Stars Split in Presidential Race

Celebrities join the New Hampshire campaign, but in several different camps

Photo: Steve Granitz/WireImage; Mathew Imaging/FilmMagic

The stars are shining over New Hampshire – at least as far as Tuesday’s presidential primaries are concerned.

Stumping for former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards on Monday were Desperate Housewives hunk James Denton, Madeleine Stowe and the couple Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon, while Viggo Mortensen has thrown his support – and physical presence – to the Democratic campaign of Ohio Representative Dennis Kucinich.

“If my being here provides additional attention to the Congressman’s strong beliefs and progressive platform, I’m glad to do it,” the Eastern Promises Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Award nominee said in a statement.

Other supporters of Kucinich, an outspoken critic of the war in Iraq, include Sean Penn, Melissa Etheridge and Willie Nelson.

Perhaps the most visible supporter of Barack Obama has been Oprah Winfrey, though others who’ve lent the Democratic Illinois senator support include Will and Jada Pinkett Smith, Jennifer Aniston, George Clooney, Halle Berry, Tyra Banks, Jamie Foxx, Cindy Crawford, Rosanna Arquette and last year’s Oscar winner Forest Whitaker.

Backing New York Senator Hillary Clinton are Alec Baldwin, Jon Bon Jovi, Renée Zellweger, Jerry Springer, Quincy Jones, Chevy Chase and Danny DeVito, the Boston Herald reports.

Spreading the Wealth

Dividing their star power among the different Democratic candidates, the paper also says, have been Michael Douglas, who backed Clinton, Obama, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson and Connecticut Sen. Christopher Dodd; and Barbra Streisand, who endorses Clinton but also contributed to Edwards, Obama and Dodd.

Not that all stars are Democrats. Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, engaged in a tough battle in New Hampshire against the other leading Republican contender, Arizona Senator John McCain, has elicited support – and donations – from 73-year-old pop singer Pat Boone, as well as from New England Patriots team owner Bob Kraft and Boston Celtics president Danny Ainge, says the Herald.

Stepping up for McCain are Saturday Night Live producer Lorne Michaels (who also contributed to the Dodd campaign) and actors Rip Torn and Dick Van Patten.

And, despite her loyalty to Edwards, Sarandon also had some encouraging words for Obama, however equivocal, telling The Charlotte Observer, “I think that people want change, however they see that. I think Obama’s a great man. I just don’t get the passion for the fight; I think he’s much more cautious.”

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