- The Washington Times - Friday, August 29, 2008

Sen. Barack Obama is supposed to have a lock on celebrities - especially those who are nonwhite and under 65. Then again, maybe Daddy Yankee was the exception that proves the rule. Singer John Legend actually premiered new material at the Democratic National Convention this week. What’s an old Republican to do?

Wear it like a badge of honor- The McCain campaign got much mileage out of an ad comparing Mr. Obama to substance-free celebrities such as Paris Hilton and Britney Spears. The allegiance of celebrities is, if anything, a liability. Therefore, the Arizona Republican shouldn’t be shy about Republicans’ lack of cachet among the glitterati; he should boast about it.

The Bon Jovi factor- Reasonable people of good will differ about a lot of things, but not this: Singer (and die-hard Democrat) Jon Bon Jovi is an unlistenable lightweight, a perpetual drag on the reputation of his august home state of New Jersey. By linking Mr. Bon Jovi to Mr. Obama, the McCain campaign will win hearts and minds the country over.

The Duvall factor- Because of immigration and lots of liberal interlopers, Virginia has become, as pundits love to say, a key battleground state. Actor Robert Duvall is one of the few national celebrities who call the commonwealth home, and Republicans can claim him.

Change the subject- The McCain camp has made it a point to stoke discontent with the Obama candidacy among supporters of his former rival, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton. Taking a page out of the New York senator’s playbook, Mr. McCain should talk up “invisible Americans” and leave the all-too-visible ones to Sen. Obama.



Mention “Wedding Crashers”- Who needs famous hangers-on when, in Mr. McCain’s case, the candidate himself has appeared in $285 million-grossing hits like “Wedding Crashers”?

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