Politics’ Hollywood 40

In dueling slideshows, the ultimate list of celebrity endorsements

Topics: 2012 Elections, Politics, George Clooney, Lindsay Lohan, Barack Obama, Mitt Romney, celebrities, , , ,

Politics' Hollywood 40

Celebrity endorsements have become as much a part of modern politics as inane pundits and Twitter memes. And, as it turns out, when it comes to politics, celebrities are Just Like Us: Some have considered, fully formed opinions and heartfelt convictions. Others are blindingly inarticulate. And still others echo what their friends and audiences believe.

The majority of the entertainment industry is, as ever, bursting with support for President Barack Obama. But not everyone’s reasoning is sound. One rapper has pledged his allegiance to Obama because “Michelle got a fat a–.” And then there’s the reality TV star who’s endorsed him because, well, he’s already the president.

Here’s our slideshow of celebrity Obama-ites:



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    Celebs for Obama

    Jay-Z and Beyonce

    Recently at Jay-Z's 40/40 Club, President Obama addressed Hova and his wife casually, as friends: "To J and B, thank you so much for your friendship." The Obamas have noted that singer Beyoncé is a role model for Sasha and Malia, and the president is a big fan of Jay-Z's music. The New York power couple have raised millions of dollars in support of the Obama campaign.

    Jaguar PS / Shutterstock.com

    Celebs for Obama

    Nicki Minaj

    After media outlets mistook Nicki Minaj's lyric on Lil Wayne's album ("I'm a Republican, voting for Mitt Romney/You lazy bitches is fuckin' up the economy") as an endorsement for Romney, President Obama commented, "I think she had a song on there, a little rap that said that. But she likes to play different characters. So I don't know what's going on there." The hip-hop princess then quelled rumors and tweeted her endorsement: "Ha! Thank you for understanding my creative humor & sarcasm Mr. President, the smart ones always do. *sends love & support* @BarackObama."

    s_bukley / Shutterstock.com

    Celebs for Obama

    Stephen Spielberg

    According to the Center for Responsive Politics, legendary director Steven Spielberg donated around $150,000 to Democratic election efforts in 2011. Spielberg has been a longtime Democrat, although in the 2008 primary, he endorsed Hillary Clinton.

    Joe Seer / Shutterstock.com

    Celebs for Obama

    Morgan Freeman

    Actor Morgan Freeman narrated a recent Obama ad, "Every president inherits challenges, few have faced so many. Four years later our enemies have been brought to justice. Our heroes are coming home. Assembly lines are humming again. There are still challenges to meet, children to educate, a middle class to rebuild, but the last thing we should do is turn back now."

    Wikimedia

    Celebs for Obama

    Snoop Lion

    The rapper formerly known as Snoop Dogg tweeted a hilarious list of pros and cons of why he'd vote for Obama over Romney. Of Romney, Snoop Lion wrote, "This motherf---a's name is Mitt," "Bitch got a dancing horse" and "He reminds me of every boss I've ever hated." On the other hand, Obama is "mad cool, yo."

    Wikimedia via de:Benutzer:Falkenauge

    Celebs for Obama

    Leonardo DiCaprio

    Actor Leonardo DiCaprio joined other stars, like Zac Efron, Selena Gomez and Joseph Gordon Levitt in "Vote 4 Stuff," a PSA urging young people to go out and vote. Politico has reported that DiCaprio himself is pro-Obama, and has donated to the campaign.

    Wikimedia via Jeff Lewis

    Celebs for Obama

    Snooki

    "The Jersey Shore" stars Snooki and JWoww both support President Obama. In an interview with Rolling Stone, Snooki's reason for voting Obama was, "’Cause he’s our president.” (For what it's worth, Snooki originally wanted Donald Trump to be president).

    Joella Marano from Manhattan, NY

    Celebs for Obama

    James Taylor

    Singer-songwriter James Taylor played his classic “Carolina in My Mind” to a group of Obama campaign volunteers recently to encourage them in their their get-out-the-vote efforts.

    Aaron Landry/Flickr

    Celebs for Obama

    Al Franken

    No surprise here. The former "SNL" writer and performer and current senator, D.-Minn., has vocally supported President Obama's economic record.

