Jennifer D. Wade Journal

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Star Power

At work, there's a video monitor that sits on a ledge very, very close to my desk.  This monitor is usually tuned to what we call "the live channel."  It's a satellite channel that the network's video provider uses to send packages and live shots to affiliates.  Often, all we see is a slate.  But, other times, we're treated to live pictures of breaking news from all over the country.  If something is burning, crashing or being chased, we often see it first on the live channel.  (Of course, just because WE see it, doesn't mean YOU get to see it.  You'd be surprised at how many high - or low - speed chases we DON'T air!)

Anyway, for the past several days, the live channel has been alive with coverage of campaign events from Iowa.  If one of the leading candidates had a rally or gave a speech, the live channel would show it - until it was time to switch to another event for another candidate.

For the past couple of nights, the live channel has been filled with stars - as in the Hollywood variety.  Last night, it was Chuck Norris and wife for Mike Huckabee.  Tonight, we had James Denton from "Desperate Housewives" and Jean Smart from "24" (or "Designing Women" for the older crowd) with John Edwards.  Of course, Obama has Oprah.  But, Hillary may have the biggest star of all with Arkansas Bill.

All of which got me to thinking, does the support of someone famous actually translate into votes for (or even against) a particular candidate?  I mean, James Denton seems like a nice guy.  But, I'm not going to vote for Edwards just because Mike from DH is in his corner.  On the other hand, if I EVER find out who Tom Cruise supports, that candidate will NOT get my vote.

Maybe the main point of celebrity endorsements is just to get potential voters into the proverbial tent.  Then, it's up to the candidate to close the deal.  But, if my favorite celeb sides with Mike Gravel, well, I may end up casting my vote for a new showbiz idol. 

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