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Presidential Candidates Want Celebrity Endorsements?

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  • Tip Bones

As presidential candidates enunciate the alarm to their fans of the high stakes in Saturday’s South Carolina primary, and Super Tuesday, their campaigns are recruiting celebrities to get out the vote, and encourage enthusiasm.

On Sunday, Bernie Sanders’ campaign will administer a rally in downtown Los Angeles with a cross-generational lineup that includes Dick Van Dyke, Sarah Silverman, and Public Enemy. Wow, Dick Van Dyke. Had no idea he was still alive and kicking. 

Among others, Elizabeth Warren has been campaigning in South Carolina this week with John Legend, forgoing a selfie line for a Legend performance of hits like “Ordinary People,” and “All of Me.”

Pete Buttigieg revealed a web video told by Kevin Costner, and a contest that awards an opportunity to meet the candidate, and Michael J. Fox. I would admit that meeting someone like Micheal J. Fox would be high on my list of favorite celebrities.


Story A Chaotic Debate Likely Means More Confusion In Democratic Race:

These entertainment figures are gold for presidential campaigns — the kinds of endorsements or expressions of support that get recognition.

While voters insist, in poll after poll, that they don’t vote for a candidate based on whether they have support from a celebrity -- that is not necessarily the point: Campaigns allure celebrities for fundraising, organizing, and rally crowds, as well as to regularly conduct a kind of bandwagon effect. 

Of course, there is the risk of overdoing it, of campaigns going too far in deploying celebrities, given that the Trump campaign and the GOP already have attacked Democrats for embracing elites.

Perhaps mindful of the headlines, and sound bites he wanted to convey, Legend’s criticisms of Trump at the Warren rally in Orangeburg, SC, were tame compared to what he has said on Twitter.

When he appeared at a Buttigieg event in New Hampshire earlier this month, Costner was a bit cautious about telling voters to cast their ballots for his candidate:

“It wouldn’t be my place to tell you what to do to with this chance. I am just inviting you to listen, to see if you hear what I hear,” Costner said, before introducing Buttigieg.