    TLC

    Celebs for Obama

    Honey Boo Boo

    Top on the list of endorsements Obama probably doesn't need comes from Alana Thompson, star of the reality show "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo." She endorsed Obama after Mitt Romney said he prefers Snooki to her. President Obama responded graciously, "We're getting to the point where people are making up their minds. Just the other day, Honey Boo Boo endorsed me, so that's a big relief."

    Evan Agostini /invision/ap

    Celebs for Obama

    Madonna

    Madonna "ironically" endorsed President Barack Obama, referring to him as a "Black Muslim" earlier this year: “Y’all better vote for Obama, okay? For better or worse, alright, we have a black Muslim in the White House. Now that is some shit. That’s some amazing shit. It means there is hope in this country. And Obama is fighting for gay rights, okay? So support the man, goddammit." She removed her top and lowered her pants to reveal “OBAMA” written across her lower back. She also vowed to strip if Obama is re-elected.

    AP

    Celebs for Obama

    Samuel L. Jackson

    Samuel L. Jackson told voters to "Wake the F-ck Up" and vote for Obama in an ad he narrated for the liberal super PAC Jewish Council for Education & Research. His R-rated rhymes sent a clear message: "Hell, no, it can’t wait. Your lives will be affected. Romney and Ryan will gut Medicare if they’re elected. Ask the fact checkers. Those two are fact duckers … SAY HELL NO, MOTHERF***ERS!"

    AP

    Celebs for Obama

    George Clooney

    President Obama and George Clooney got to know each other through Clooney's work on Sudan when Obama was in the Senate.

    WikiMedia via Angela George

    Celebs for Obama

    Bill Maher

    Comedian and talk show host Bill Maher has donated $1 million to the pro-Obama super PAC Priorities USA Action. Although not convinced that Obama has "been the best president in his first term," Maher told the Los Angeles Times that "given the alternative, I feel there's a clear choice." He added, "Half the country is nuts, and Obama could very well lose."

    Wikimedia

    Celebs for Obama

    Eva Longoria

    Actress Eva Longoria serves as a co-chair on the Obama campaign, raising support among Latino voters. Longoria recently came under fire, though, for retweeting a comment about Mitt Romney: "I have no idea why any woman/minority can vote for Romney. You have to be stupid to vote for such a racist/misogynistic twat.” Longoria later apologized, saying via Twitter, "Sorry if people were offended by retweet. Obviously not my words or my personal view."

    © Glenn Francis, www.PacificProDigital.com

    Celebs for Obama

    Mark Hamill

    Actor Mark Hamill, best known as Luke Skywalker in George Lucas's epic "Star Wars" series, endorses President Barack Obama. The actor compared Obama to Obi-Wan Kenobi, saying on Current TV, "He's very wise" like Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi. (Of Romney, Hamill tweeted: “I’ve never seen a candidate for President lie more than Romney.He lies effortlessly, shamelessly.This snake oil salesman must be defeated!!!”) Hamill doesn't think Romney is evil enough to play Darth Vader, thought--the actor gave that special honor to former vice president Dick Cheney.

    Wikimedia

    Celebs for Obama

    Jerry Springer

    Former Cincinnati mayor, classy talk show host and lifelong Democrat Jerry Springer supports Obama. "I have met with lots of politicians, but this man is truly exceptional," Springer said. "He's so competent and so smart, I just don't see why we wouldn't want him for four more years as president."

    Wikimedia

    Celebs for Obama

    Bill Nye

    Bill Nye — "The Science Guy" to 1990s kids — recently slammed lawmakers and Christian groups who want to teach creationism in the classroom. His video, which he created because "it's the first time [creationism's] gotten to be such a big deal," went viral. The science guy also vocally supports Obama: "This is the most important election of my life and I believe we're at a crossroads, a turning point," Nye told the Fosters Daily Democrat (N.H.). "We can either move forward, especially in education, or backward. I think voters have a clear choice, so I'm supporting the president."

    Steve Lipofsky Basketballphoto.com

    Celebs for Obama

    Magic Johnson

    Retired Lakers legend Magic Johnson has donated to Obama's campaign and to the Democratic National Committee.

