As Super Tuesday draws near, Oprah and other stars push their candidates
As that “great determinator” Super Tuesday quickly draws near, some new high-powered celebrity endorsements – as well as additional bolstering by loyal top-name supporters – are adding further rhetoric to the race.
Among the latest names to rally ’round a hopeful is Jack Nicholson, who on Monday revealed his support of Democrat Hillary Clinton on the Rick Dees in the Morning Show on Los Angeles’s Movin’ 93.9 FM.
Nicholson’s move, which puts him in the same league as longtime Clinton boosters Barbra Streisand and Danny DeVito, follows Sunday’s appearance by Oprah Winfrey at a Los Angeles rally for Barack Obama. (Also over the weekend, celebs including Scarlett Johansson lent their singing voices to “Yes, We Can,” a YouTube music video, shown below, supporting Obama.)
Winfrey addressed the issue of not endorsing a member of her own sex, saying her support of Obama is in no way a betrayal. “I am not a traitor,” said Winfrey. “I’m just following my own truth, and that truth has led me to Barack Obama.”
Also participating in the Sunday rally, held at UCLA, were Alfre Woodard, Stevie Wonder, Tatiana Ali, as well as political stars Caroline Kennedy and Maria Shriver – whose appearance and support for Obama reveals a domestic house divided.
Shriver’s husband, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, has endorsed Republican candidate John McCain, as have actors Tom Selleck and Rip Torn.
Squarely in Republican Mitt Romney’s camp are Donnie and Marie Osmond, and veteran singer Pat Boone.
Eisenhower and Kennedy Unite
In an op-ed piece appearing in The Washington Post Saturday and quickly making headlines around the world, Obama also picked up an endorsement from an unlikely new ally: Susan Eisenhower, whose grandfather, Dwight D. Eisenhower, preceded Caroline Kennedy’s father John F. Kennedy in the White House.
“If the Democratic Party chooses Obama as its candidate, this lifelong Republican will work to get him elected and encourage him to seek strategic solutions to meet America’s greatest challenges,” Eisenhower writes.
Both Kennedy and Eisenhower said Obama encompasses the same values as their wildly disparate relatives.
Adding Up the Contributions
In terms of putting their money where their mouths are, many stars have not only anted up for their favorites, but they have in some cases split their donations among more than one candidate, according to The Huffington Post.
Ben Affleck gave $4,600 to Obama; Ellen Barkin, $2,300; while Lily Tomlin contributed $500, with another $2,000 added to what she had already given to Clinton. Glenn Close gave Clinton $2,300.
The Obama campaign, meanwhile, has received $2,300 from Dave Matthews; $4,600 from Babyface, and $500 on top of what was already given by Eddie Murphy ex Tracey Edmonds.
Besides Tomlin, also splitting donations to both Clinton and Obama have been Tobey Maguire, Ben Stiller, Rita Wilson and Paul Newman. In addition to Winfrey, however, strict Obama backers are George Clooney, Matt Damon and Sharon Stone.
Jackson Browne, Kevin Bacon, Tim Robbins, Bonnie Raitt, John Mellencamp and Lance Armstrong had backed Democrat John Edwards, who withdrew from the race (and has yet to offer his own endorsement between Clinton and Obama), and before he left his run, Republican Rudolph Giuliani, who now backs McCain, had Dennis Miller, Adam Sandler, Kelsey Grammer and Robert Duvall behind him.
• Reporting by SHRUTI DHALWALA