February 1st, 2008
11:05 AM ET
10 years ago

Clooney supports Obama, but won’t hit the trail

George Clooney won't campaign for Obama.

George Clooney won't campaign for Obama.

(CNN)– Celebrity endorsements and star power have had substantially different and sometime adverse effects on presidential candidates. Oprah Winfrey, Halle Berry, Zack Braff and Scarlett Johansen have thrown their support behind Barack Obama helping to raise millions of dollars for his White House run, but superstar George Clooney is hesitant to go out and campaign for Obama calling it a ‘slippery slope.’

“I feel that at times you can harm the person that you are trying to help,” Clooney told CNN’s Kiran Chetry in reference to campaigning for Obama. “I don’t want to damage anybody.”

A few months ago, talk show host Oprah Winfrey was criticized by some of her fans for breaking her track record or staying out of politics. The media mogul spent a weekend campaigning with Barack Obama in South Carolina, Iowa, and New Hampshire.

Star power has helped bring attention to crises on the international spectrum. Clooney, who was recently named the United Nations' peace messenger, has used his influence to focus efforts on the crisis in Darfur and Sudan. He says candidates will always go to Hollywood because of the money that is there and the camera crews that are sure to follow.

The Academy Award winning actor officially endorsed Obama early last year calling him a ‘rock star.’ Clooney compared him to the likes of John and Robert Kennedy saying, “Few people in my lifetime, that I’ve heard speak made me want to get up and do something,” but cautions, “I don’t want to hurt him by saying that.”

Related: Watch Kiran Chetry's one-on-one with George Clooney

- CNN’s Emily Sherman

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
soundoff (56 Responses)
  1. Yawn

    The all Obama channel. All Obama all day every day.

    Go to MYDD.com and see Obama's new smear campaign.

    He is attacking Clinton for having the exact positions on health care that he has.

    I wonder if CNN will cover what their boy wonder is doing. What a joke.
    If Clinton were doing the same thing, it would be in every media venue available. Let's see if CNN is really impartial.

    February 1, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  2. dmw

    I'd rather have an seasoned, knowledgeable person about the issues rather than a rock star run the Country. If I was going to a gospel concert, then I'd pick Obama as the person to preach, because he is so good at that; but, if I want someone to actually solve problems and is a doer, whether what she does is right or wrong, as long as she makes a decision, I will always pick Hillary Clinton.

    February 1, 2008 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  3. LeeNYC

    Just another American who has seen the light and wants a change in Washington. Thanks Clooney, in due time my friend, in due time.

    OBAMA '08

    February 1, 2008 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  4. John Smith

    Some of the DEMS, like the Clintons, NEVER LEARN FROM THEIR MISTAKES !!!

    I really think it is going to take the active support for Hillary for the DEMS to lose the White Huse again; remember GORE and KERRY? How short minded can some of the DEMS really be in this nation. Gore and Kerry (each a stronger candidate than Hillary) were the "accidents" of the Clintons– the Dems lost each time!!

    Currently, the Dems are celebrating the "huge voters" out there for them because of the Independents (like myself), moderate Republicans, and young voters who are coming out in huge numbers BECAUSE of Obama. Let us wait until the Dems put up Hillary as the nominee and the hole will run dry of voters!!

    Wise and competent Dems should simply stay AWAY from the Clintons; the Clintons are the sources of "curse" for the Dems!!

    No Clinton, not even Bill, can restore the ECONOMIC fortunes of the past; the conditions of the past that made that happen (e.g., Internet burst), are simply NOT there today. The Clintons burnt their bridges (e.g., excesive scandals) before they left (in disgrace) the White House. Hillary has been making strong enemies since.

    February 1, 2008 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  5. A Texan for Obama

    It takes a peacemaker to know a peacemaker.

    Congratulations to Clooney for the recent recognition he has received for all his humanitarian efforts.

    February 1, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  6. Nancy Christoff

    Obamba's slogan " Yes We Can" is very effective.

    How about this slogan "MORE OF THE SAME...HILLARY..MORE OF THE SAME..

    February 1, 2008 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  7. alice

    Who cares? Ted and Caroline Kennedy's endorsements went PFFT in Florida which went Hillary overwhelmingly.

    February 1, 2008 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  8. gelbu lama

    i whish obama win the february 5th. super primary election.