    Celebs for Obama

    Elizabeth Banks

    Actress Elizabeth Banks has been a vocal critic of Mitt Romney's stances on health care and women's reproductive issues. Banks has starred in an Obama campaign ad around the issue, saying, "Planned Parenthood is something I care very deeply about. Planned Parenthood was my health-care provider when I didn't have insurance after I graduated college."

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Republicans like to grumble about the Democrats’ monopoly on Hollywood, but Mitt Romney has attracted his share of boldface names. Some celebrities, like a certain reckless driver of late, support Romney for reasons they are not entirely sure of. Others — a veteran cartoonist of note — is, oddly, motivated by his own pro-pot stance. Many others just believe that Romney and Ryan are the right choice for America.

Here’s our slideshow of celebrity Romneyians:

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    Celebs for Romney

    Jon Voight

    The 73-year-old actor and longtime conservative Jon Voight compared President Obama to Venezuela's socialist President Hugo Chavez saying, "The media has been taken over by this administration." Of Romney, he said, "I think because of Gov. Romney's great talents, his great compassion, his great gifts of leadership, he's going to win this election," he said. "The people are going to become aware of these qualities."

    s_bukley / Shutterstock.com

    Celebs for Romney

    Kid Rock

    Rock-rapper Kid Rock has risked alienating fans in an industry that "leans left," he says, because “you have to stand for something.” That "something" for Kid Rock is Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan. He told fans that although he was proud to have a black president, he wished Obama had done a "better job."

    AP

    Celebs for Romney

    Lindsay Lohan

    Actress Lindsay Lohan is "as of now" voting for Mitt Romney she said this month. "I just think employment is really important right now," she said. Although she was previously an Obama supporter, Lohan has expressed disappointment with his policies, tweeting that the president should cut taxes across the board, “for those who need it: middle-class families, small businesses” and even “those that are listed on Forbes as ‘millionaires.’”

    David Shankbone

    Celebs for Romney

    Robert Duvall

    Academy Award–winning actor Robert Duvall, along with his wife Luciana, hosted a fund-raising event for Mitt Romney at their home in Virginia in September. According to Politico, the event brought in over $800,000 for the GOP candidate's campaign.

    AP

    Celebs for Romney

    Clint Eastwood

    Academy Award–winning actor and director Clint Eastwood was Romney's star speaker during the RNC this year, giving a memorable speech to an empty chair. But Eastwood has identified as a libertarian since 2009, and also seemed to mock the Romney campaign, telling Extra TV, "If somebody's dumb enough to ask me to go to a political convention and say something, they're gonna have to take what they get."

    Jaguar PS / Shutterstock.com

    Celebs for Romney

    Chuck Norris

    Action star Chuck Norris and wife Gena issued a "dire warning for America" in September, cautioning Americans that Obama could usher in "'1,000 Years Of Darkness" if re-elected. It was a reference to Ronald Reagan's 1964 speech in favor of Republican candidate Barry Goldwater. "We can no longer stand on the sidelines and watch our country go the way of socialism, or something much worse," Norris warned.

    screengrab of from "Homer Votes" via Slate

    Celebs for Romney

    Homer Simpson

    Homer Simpson, the "40-year-old white guy who didn’t go to college and gets all his news from monitors at gas stations," is switching camps this election. In 2008, Simpson attempted to vote for Obama, but due to a tricky machine, ended up voting for Sen John McCain, R.-Ariz., six times. This year Simpson cast his vote for Mitt Romney in the promo video for the 24th season of "The Simpsons."

    Tricia via WikiMedia

    Celebs for Romney

    Scott Adams

    Scott Adams, the creator of the long-running "Dilbert" comic strip, has officially endorsed Mitt Romney. Adams argues that Obama is ruining the lives of "minor drug offenders" to "advance his career," and though Romney is "likely to continue the same drug policies" as Obama, he's hoping that Romney will ignore "dispensaries in states where medical marijuana is legal." On his blog Adams wrote, "While I don't agree with Romney's positions on most topics, I'm endorsing him for president starting today." Erm, okay.

    AP

    Celebs for Romney

    Donald Trump

    The Donald is perhaps the most vocal (and embarassing) of Romney's supporters. Of Romney's recent 47 percent comments, Trump said, "He cannot apologize. What he said is probably what he means." Trump's Twitter feed is flooded with anti-Obama, pro-Romney tweets, and his son-in-law's newspaper, the New York Observer, recently endorsed the GOP candidate.

