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The Celebrity Status of the Campaign

President Barack Obama and former Governor Mitt Romney have both utilized social media sites like Twitter, Instagram and personal blogs in order to gain support and they’re not alone.

No matter who they support, famous musicians, actors and actresses are using their voices to show support for the candidates they stand with. In this election more then ever the rich and famous are publicizing their strong opinions and support for candidates.

Musicians are a huge contributor to the boom of attention the 2012 campaign is getting. From Diddy’s famed “Vote or Die” campaign in 2008 to numerous fundraising performances, Musicians are using their celebrity status to encourage citizens to vote.

Marc Anthony sang the National Anthem at the Democratic National Convention, it was seen by many on TV but also by many others on sites like Youtube. The celebrity support at both the Democratic and Republican National Conventions was vast and diverse.

Power couple Jay-Z and Beyonce have also surfaced as huge Obama supporters. In his song “My President Is Black,” Jay-Z raps “You can keep ya puss, I don’t want no more Bush / no more war, no more Iraq, no more white lies, my president is black!” [lyrics from Newsbusters.org], obviously alluding to our first (and only) black president, Barack Obama.

Beyonce and Jay-Z have both thrown and attended fundraisers for Obama. They tweet and share photos of themselves and the first family, and have been very vocal on social media outlets.

Bruce Sprinsteen has been an avid supporter of President Obama and has performed at fundraisers and continues to publicize his support.  He is one of the celebrities that have become strongly intertwined within the campaign.

Like the “Boss”, many other singers are using their talent to garner support for their favorite candidate.  Katy Perry recently performed at an Obama rally wearing a dress made to look like a ballot with Obama’s check box filled in.  Among the crowd were many photographers that caught images of the dress and performance. Perry also shared her apparel on her twitter account afterwards to let tell her followers know exactly who she supported.

However, President Obama is not the only one with support from famed musicians. Governor Mitt Romney has received endorsements and suppport from many musicians.  For example, Sara Evans, Kid Rock and Trace Adkins all advocate the Romney/Ryan ballot. Kid Rock performed at a fundraiser for Romney and signed a guitar that was auctioned off to raise money for the campaign.  Country singer Sara Evans has used her tour as a way to promote her decision for the election, “My tendency has always been to lean more conservative, for sure,” Evans said in an interview with MTV

on who she’s leaning towards as election day approaches.

While musicians can use their famous voices, other celebrities are using their public image and power as well to make their thoughts known.

Clint Eastwood has been one of the biggest press magnets during this campaign season. When asked to speak during the Republican National Convention, Eastwood engaged in a prolonged interaction with an empty chair, in which he acted like President Obama was sitting. Though Eastwood told Good Morning America after the RNC that he thought it was a very odd choice on the Republicans’ part to ask an actor to speak at a politcal gathering, he continued his support for Romney with a series of Romney ads. In addition to Eastwood, and maybe moreso than the director, Donald Trump as been the most boisterous celebrity endorsing the Republican candidate. His insistent nagging for President Obama to release his birth certificate inititated the “birther” movement, you might call it, in politics. He gained a huge following of Obama opposers and continuously made headlines with his many cries to see the presiden’ts place of birth, claiming that he is not U.S.-born and is therefore unable to serve as United States President.

George Clooney is another actor that has surfaced as a political activist, though for his “good friend” Barack. He held a $15 fundraiser in support of Obama and has, on several occasions, been seen by the president’s side. Morgan Freeman and Steven Spielberg are among Clooney in the powerful collective in support of the Democratic presidential candidate.

There was the video shown before the Presidents speech at the convention featuring a large portion of his female celebrity suppporters like Elizabeth Banks, Eva Longoria, and Olivia Wilde.

Online entertainment news outlets, such as The Huffington Post, Glamour, and NY Post, have all adopted their own unique manner of reporting celebrity presidential endorsements. While some publications focus on simply stating celebrity names and who they support, others, like the WallStreet Journal, delve much deeper into the individuals’ purpose for supporting which candidate.

Many celebrities have even become the faces of each candidate’s campaigns. For example, Lena Dunham recently released a video based around the extended metaphor of losing your voting virginity and why you should “let Obama take it.”

After the video went public, Dunham received both support and backlash from twitter users and news outlets. Dunham is known for her hilarious and at times inappropriate writing and acting on the HBO show Girls. If you are a Dunham fan, the ad was typical of her brand of humor and didn’t offend the majority of Obama supporters. However, Republican supporters criticized Dunham for the provactivity nature of her short video, especially considering what a huge role women’s rights have played in this particular campaign season.

Obama is not the only presidential candidate with the support of renowned actresses. Stacey Dash, who played Dee in the iconic movie Clueless, adamantly supports Romney via her twitter account. Her support represents a demographic Romney is badly in need of support from. African-American females’ support has predominantly gone to Obama in the 2008 and 2012 election.

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