decisons on our behalf.

    June 6, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
  60. Bob in LA

    When they are celebs like Donald Trump and Ted Nugent, yes, it hurts the politician, i.e., Romney.

    June 6, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
  61. Renee, Illinois

    I think it depends on the celebrity. If it's someone intelligent who's done a lot of good for the world like Bono or Clooney; it helps. If it's a blowhard like Trump or a psycho like Nugent; it says the politician has serious problems with character assessment. That hurts.

    June 6, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
  62. Mike from Raleigh, NC

    It's nothing new. Obama uses his youth to appeal to, well the youth...first president to keep a blackberry, singing, dancing, talking hoops and having bear on the White House lawn. I could care less what the rich and famous think personally. They are in another world and one major reason the majority of Hollywood side w/ the Democrats is due to their trying to satisfy their own guilt for focusing on themselves most of the time with overindulgence, narcissistic ways and "too much" keeping up w/ the elite Jones'.

    June 6, 2012 at 3:58 pm |
  63. Boo

    Cons accuse celebrities of liberal bias and complain and whine all of the time about them. But have you ever asked yourselves if they are so against celebrities why do they continue to buy Hollywood's products (film, tv, etc.)? They're hypocrites.

    June 6, 2012 at 3:58 pm |
  64. Cee.La

    I dont think it hurts them anymore than hanging out with preachers, millionaires, billionaires, sprts figures, ...what would help is hanging out with main street......as long as the SC ruled that Corporations are people, its more about where the money is.......

    June 6, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
  65. Jim - Charleston SC

    Mr. Cynical,

    Most people at least enjoy if not like celebrities and it gives them a little time to watch them and forget about their troubles. Unlike big corporations, business, banks and Wall Street a lot of these celebrities you do not care about as far as what they think actually get out and use their fame and money to help other here and all over the world. That alone make them worth listening to over the above mentioned money mongers that rip us off as at least we get enjoyment from the celebrities instead of being screwed.

    June 6, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
  66. sbrez

    romneys biggest celebrity supporter is ted nugent, obamas is george clooney... you do the math on that one....

    June 6, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
  67. Michael, from Smiths, Alabama

    If the celebrities don't act like Donald Trump or Ted Nugent, then they can only be a benefit to the politicians.

    June 6, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
  68. Jennifer M in Winnipeg

    Obama piays with those in the know, which equals "help" – Romney plays with idiots, which equals "hurt". 'nuf said.

    June 6, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
  69. Mack from Michigan

    The point isn't what do celebrities say about politics Jack, I could care less than less what Ted Nugent has to say about anything. Being able to finger three chords on a Guitar doesnt make a person inciteful or brilliant any more than being born into a hollywood family and falling into an acting carreer does. The point is what is politics saying about celebrities? Money greases the political wheels ,and no butt shall remain unkissed in the politicians pursuit or campaign funding.

    June 6, 2012 at 4:04 pm |
  70. Bill

    Politicians are actors too. Why not hang out with the rest of the gang?

    June 6, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
  71. Charles Anteby

    It is better than having secret meetings with CEO’s of companies at the white house to shape enegry policy. At least we know these meetings are not affecting any major fiscal policies

    Brooklyn NY

    June 6, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
  72. LoL

    With the so called celebs we have today that's not much of an endorsement ! I might like somebody in a movie ! But I wouldn't take advice from the commie left celebs in Zombiewood! I don't take advice from people who try and sell you stuff on the t.v because they are stars. And looking at the head lines they make off film. I know you want Your daughters and sons to be just like L. Lohan . or maybe like O.J. or if you prefer . Britney or Paris . Pick your choice. They all are shinning examples of who you like! And me personally I going to stop watching them all ! Like the politicians they live in a make believe world where laws don't apply to them! And yes they do support a lot of good causes . But when you super rich and never worked a real job. You have time and money to do those things!

