DemDaily: Celebrities Go Public on Presidential

September 17, 2019

Celebrities have begun to line up their support in the 2020 Presidential primary, with an A-list of names starting to flock to the upper tier.

Hollywood is no stranger to the political game and entertainers have come out in even greater force to engage in the fight against the politics of Donald Trump. In 2018, an estimated $30+ million was contributed to federal candidates from the entertainment industry.

Campaign Finance records from the first and second quarter reports of this year show who is making their support public.

Jeff Bridges pitches for Steve Bullock (Click)

Actor Jeff Bridges released a video appeal for friend Steve Bullock yesterday, asking people to give "a buck" so that Bullock's voice can be heard on the next debate stage.

Joe Biden counts actors Rita Wilson, George Takei, Kaitlin Olson and, most significantly, Hollywood's own favorite, Tom Hanks among his supporters.

Cory Booker has amassed an impressive list of celebrity support, including girlfriend and actress Rosario Dawson, and longtime friend Jon Bon Jovi, who hosted a campaign fundraiser for Booker last month in the Hamptons. Bon Jovi also recently revealed that his band's next album will be called "2020."

Bon Jovi tweeted out this pic of the Hamptons event he hosted for Booker last month

Other supporters: film Director M. Night Shyamalan, and actors Ben Affleck, Kevin Bacon, Jamie Lee Curtis, Orlando Bloom, Josh Gad, Toni Trucks, Edwin Hodge, Emily Deschanel and Alicia Silverstone, as well as LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman and Dreamworks executive Jeffrey Katzenberg.

Katzenberg is one of several who have given to more than one contender, contributing the "max" of $2,800 to Michael Bennet, Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg, Steve Bullock, Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, Beto O'Rourke and Elizabeth Warren, as well as former candidates John Hickenlooper, Jay Inslee, Seth Moulton and Kirsten Gillibrand.

Pete Buttigieg
Buttigieg is a favorite among the glitterati, led by actress Gwyneth Paltrow, who cohosted a May fundraiser in her home with Bradley Whitford (who is also a Booker fan).

Actors Qwyneth Paltrow and Bradley Whitford co-hosted an event for Buttigieg (CNN)

Pete's supporters include actors Sharon Stone, Rob Reiner, Michael J. Fox, Kevin Bacon, Jane Lynch, Portia de Rossi, Ellen Degeneres, George Takei, John Stamos, Mandy Moore, Pedro Pascal and Ryan Reynolds.

Others:"Seinfeld" and "Curb Your Enthusiasm" creator Larry David, former 21st Century Fox CEO James Murdoch, and Game of Thrones Producer Carolyn Straus.

Kamala Harris
Tinseltown's homestate Senator has a star-studded following, including actors Sean PennReese WitherspoonJon HammJennifer Garner, Ben Affleck, Ryan Reynolds, Rita Wilson, Emma Roberts, William H. Macy, Felicity Huffman, Quincy Jones and filmmaker J.J. Abrams.

Actor Sean Penn and Harris

Also on the list: Don Cheadle, Lily Tomlin, Leslie Odom Jr., Cecily Strong, AParvesh Cheena, Jon Cryer, Soleil Moon Frye, Charlie Carver, Pedro Pascal, Busy Phillips, Wendell Pierce, Alison Pill, Wanda Sykes, Lily Tomlin, America Ferrera and Rosie O'Donnell.

Former FBI head James Comey gave $2,700 to law school classmate Amy Klobuchar, who also received $1,000 from actress Jane Fonda, who contributed to Bullock and Jay Inslee, and has maxed to Elizabeth Warren as well.

Beto O'Rourke
Singer Willie Nelson and Vogue Editor Anna Wintour are Beto supporters, as are actors John Slattery, Robert Odenkirk, Cecily Strong, Rooney Mara, Tate Donovan and Phil Lesh of the Grateful Dead.

Bernie Sanders 
Actors Susan SarandonShailene WoodleyDanny DeVito, Actor Ted Levine, Thomas Middleditch, Renee Smith, Nick Zano and filmmaker Adam McKay, as well as singers Cardi B, Brandi Carlile, Jackson Browne and Norah Jones.

Cardi B in video for Sanders (Click)

Elizabeth Warren
Warren claims actors Scarlett Johansson, Bette Midler, Barbra Streisand and Ryan Reynolds, comedian Amy Schumer, as well as writer and producer Shonda Rhimes.

Producer and Illumination Entertainment CEO Christopher Meledandri has contributed to Harris, Julian Castro, Michael Bennet, and Tulsi Gabbard.

Bill de Blasio received the max from actor Steve Buscemi, and Andrew Yang counts actor Nicholas Gage among his donors.

Marianne Williamson has received $2,000 from Bullock buddy Jeff Bridges, along with donations from musician Dave Navarro, film execs Bill Pohlad and James Cummings and producer Rhonda Eiffe.

While celebrities can certainly draw fundraising and grassroots support in a primary, the impact of that support, spread across such a large field, is yet to be determined. There is no question, however, that the eventual Democratic nominee will benefit from an energized entertainment industry, ready to help reclaim the White House.

In the interim, enjoy the show.

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Kimberly Scott

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Sources: Washington Post, Business Insider, CNN, Variety, AOL, Rolling Stone, Open Secrets

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