Celebrity endorsements in politics: Yay or nay?
In a recent commercial promoting a presidential-campaign fundraiser at her house in New York City, actress Sarah Jessica Parker said, “OK, the guy who ended the war in Iraq, the guy who says you should be able to marry anyone you want, and the guy who created 4 million new jobs. That guy? President Obama and Michelle are coming to my house for dinner … and I want you to be there, too.”
On the other side of the political aisle, Nicki Minaj infamously rapped, “I’m a republican voting for Mitt Romney / you lazy b—— is f—— up the economy.”
While there’s debate about whether the controversial rapper was serious, Mitt Romney can definitely boast he has notorious tough guy Chuck Norris on his side.
The founder of the United Fighting Arts Federation released a video on YouTube encouraging evangelical Christians to get out and vote.
“If we look to history, our great country and freedom are under attack. We’re at a tipping point and, quite possibly, our country as we know it may be lost forever if we don’t change the course in which our country is headed,” warned Norris.
While I would side with Norris over Parker (mostly because I’m too scared to bet against Chuck Norris), politicians would do better to distance themselves from celebrity endorsements entirely. Democrats often frame Mitt Romney as out-of-touch; however, President Obama utilizing Sarah Jessica Parker and her $40,000-a-plate fundraiser doesn’t feel like he knows much about the life of the middle class, either.
Mitt Romney has adopted Kid Rock’s “Born Free” as his official campaign song. Although Kid Rock presents himself as the down-home Southern boy, his net worth is estimated to be a whopping $37 million. Kid Rock is, then, a more rugged, foul-mouthed, and certainly hairier Sarah Jessica Parker.
How many people are going to have their political opinions shaped by a celebrity? Hollywood might as well be a different planet compared to how so many Americans are currently living. Americans are worried about how they’re going to afford college, not whether Kanye will like his newest birthday present … the Lamborghini (Kim K really needs to learn to slow down).
There’s nothing wrong with celebrities themselves having political opinions. They’re just as entitled to do their research to figure out which party gives them the bigger tax break as I am. The problem begins when politicians utilize these endorsements.
Politicians should be encouraging people to look at the issues, numbers and voting history – not a war between the rough and tumble Hollywood conservatives and young, hipster Hollywood. It’s not just tacky for politicians to build on celebrities, it’s politically irresponsible.
Celebrity endorsements simply paint politicians as out-of-touch and as people who only rub elbows with the rich.
If the game is inevitable, though, let’s look at the players: Romney has Jenna Jameson; Obama has Bill Nye. You tell me who’s winning (I really can’t decide).