    June 6, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
  73. ja

    is that celebrity in the pulpit or board room, you are speaking of or just hollywood

    June 6, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
  74. Thinkforyourself, OK

    Most celebrities are just puffed up pretenders. I think they are all moronic. Claiming to know something, but just empty clouds. Celebrities are insulated from the financial woes of most of us, they change partners like they change underwear. They have very little credibility.

    June 6, 2012 at 4:12 pm |
  75. Donaldo in ATL

    The Obamas are wannabees. They wanted to be POTUS & wife, we found out they are hugely underqualified and I think feel they are celebraties. Actually, all this smoozing is their audition for their next career...the singing duo.....Talkin Heads....

    June 6, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
  76. Mr. D

    I don't know about you, but I'm sick and tired of the word "celebrity." As far as the "celebrities" and Obama, they both live in a make believe world of gouging the public with their so called talents. This whole thing is like watching a B movie. Where are the censors?

    June 6, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
  77. Ray in Knoxville

    There's always a spin, Jack. If your opponent is hanging out with celebrities, then he/she is out of touch with the average folk. If you are hanging out with celebrities, then you're cool and in touch with modern society.

    June 6, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
  78. Not a Celebrity OR Fan

    Obama's "hobnobbing with Hollywood and celebrities" demonstrates what "realm" he, his family and a whole slew of other politicians (and their families) are living in - a kind of "royal" life where you and your "friends" (including Sarah Jessica Parker, whose very name makes me nauseous) can gather millions of dollars to back a certain candidate for office of the POTUS! Not the same realm in which I'm trying to survive folks!!

    June 6, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
  79. Larry in Houston

    I don't care what the celebrities have to say about politics either, it doesn't matter to them who's in power, or in office for that matter, because they will never have to worry about "trying to make it" like a lot of the regular people has to. In other words, If they want to purchase a new car, all they have to do is go to the nearest showroom, and BUY IT, period, without worrying about where their next dollar is coming from. Now to Your Question.

    Do politicians who hang out with celebrities help or hurt themselves?

    They Have To Do That, where else do you think they are going to get the resources to fund their campaign ?
    Anybody with 1/2 a brain already knows that California & N.Y. typically goes Democrat. Where do you think he's going to get his money ? Surely Not Texas, which almost Always Goes Republican.

    June 6, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
  80. Brian

    If you cast your vote because of what a "celebrity" says or thinks then you are a moron who should have their voting privileges revoked. There is nothing magical or special about these people. They have no more insight into politics than you or I. Yes, they do have more money than most but that is it. Remember they ACT out what you and I do everyday for a living.

    June 6, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
  81. andy Lynn, MA

    Rhis may come as a surprise to you but no celebrity has ever influenced my vote.

    June 6, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
  82. Robert

    Conservatives and Republicans have been constantly complaining that President Obama has become a "celebrity president" who is relying on the Hollywood California type to get reelected. Meanwhile, their lord and savior Ronald Reagan, was in fact a Hollywood California actor. Oh, oh, the irony.

    June 6, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
  83. Kathy Jones


    I agree with some you just so wisely stated....I don't care!

    June 6, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
  84. Brandon in Louisiana

    Both. They help themselves by getting the donations from those "irregular Americans." They hurt themselves by sending a subliminal message to the public that he's bribing or providing exclusive air force one trips in exchange for support.

    June 6, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
  85. patti brown

    does the name "ronald reagan" sound familiar?

    June 6, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
  86. denise from phoenixville, pa

    Gee, Jack. Yet another excuse to criticize the President. Why didn't you ask "what does it mean to the free election process when billionaires are allowed to buy elections with their millions, and candidates must hang out with celebrities just to try to keep up with piles of money from the SuperPACs?" That would be a question worthy of discussion

    June 6, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
  87. Keith

    'kinda' ironic, don't you think Jack? hanging out with the top one percent...while he advocates the other one percent(ie, repulbicans)pay more taxes. of course, we know he is an advocate of the disadvantaged and the poor, right?

    go figure

    Keith Wisconsin

    June 6, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  88. DJH

    Can't help but show your bloomers, huh? Too funny – "The GOP whines about all this at length"... and the constant whining by the dems, that's what – good debate? And the ratings continue to circle the drain why????

