Celeb for Prez: The new trend

By Liz Lavin
February 7, 2008

Every time I turn on the TV these days, I’m bombarded with constant coverage of the 2008 election, with everything from the previous night’s debate to the one out-of-place hair on Hillary’s head.

Needless to say, it’s just a little over the top. However, the one thing that stands out to me in this election is not the media digging for stories to keep things controversial.

No, it is the candidates themselves and the fact that they think celebrity endorsements will help them win this election.

Since when does being an actor mean that you have validity as a politician? Oh wait, it doesn’t. Reagan could pull it off, but that doesn’t mean everyone else should try.

So what is Oprah doing campaigning with Obama?

Or Chuck Norris with Huckabee?

These are only two of the many celebrities publicly endorsing their favorite candidates and all of the candidates are welcoming them with open arms.

Is that really what matters to our country?

Did John Edwards really think that his numbers would jump if James Denton went on record about supporting him? I’ll admit, when I saw Denton standing, coincidentally, directly behind Edwards in New Hampshire, I watched for a few minutes longer than I would have had he not been there, but it was more out of the shock of seeing a “Desperate Housewives” star doing something political. And he looked gorgeous. But would any of that influence my vote?

I guess I wasn’t the only one who answered “no” to that question, or else Edwards would still be in the race.

Someone I take only slightly more seriously than James Denton is Chuck Norris. Most of us could crack Chuck Norris jokes all day, but do we really want the man who will roundhouse kick you in the face telling us what’s great about Huckabee? The man is a martial arts pro, not a political activist.

And then there’s Oprah. Oprah is a living legend, she makes women (and probably men) all over America laugh and cry and she’s devoted large amounts of time and money to numerous charities.

But Oprah is not a politician. I personally would not take political advice from the same woman who has made it her personal responsibility to inform women that 85 percent of us are wearing the wrong bra size.

Don’t get me wrong; it’s great that celebrities are showing interest in the election. Maybe it will influence more people to vote and take an interest in the major issues affecting our country but they are going about it in the wrong way. These celebrities are obviously doing this for the publicity or else they wouldn’t be strategically placed right in front of the cameras.

These celebrity endorsers should be sending a message encouraging people to think for themselves; to find out what issues matter to them and research each candidate’s stance on it. We should be voting for someone because we care about their cause, not because Walker Texas Ranger is voting for him and that show was pretty cool.

Will people vote for Obama because they agree with his health care plan, or because Oprah said they should?

As Election Day draws nearer, these celebrities need to take a step back, leave the campaigning up to the candidates and save their support for the polls.

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Liz Lavin

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