    Joe Seer / Shutterstock.com

    Celebs for Romney

    Jeff Foxworthy

    "You might be a redneck" comedian and former "Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?" host Jeff Foxworthy has come out in support of Mitt Romney. In March, Foxworthy tweeted, "Time for Republicans to unite behind Governor Romney, a great leader who can win the White House and rebuild our economy for all Americans."

    Wikimeda via LukeIsBack

    Celebs for Romney

    Jenna Jameson

    Porn star Jenna Jameson, whose estimated net worth tops $30 million, put her endorsement in simple terms: "When you're rich, you want a Republican in office."

    WikiMedia via Ian Smith

    Celebs for Romney

    Gary Sinise

    Emmy Award winning actor Gary Sinise, best known as Lt. Dan in "Forrest Gump," is a vocal Republican. In 2004, he co-founded the Lt. Dan Band, a cover band that plays for U.S. troops and raises money for military-oriented charities. Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich has even implied that Sinise should run for office, a notion the actor declined.

    WikiMedia via Toglenn

    Celebs for Romney

    Gene Simmons

    Kiss frontman Gene Simmons regrets supporting Obama in 2008. He told Fox News that, “America is a business and should be run by a businessman." When asked whom he supported, Simmons said, "Strictly speaking on the economy and in my humble opinion, Mitt Romney."

    Celebs for Romney

    Dennis Miller

    Comedian Dennis Miller endorses Romney as the "gosh" president: “You do hear the word ‘gosh’ come out of his pie hole once in a while. And you know what? I’ve had the hipster president. How’s about the gosh president? Isn’t it time we get back to the gosh president?” The comedian opened for Romney at a Virgina rally earlier this week, telling Romney supporters: “I spent the day with him. I can tell you he’s about as nice a cat behind the scenes as you could hope him to be.”

    Celebs for Romney

    John Elway

    Former NFL quarterback John Elway has officially come out in support of Romney. An October press release from the Romney campaign quotes the two-time Super Bowl champion, saying, "I am endorsing Governor Romney and Congressman Ryan for president and vice-president because I know having the courage to make decisions and tackle challenges is what leads to results and real change. America needs a comeback team – Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are that team."

    AP

    Celebs for Romney

    Stacey Dash

    "Clueless" actress Stacey Dash recently tweeted "Vote for Romney. The only choice for your future" and chatted with Paul Ryan on the phone. Dash's announcement prompted backlash from fans (an October 9 headline on the Huffington Post reads "Does Stacey Dash's Romney Endorsement Make Her Less Attractive?"), and some have even accused her of making the announcement out of a desire for publicity. Dash defended her choice for candidate on CNN, saying "It is my right as an American citizen. It's my constitutional right to have my choice of who I want to vote for for president and I chose him not by the color of his skin, but the content of his character."

    Featureflash / Shutterstock.com

    Celebs for Romney

    Trace Adkins

    Country musician Trace Adkins performed at a Romney-Ryan campaign rally in Virginia. He told the crowd, "It’s gonna take a couple of tough men but Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney are gonna get the job done."

    Doug James / Shutterstock.com

    Celebs for Romney

    Ted Nugent

    Rock musician Ted Nugent announced his endorsement on Twitter, writing: "after a long heart&soul conversation with MittRomney today I concluded this goodman will properly represent we the people & I endorsed him." Nugent told the Tribune that his ideal candidate would have been Rick Perry, however. "It is my firm belief that Rick Perry would have [made] and would make the best president we could choose," he said.

    WikiMedia

    Celebs for Romney

    Scott Baio

    Former "Happy Days" star Scott Baio — better known to younger generations as Bob Loblaw from "Arrested Development" — says he's a "big Reagan guy." He told Access Hollywood Live, “I believe in Governor Romney for a lot of different reasons. I’ve met him many times and he’s a straight up guy, he’s a good guy, great family man [and] his kids are fantastic. I think we need to be fixed in this country.”

    insidethemagic/Flickr

    Celebs for Romney

    Jerry Bruckheimer

    Mega-hit producer Jerry Bruckheimer and his wife Linda, attended a Romney fund-raiser last week. Other attendees included former Warner Bros. chair Terry Semel and "Gladiator" producer Frank Price.