    They help raise money, they do not help get votes and considering obama is nothing more than a 'celebrity' and devoid of substance it only stands to reason he would gravitate to those he identifies with.

    June 6, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  89. RickFromDetroit

    It depends on the political policies of the candidate, and after three years of President Obama it appears that his priorities are with the upper income people, and with the Presidents net worth at $115 million he can afford a night on the town with his millionaire friends.

    June 6, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  90. Ken in Vermont

    Show me the money, Jack - it's all about the cash.

    June 6, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  91. Johny

    Celebrities are for the most part self made – up from nothing nobodies, who achieved the American dream with no government subsidies or corporate welfare. They are people who vividly remember what it's like to struggle to pay a 600.00 rent check. Do I think it helps, heck yes. I will take a celebrity endorsement over unlimited corporate election buying any day of the week.

    June 6, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  92. E N, Virginia

    Well that would depend on who the celebrity is Jack. If it's someone decent and respectable like Bon Jovi or George Clooney, and they say they're for Obama, they're fans will probably follow them and share the same view.

    June 6, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  93. Ray Victory

    Vero Beach, FL
    I suspect such associations have little or no effect on the general electorate, except perhaps marginally on certain specific group and those individuals are probably already on board. Of course the money collected ain't bad!

    June 6, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  94. Janet

    I want entertainers to entertain me, not leverage their celebrity to influence my vote. I am disinclined to support their chosen candidate and frequent their movies and concerts when they insert themselves so publicly into the political debate.

    June 6, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  95. Eugenie Novak

    And hanging out with extremely rich guys (like himself) makes Romney be more in touch with regular people? At least some of the celebrities were once regular people who worried about the things that normal people are concerned with every day.. Not the 1%...

    June 6, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  96. Bob Schroder Piedmont Quebec Canada

    They help themselves. As Willie Sutton answered when asked why he robs banks "that's where the money is." Same applies here.

    June 6, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  97. Jim Noonan

    I wasn't aware there was a better or worse ATM!

    June 6, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  98. Pete in Florida

    Neither. No matter which celebrities they hang with, pols will still be liked by their supporters and hated by the other party's supporters. Same with "facts". Truth is the first victim in every campaign, supporters believe everything their candidate and/or party says, the other team believes none of it. I base it more on the celebrity – if Kid Rock, Limaugh , Coulter or Palin like a candidate, then I know there's a serious proble. If Warren Buffett likes a candidate, then I pay attention.

    June 6, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  99. mike t.

    Of course It helps. People in America who love their reality shows and vote em off forms of popularity contest entertainment love seeing their favorite politicians hanging with the favorite celbs. Just go hang out with snooki from jersey shore and start racking up the votes.

    June 6, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  100. Tim K.

    I believe it helps quite a bit. Some Americans are more tied up in their favorite celebritie's life than in politics, if their favorite celebrity leans left, the fan may lean left. No wonder the GOP slams Obama on spending time with celebrities, they prefer him, and he knows how to reach certain Americans.

    June 6, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  101. Jerry Jacksonville, Fl.

    I think it is neat as hell that someone can hang with the rich and famous. Just to listen to them tell stories would be awsome.

    June 6, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  102. Dale N.M.

    Today's celebrities are a bunch of spoiled narcissistic brats, every time you turn around here about one of them in trouble about something. On my opinion it hurts them.

    June 6, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  103. Sidney Caldwell

    It helps. Do you think George Clooney needs to raise $15,000,000 for the president to get people to go see him in a movie?

    June 6, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
  104. Dolores Surprise AZ

    Since the supreme court is letting the republican FAT CATS give as much as they want the Democrats need to hang out with anyone that can help them raise money. It,s hard to compete with the Koch bros and the "cheney gang". So do what you need to do Democrats. This country can't take more "bush policies"

    June 6, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
  105. Rev. Matt from NC

    To me, it represents a disconnect. Every election, its the dems who surround themselves with mouthy celebs. I could care less what Clooney thinks. Aren't these celebs the "greedy millionaires" that dems warn us about? Obama surrounds himself with celebs because he doesn't connect with us commoners.