    February 1, 2008 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  9. demwit

    i. e. Clooney is a looney

    February 1, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  10. Celine

    Thank you Clooney. You are a smart man!

    Obama '08

    February 1, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  11. gelbu lama

    i whish mr. obama lead the february 5th. super primaries election.

    February 1, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  12. Sam

    Big deal. Celebrity endorsements are silly.

    February 1, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  13. Stacy Clarks, Texas

    GO OBAMA/EDWARDS!! 08!!!

    February 1, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  14. California voter

    CNN you've got to stop trying to make this election another Anna Nicole or Brittany Spears event. Please. Just because Obama has paid for political commericals on CNN shouldn 't cause you to make a headline out of every person that mentions Obama's name. It started with Oprah and now we have Hulk Hogan, and George Clooney. You're beginning to not only be slanted but looking more like a tabloid press.

    February 1, 2008 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  15. Cliff CA

    I mean, really, what difference does it make who endorses a candidate? I don't think Clooney's endorsement will make any difference and neither will MoveOn.org's. Ann Coulter's endorsement of Hillary is a publicity stunt and is a laugh. I think voters are starting to suffer "Endorsement Fatigue" as well as "Obama Fatigue". Enough already! Please! Come on, Super Tuesday! Hurry up so we can put an end to this continual onslaught of meaningless endorsements and over the top hype.

    February 1, 2008 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  16. Captain

    Hey Clooney, I have a lot of respect for you. That cool Wobble Head thing that you do has definately paid your bills and then some. But, never be afraid to speak. You are still an American Citizen. What happened to your dad was just politics as usual and NOT YOUR FAULT! Don't be afraid to speak up and voice your support. Keep doing what you are doing Clooney, I liked you in everything you starred in, except "Batman and Robin". You Rock!!!

    Obama 08!!!

    February 1, 2008 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  17. sali

    I find it amusing all these people saying how much Obama reminds them of RFK when they were probably less than 10 years old in '68...
    I also find the new media delinquent in not headlining that RFK's three children back Hillary Clinton.

    CNN is a sham... this isn't journalism... there is equal to watching the political version of Entertainment Tonight....

    February 1, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  18. stan pitts pa

    way to go george, we love you!!!

    February 1, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  19. Desiree

    These endorsers are a joke. Obama represents himself as an advocate for the poor in the US so, Oprah builds a large school for the poor in Africa . What has Halle Berry & Scarlet Johanssen (besides George Clooney) accomplished for the US???

    February 1, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  20. Joe, Boston

    Who cares what some ridiculous actor is going to vote for?

    February 1, 2008 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  21. charlotte

    Who do you think would be the most help with Clooneys' Africian cause?

    February 1, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  22. Sal in Phoenix

    I'm going to be proud to vote for the 1st female president of the united states and be part of making history. Every woman should be proud to vote for her. Lord knows, the men have screwed things up for far too long.

    February 1, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  23. The Brown Hornet

    "weather she does it right or wrong, as long as she makes a decision, I will always back Hillary Clinton."

    I'm sorry... I'm actaully for Clinton and I still cant agree with that statement. It's that type of thought that got Bush elected twice. The desicion he made to invade Iraq was wrong. His decision not to do more for Katrina victims was wrong. But there are still people out there who voted for him just because he was a doer and made a decision. I don't understand that line of thought with any canidate.

    February 1, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  24. David P.

    Once again, we see a significant organization or person turning thier back on Hillary. Why is that?

    Hillary is simply not electable. There is strong debate amongst Dems regarding her abilities. I am NOT willing to chance McCain for four years... my hands are tied – I MUST vote Obama.

    Fortuneately, I find that pleaseing.

    Fired up, ready to go!

    February 1, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  25. Jordan, Seattle WA

    Don't blame CNN for this.

    This is sadly the state of the American public, where endorsements by celebrities do actually matter.

    CNN is supposed to publish news that matters to people. Yes, most of the people probably posting here think this is ridiculous, but there are people who for one reason or another find vindication for their own preference in a story like this.

    With Clooney and Oprah specifically you can see why. Both have made a large side career helping with political causes, even though neither has ever entered politics. So people who support their causes would probably like to know who each is endorsing.

    Yes, I agree that the more minor celebrity endorsements are silly and unlikely to push anyone. But it is a political story technically, and there are people who care... so I would focus your negativity on the American nature that causes people to care, rather than the media that reports to them sadly.

    February 1, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
1 2 3