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Dem Flower Duet
May 10, 2004

By James L. Hirsen, J.D., Ph.D.
contributor to

When it comes to filling up John Kerry's campaign cookie jar, June looks to be a sweet month.

Word has it that fatcat Kerry supporters will get a chance to overpay to hear Barbra Streisand and Neil Diamond sing "You Don't Bring Me Flowers." Maudlin partisans may also get to hear some stand-up comedy from Oscar host Billy Crystal.

According to The Hill, there's been a three-way tug of war for Babs' attention between the Kerry campaign, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC).

Margery Tabankin, executive director of the Streisand Foundation, says Streisand has "made it clear to DCCC and the DSCC that her focus is on the presidential campaign from now until the election."

Sen. Jon Corzine, chairman of the DSCC, acknowledges bumping heads with the Kerry folks in the fight for Tinseltown campaign bucks. Still, Corzine has managed to secure the aid of rock singer Jon Bon Jovi in the Dems' quest to take back the Senate. Robert Redford and Robin Williams have also stepped forward to assist the DSCC.

It appears that Left Coasters are increasingly interested in helping the Dems, not because they have a particular love for Mr. Bring It On, but because they have a particular disdain for Mr. Misunderestimated. On the other hand, it looks like Republicans are running on celebrity empty.

For example, James Taylor and Carole King have already crooned for some Kerry suppers. Dave Mathews, the Eagles, Sheryl Crowe and Emmylou Harris may perform at future Kerry events. Daddy of Norah and music producer Quincy Jones is apparently lining up musicians to help recharge people's batteries after they've suffered through a Kerry stump speech. And Danny DeVito and Leonardo DiCaprio recently let Kerry's staffers know that they're willing to lend a celebrity hand to the man without a message.

In contrast, stars don't seem to be all that eager to align themselves with the GOP. When asked for a list of celebrities who have helped or offered to help Senate Republicans, a spokesman for the National Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee said he couldn't come up with one.

It's really no big surprise. A study by the O'Leary Report found that during the 2000 presidential election, three times as much Hollywood dough went in the Dem direction as opposed to GOP one.

Since it's been the same celebrity story throughout the last few election cycles when Republicans took the majority of governorships, state legislatures, House and Senate seats and the White House, could be that a Tinseltown bust is actually a red states boon.

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James L. Hirsen, J.D., Ph.D.

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