    June 6, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
  106. Gayle in Oklahoma

    Does not make a difference. What's important is this Country! Jobs, Economy and the Safety of this Country.. They are human the same as you and I. Bush Hung out with his Rowdy Country Nashville Friends.. Let's not forget Ronald Reagan was Hollywood himself.. Republicans tend to not think before speaking.. Hollywood/Nashville Who Cares?

    June 6, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
  107. Daniel, Oklahoma

    so let me get this straight...it is ok to get untold millions from groups like "citizens united" where you dont have a face or know what the funds are used for, but it is wrong to get money from a face that you recognize from hollywood? i am no fan of any party since they both are bought, sold, and traded like you would any stock option. why not try to actually pull the vast sums of money out of politics and let em run like how they are supposed to....

    these individuals will spend all these millions on campaign contributions but wont pay a higher tax or use their funds to actually make new jobs and invest in businesses here in America. i'm pretty sure all Americans would like to know where and who is donating what sums of money in politics.

    June 6, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
  108. TiredODaCrap

    the picture at the top of the stroy says a thousand words! What in the heck does Clooney know about government, running a country, etc, etc?? He is a quality actor, who spends his time learning how to pretend to be someone else – for far too much money. As a society, we have given "famous" people way too much power and credit for their ability to help us leave reality for short periods of time. Heck, California voted in a Republican governor because of his movies! What other credentials did the Govern-ator have to hold that position??

    June 6, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
  109. David P Vernon

    Tucson, AZ – Relatively few voters choose their candidate by the people who publicly support that candidate. Celebrity support is good for raising campaign funds, but the last President who won the office based primarily on celebrity endorsement was Franklin Pierce in the election of 1852. Elections are won on the public perception of the state of the economy and the perceived capabilities of the candidates. Very few candidates have turned out to be as capable, or more, as their electoral victory implied. Very few celebrity endorsers have the knowledge of history and political science required to make their opinion worth any consideration. The only certainty is that elections are not actually a rational process and that the majority of voters make up their minds on their feelings, not on a coolly rational analysis of objective facts.

    June 6, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
  110. Mary in Chicago burbs

    using Air Force One at 25 K a pop to give a celebrity a thrill on our dime is taboo to me any government issue property given to the president for the people use shouldnt be squandered on a thrill ride im sorry it dooesnt make sense to me .

    June 6, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
  111. Bobnie

    Of course. The general American public worships celebrities. They want to be entertained, not educated.

    June 6, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
  112. rodney

    The effect of celebrities does matter in this election. Those of us who follow politics and try our best to stay well informed could care less about which celebrities support which candidate. This outside support from celebrities definitely effects the vote of those who don't do their homework on each candidate. A large percentage of Americans don't do this and in turn don't really know the candidates or their policies. Celebrity influences have a huge impact on those who fit this description.

    June 6, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
  113. Tosin, Mississippi

    I think politicians who hang out with the "right" celebrities are helping themselves to the followers of those celebrities. Celebrities who, aside from their movie, music, or other showbiz careers, actively support honorable causes are assets to politicians. They help to reach the masses, convey messages, and actively build cases for politicians. Hanging out with Donald Trump, who is probably a nice person but tends to say things the wrong way, may not be a good idea. Hanging out with George Clooney? Now, that can only help.

    June 6, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
  114. Dee Smith

    I could care less about Hollywood stars this election year. I'm pro-Obama and he needs to do anything and everything to compete with the Republican War Machine. After all didn't we find out last noght in WI that MONEY COUNTS!!!

    June 6, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
  115. Bobbie in Texas

    Of course. Most Americans worship celebrities. They want to be entertained, not educated.

    June 6, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
  116. Patti

    I think it would hurt the celebrity more than obama to hang out with the President. Most of these celebrities are dim-wits and dont even have a clue whats going on outside of Tinseltown. Ya know the saying "Shut Up And Sing"! By the way I did see that Broadway play on Broadway the other night "Bozo Does Broadway" it was a loser.

