In the final days of the campaign, President Obama has some high profile surrogate campaigners. The most effective is surely former President Bill Clinton, who has the gift of gab - making sense of complex issues for ordinary people. He is immensely popular, and filled a fieldhouse with 3000+ students in Ohio yesterday. Clinton was not the only draw for that crowd, who also came to see Bruce Springsteen. The singer has been on the sidelines for 2012, until now, after being a vocal presence for Obama in 2008. You can see/hear Clinton and Springsteen here. Springsteen will also be playing in Virginia, another hotly contested swing state.
Obama can count on support from many other stars, notably Beyonce, Jay-Z, Jon Bon Jovi, Jennifer Lopez, James Taylor, Will.i.am, Stevie Wonder, Alicia Keys, Mariah Carey, and many more, including some sports stars such as Magic Johnson and LeBron James. They can help motivate the public, especially the younger voters, who are strongly in favor of Obama.
When there are only 20 days left, having so many extra headliners to help out may make quite a difference. Compare Romney's situation. He has not asked the vastly unpopular George W. Bush to appear anywhere. He was not at the Republican National Convention, and his name was scarcely even mentioned. Nor has the senior Bush been out on the hustings for Romney. All the previous Republican presidents are dead.
Romney does have some famous musical performers to help him. There is country music star Lee Greenwood, but he is only famous to a niche audience, who mostly support Romney already. Otherwise, his supporters include Ted Nugent, Donny and Marie Osmond, Charlie Daniels, Lee Greenwood, John Rich, John Ondrasik, Joe Perry, Hank Williams Jr., Gretchen Wilson, and Randy Owen from Alabama.
Hollywood actors are also getting into the act, as it were. Romney has the backing of Clint Eastwood (talking to a chair), Robert Duval, Chuck Norris, Andy Garcia, Jon Voight, Patricia Heaton, James Caan, Sylvester Stallone, Tom Selleck, and, to my surprise, Kelsey Grammer.
From Hollywood, Obama's supporters include: Al Pacino, Gwyneth Paltrow, Robert De Nero, Demi Moore, Sean Penn, Sharon Stone, Samuel Jackson, Sarah Jessica Parker, Matt Damon, Scarlet Johansson, George Clooney, and Meryl Streep, to name but a fraction of a very large total.
If I had to listen to musicians and to watch films coming only from those who supported one candidate, Obama would certainly get my vote. I would, however, miss the Frasier re-runs.