Wednesday, October 17, 2007



The new Forbes has a story about the ability of celebrity endorsements to help-- and hurt-- candidates. Oprah helps the most but not far behind are Tom Hanks, George Clooney and John Stewart. Other celebrities worth getting on your team would be Angelina Jolie and Tiger Woods. The story doesn't go into micro-marketing but if you're a fan of, say, Morrissey's... you can imagine what an endorsement by him would mean to a candidate. Madonna... not so much. In fact, on net, at least according to Forbes, a Madonna endorsement would be a 28% loser. Maybe that's why Wes Clark tanked last year after she endorsed him. And if you're a candidate, you also want to stay away-- far away-- from Donald Trump, Rosie and Tom Cruise, who will turn off more people than they turn on.

But there are even worse endorsements than from celebrities. What if a politician endorses you and gets caught in a rest room trying to have sex with a plainclothes policeman, like Romney's man Larry Craig or McCain's man Bob Allen. Or what if another Giuliani associate gets indicted? Today radical right Congressman Mark Souder found himself in such a mess after endorsing a loon running for mayor of Fort Wayne (who was indicted) that he withdrew the endorsement.

Romney has some other problem endorsements beyond Larry Craig. One of his top fundraisers, Robert Lichfield, has been charged in a child sexual abuse case. And you might think no one in their right mind would want anything to do with Ann Coulter but... well maybe Full O'Mitt's not in his right mind. That would explain how he's been running around today ballyhooing his endorsement by Bob Jones III of the Buy Bull "college" that bears his name.

At the same time, Texas' extremist governor, Rick Perry, disappointed fellow extremists by endorsing Giuliani today, the first big state governor to do so. Perry couldn't resist slapping down Romney as he embraced Rudy. "A future president 'must be able to stare down criminal elements,' Mr. Perry said, 'whether they’re trafficking drugs or planting roadside bombs-- without dialing up their lawyer first.' In the most recent Republican debate, Mr. Romney said he would have to consult lawyers to determine whether the president could attack Iran’s nuclear facilities without congressional approval.

But today's biggest loser in the endorsement sweepstakes? Frederick of Hollywood. He's the beloved of an even worse pariah than Ann Coulter-- Fred Phelps of the Westboro Baptist Church and Fred Thompson see eye to eye on homosexuality.

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At 7:01 AM, Blogger Columbus said...

It will be interesting to see who Sam Brownback endorses since he is a hard-line religious conservative. He is dropping out of the race today.


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