President Obama’s star is fading, even in Hollywood. With less than four weeks until the election, polls are moving in Mitt Romney’s direction. So Mr. Obama has had to spend valuable time courting a part of his base that he hasn’t had to worry about before: rich celebrities.
After a disastrous showing in the debate, Mr. Obama saw the need to swing through Tinseltown to buck up his supporters. The first stop Sunday was an unusual closed-door, off-the-record meeting for a dozen donors who had maxed out their contributions. Joined by celebrity President Clinton, Mr. Obama spent two hours soothing jagged nerves at DreamWorks CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg’s house.
Mr. Obama repeated his second-term pitch to 150 people, who paid $25,000 to eat at a chi-chi Wolfgang Puck restaurant with movie star George Clooney, film studio honcho Harvey Weinstein and Oscar host Seth MacFarlane.
The president then apologized for last week’s performance at a star-filled fundraising concert for 6,000 supporters who paid $250 a ticket to see performances by singers Katy Perry, Jennifer Hudson, Stevie Wonder and Jon Bon Jovi. Mr. Obama said the rock stars “are such great friends, and they just perform flawlessly night after night. I can’t always say the same.”
The next day in San Francisco, he changed his excuse to being just too genuine and decent: “After the debate, I had a bunch of folks come to me — ‘Don’t be so polite, don’t be so nice,’” Mr. Obama said at a $200-per-ticket concert where John Legend and Michael Franti sang.
While the president granted a White House interview to the Nickelodeon show “Kids Pick the President,” which airs Oct. 15, Mr. Romney declined, citing a scheduling conflict. The Obama campaign seems to think it’s a dereliction of duty for the GOP candidate to turn down a television show in which children ask the candidates questions and then pick their winner.
Obama for America spokesman Adam Fetcher told the entertainment site TMZ that Mr. Romney was playing “hookey” to avoid taking detailed questions from kids, adding, “‘The dog ate my homework’ just doesn’t cut it when you’re running for president.” It’s not likely Mr. Romney, grandfather of 18, is afraid to face youngsters. His time is better spent with voters who are of legal age.
A few celebrities have come out to back the Republican. Actress Stacey Dash made her endorsement Monday by tweeting, “Vote for Romney. The only choice for your future,” to her 284,000 followers. The left went berserk, sending her an onslaught of hate on Twitter, attacking her race, career and intelligence. The star of “Clueless,” was undeterred, as was “Full House” actress Candace Cameron Bure, who backed Mr. Romney on Tuesday.
This late in the race, wasting time courting celebrities in a solid blue state demonstrates the lack of enthusiasm for Mr. Obama’s candidacy. Perhaps he should have asked for a star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame to cement his place in La-La Land.
Emily Miller is a senior editor for the Opinion pages at The Washington Times.