    June 6, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
  117. Diane in Sweet Home, OR

    Doing so trivializes every issue, which in turn trivializes me, which in turn trivializes the candidate in my eyes. It's a slap in the face. He should be hanging with economists etc.........

    June 6, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
  118. Reggie

    Do you honestly believe if Obama was not president that they would want to hang out with him. To them he would just be another black man. Anyway, they live in a fantasy world and their lifestyle stinks.

    June 6, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
  119. Arthur Osteguin

    I would like I say not really but in today's recovering economy voters, especially those out of a job, aren't impressed by it.

    June 6, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
  120. Terry

    As long as they stay away from Snookie, any of the Kardashians, and Teresa Judice, any politician should be fine!

    June 6, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
  121. Jim


    It always helps to be seen with famous and beloved people. In at least some cases, maybe it shouldn't. But it does.

    Reno, Nevada

    June 6, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
  122. Deborah Lucas

    Overall, neither...albeit there are folks who are influenced by what celebrities' opinions are; they are truly just a handful the of voters out there...if it were not so...we would perpetually have Democrats in Office.

    June 6, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
  123. Linda

    Celebrities are just people. Their job is acting , talking or whatever is required. It is not who they are...it is what they do. It does not make them any more informed nor important than the "average" citizen who is working at a different job. I do,however, feel they are in fact quite out of touch with people who live on $40,000 a year or less and do ok. Our leaders have no clue what that is like and as long as we continue to pay them high wages with outrageous perks ,which in my opinion are not earned, they will never know what the "average" American wants or needs.

    June 6, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
  124. ZoeyKay - Nashville, TN

    I think it depends on the celebrity. Is it someone who is out there doing selfless good things for people (i.e. Angelina Jolie/Sean Penn), or someone who is simply trying to get attention for themself (i.e. Donald Trump)?

    Nashville, TN

    June 6, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
  125. mimisroom

    Personally, I think it's a negative for both politician and celebrity. For the celebrity, it most certainly makes them much less attractive if you know their political views and you know you don't agree with them. There are some celebrities whose movies/shows I no longer watch because of statements they've made. People want that make believe world when they go to a movie or turn on the tv – they don't want to watch a show or support a movie thinking this celebrity would absolutely hate me and my views if ever we met. Of course, celebrities have the right to speak their mind and support whomever they want, but it's risky for them as they need movie-goers/tv-watchers to keep them in business. For the politician, I think they run the risk of not just looking out of touch, but actually being out of touch. Hollywood is not the real world. It doesn't reflect the real world and nothing good comes from pretending it does. Plus, you can't complain about the rich (not paying their fair share, not caring, blah blah blah) and then go running to them with your hand out when you need money

    June 6, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
  126. Ken in MD

    I know this is not really an answer to the question, Jack, but "The GOP says... it just proves the president is out of touch with ordinary Americans" made me laugh. There is no one more out of touch with ordinary Americans than the GOP, especially Mitt Romney.

    When talking about NASCAR, he can only say that he has friends that are team owners. When talking about baseball, he fondly remembers being at a game and talking to the person in the next *box*. His only connection with job creation is having one of the lowest job creation ratings of all governors at the time, and cutting thousands of jobs while at the helm of Bain Capital. Then he associates himself with nutjobs like Trump and Nugent.

    I really wish people would stop caring about who a candidate hangs out with, or what their religion may or may not be, and start looking at the person themself. I care more about a person's history on the issues and his ideas for the future than what celebs raise money for them. Let's try focusing on what really matters. As Michael Douglas said in "The American President", " Being President of this country is entirely about character."

    June 6, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
  127. lynnej in nc

    Neither to me. A celebrity doesn't tell me whom to vote for, a candidate's stance on policy does. They have every right to support whomever they want to, even birther Chuck Norris whom has taken one kick too many to the head.

    If anything a celeb does is it is when he/she does more than write a check by getting their hands dirty and becoming more involved.

