Lots of celebs in the audience last night for the Obama-Clinton debate on CNN, which provided frequent reaction shots of the likes of Steven Spielberg, Rob Reiner, Diane Keaton, and Isaiah Washington. That's unfortunate in a way, as actors and directors do not really represent what California – a hugely diverse state – is all about.
Nor does the Democratic Party really want to be associated too publicly with the celebrity community, for fear of alienating “family values” voters with concerns about violence, sex, and other fun things portrayed in movies and TV shows. Indeed, that question was raised in last night's debate, with Obama stating his concerns about the content of movies and TV, though of course prefacing that he does not support censorship. The main responsibility is with parents, he said (reaction shot of Spielberg nodding).
Still, people are always curious during every presidential cycle to know who is favored among the stars, and campaign donations provide at least a clue. For now, support between Obama and Clinton appears to be divided. Republicans candidates? Forget it. Celebrity support tends to come from elsewhere, like the country music world, though with some notable exceptions, such as California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's endorsement of McCain.
ABC, among other sites, has a breakdown of celebrity contributions. In short, many entertainment figures such as Tom Hanks appear to be hedging their bets, contributing to both campaigns. Otherwise, who knows what networking opportunities they might miss out on in the future?
Elsewhere on the trail…
A big test for electronic voting machines on Super Tuesday.
Deathwatch: Huckabee. The media ponders where his evangelical voters will migrate.