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Prachi Gupta

Prachi Gupta is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on pop culture. Follow her on Twitter at @prachigu or email her at pgupta@salon.com.

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    Once upon a time on the Bowery

    Talking Heads, 1977
    This was their first weekend as a foursome at CBGB’s, after adding Jerry Harrison, before they started recording the LP “Talking Heads: 77.”

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    Patti Smith, Bowery 1976
    Patti lit up by the Bowery streetlights. I tapped her on the shoulder, asked if I could do a picture, took two shots and everyone went back to what they were doing. 1/4 second at f/5.6 no tripod.

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    Blondie, 1977
    This was taken at the Punk Magazine Benefit show. According to Chris Stein (seated, on slide guitar), they were playing “Little Red Rooster.”

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    No Wave Punks, Bowery Summer 1978
    They were sitting just like this when I walked out of CBGB's. Me: “Don’t move” They didn’t. L to R: Harold Paris, Kristian Hoffman, Diego Cortez, Anya Phillips, Lydia Lunch, James Chance, Jim Sclavunos, Bradley Field, Liz Seidman.

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    Richard Hell + Bob Quine, 1978
    Richard Hell and the Voidoids, playing CBGB's in 1978, with Richard’s peerless guitar player Robert Quine. Sorely missed, Quine died in 2004.

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    Bathroom, 1977
    This photograph of mine was used to create the “replica” CBGB's bathroom in the Punk Couture show last summer at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. So I got into the Met with a bathroom photo.

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    Stiv Bators + Divine, 1978
    Stiv Bators, Divine and the Dead Boys at the Blitz Benefit show for injured Dead Boys drummer Johnny Blitz.

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    Ramones, 1977
    “The kids are all hopped up and ready to go…” View from the unique "side stage" at CBGB's that you had to walk past to get to the basement bathrooms.

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    Klaus Nomi, Christopher Parker, Jim Jarmusch – Bowery 1978
    Jarmusch was still in film school, Parker was starring in Jim’s first film "Permanent Vacation" and Klaus just appeared out of nowhere.

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    Hilly Kristal, Bowery 1977
    When I used to show people this picture of owner Hilly Kristal, they would ask me “Why did you photograph that guy? He’s not a punk!” Now they know why. None of these pictures would have existed without Hilly Kristal.

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    Dictators, Bowery 1976
    Handsome Dick Manitoba of the Dictators with his girlfriend Jody. I took this shot as a thank you for him returning the wallet I’d lost the night before at CBGB's. He doesn’t like that I tell people he returned it with everything in it.

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    Alex Chilton, Bowery 1977
    We were on the median strip on the Bowery shooting what became a 45 single sleeve for Alex’s “Bangkok.” A drop of rain landed on the camera lens by accident. Definitely a lucky night!

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    Bowery view, 1977
    The view from across the Bowery in the summer of 1977.

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    Ramones, 1977 – never before printed
    I loved shooting The Ramones. They would play two sets a night, four nights a week at CBGB's, and I’d be there for all of them. This shot is notable for Johnny playing a Strat, rather than his usual Mosrite. Maybe he’d just broken a string. Love that hair.

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    Richard Hell, Bowery 1977 – never before printed
    Richard exiting CBGB's with his guitar at 4am, about to step into a Bowery rainstorm. I’ve always printed the shots of him in the rain, but this one is a real standout to me now.

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    Patti Smith + Ronnie Spector, 1979
    May 24th – Bob Dylan Birthday show – Patti “invited” everyone at that night’s Palladium show on 14th Street down to CBGB's to celebrate Bob Dylan’s birthday. Here, Patti and Ronnie are doing “Be My Baby.”

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    Legs, ready for his close-up, near the front door of CBGB's.

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    I always think of “All the Young Dudes” when I look at this shot. These fans had caught Ian Hunter in the CBGB's basement outside the bathrooms, and I just stepped in to record the moment.

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    Only at CBGB's could I have gotten this shot of Tommy Ramone seen through Johnny Ramones legs.

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    Bowery 4am, 1977
    End of the night garbage run. Time to go home.

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