    June 6, 2012 at 4:44 pm |
  128. Dave O.

    I voted for the then Mr. Obama, simply because I was afraid Senator McCain would follow in the footsteps of George W.
    Obama said he was going to hit the ground running.
    He made good on that promise, and ran to Europe, talk shows, celebrities, more talk shows, and didn’t do a damn thing for the majority of this great countries legal population.
    He said that if couldn’t get the job done he should be a one term president.
    Now, he wants another trial run.
    I believe that he would be best suited to run for the win on Americas got talent … because he seems to sing a good tune.
    Please keep my name anonymous, for if my friends knew I voted for a liberal they would disown me.
    Respectfully, Anonymous
    Helps or hurts him on sucking up to celebrities?
    It depends on the fantasies of the American voter.
    In my opinion, I see it as a crutch, and or a fantasy of his own.

    June 6, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
  129. Phil

    Jack, not when the President wants to be a celebrity. After all, that's all he got.

    June 6, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
  130. Greg Turman


    No doubt it is a big help. President Obama is asking Hollywood to give back the Bush tax cuts they have been receiving for the past 10 years. That is what Jesus would do !
    Gregory Turman

    June 6, 2012 at 4:48 pm |
  131. Cheryl in Texas

    Shows how out of touch politicians are by seeking "celebrity" endorsements. "Performers" are paid outrageous amounts of money and live lifestyles that are far beyond what most Americans live. If these celebrities are Americans, they have a right to their opinion. The sad part is the liberal media will give celebrities FREE air-time to endorse their candidate. Every day Americans are not given the same opportunity and therefore some people who are influenced by "actors / performers" think their view is the popular view.

    June 6, 2012 at 4:48 pm |
  132. Gordyb

    They don't really impact elections, you vote for the candidate not the surrogates.

    June 6, 2012 at 4:48 pm |
  133. Pander Bear

    It hurts Democrats like Obama when he hangs out with George Clooney, but it's super duper when Romney hangs out with Donald Trump. *rolls eyes*

    June 6, 2012 at 4:53 pm |
  134. ruth

    I quit watching any movie or TV program endorsed by any celebrity and especially one who donates any money....like I really care about their opinion!

    June 6, 2012 at 4:54 pm |
  135. Sandra from Texas

    I really don't think it matters. One side may complain about a President hanging out with celebrities while the other side may argue that we have had a celebrity for President. Neither side has any room to complain about politicians hanging out with celebrities.

    June 6, 2012 at 4:54 pm |
  136. BT in Utah

    Bill Maher gave a million dollars to the democrats and it made headlines. George Clooney raised fifteen million, more headlines. But this chump change compared to what the Koch Brothers, Bob Perry, Foster Fries, Sheldon Adelson, and other stealth donors are throwing at republicans. The only differences between famous donors and the billionaires who try to remain anonymous is that they don't own the politicians they give to.

    June 6, 2012 at 4:55 pm |
  137. ruth

    And another thing,I am tired of Presidents opening the doors of MY Whitehouse to entertain their Hollywood friends....

    June 6, 2012 at 4:55 pm |
  138. Bill

    I do not care what celebrities have to say about politics. They are nothing more than a means to an end for the president. They make money and that is all they do. There has not been a president in the last 20 years that has actually cared about the "working guy" . The only thing that matters is the continuation of the political machine... Our system is broken and the country is in bad shape.. I am sorry to say there is nothing that folks like us can do to make it better... The rich stay rich and the poor stay poor and the middle clas gets smaller and smaller...

    June 6, 2012 at 4:56 pm |
  139. John from Denver

    This only helps the politician's own egos – the association with celebrities hurts their general cause......

    June 6, 2012 at 4:57 pm |
  140. Duke from the Crowbar Saloon

    Hey, Jack! President Reagan used to hang out with celebrities all the time! He was also the president of Hollywood's Screen Actors Guild, yes? George Clooney would make a fine leader, and he is far more intelligent than Republican politicians!

    June 6, 2012 at 4:59 pm |