President Obama is looking to wealthy celebrities for financial support for his re-election campaign.
George Clooney will host a dinner to raise funds for the Obama campaign, and at $40,000 per seat, expects to bring in a pretty penny.
After the SOPA debacle, many entertainers are hesitant to support Obama. Because he rejected a bill that would, in essence, bring more money to the entertainment industry, many celebrities are a little more hesitant to whip out their checkbooks.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Obama personally called entertainers to apologize for rejecting SOPA. Why should he apologize? He made a decision, and he should stick to it. Perhaps he merely explained his decision, and the WSJ interpreted it as an apology. But apologizing makes him look flip-floppy.
This story, and several others like it, mark a new point in the media’s coverage of the election: which voter groups can the candidates get on their side?
We saw this recently with the story about Mitt Romney’s and Obama’s relations with Israel, clearly reaching out to Jewish voters. We saw this recently with the evangelical Christians’ rejection of Romney.
I’ve noticed this trend in election coverage. Rarely are the stories about the candidates’ positions on important issues. More often than not, the stories are about how much money they’ve raised or didn’t raise, and who gave it to them.
Why should I care if George Clooney’s fundraiser is going to give $10 million to the Obama campaign? I’d rather see a story about how Obama voted on issues. Once he’s in office, whether or not celebrities support him won’t really matter all that much (obviously, because he rejected SOPA). I’d like to read a story comparing Romney’s policies with Obama’s, not who is going to vote for them.
This is the reason we have uninformed voters. The media’s purpose is to provide information to the public. Granted, these stories provide information, but not on what really makes a good president. In the end, it doesn’t matter whether or not George Clooney supports Obama. George Clooney isn’t the one with the executive power to veto bills. George Clooney doesn’t run the country, Obama does.
People in this country vote based on other people’s votes. If I’m a Democrat, I’m supposed to vote for the Democratic candidate. If I’m an evangelical Christian, I’m supposed to be a Republican and vote for the Republican candidate. Partisan politics has spread past party lines and into ethnic, religious and other social groups. If I’m a presidential candidate, all I have to do is get the biggest number of groups to support me because all their members will follow. In essence, our presidential election is a popularity contest, the same way it was in high school.