February 1st, 2008
11:05 AM ET
7 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. Sue

    I am so impressed that CNN chooses to report on George Clooney's endorsement of Obama for President. Don't you people have any REAL news to report?

    February 1, 2008 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  2. Marco,tx,

    YES,YES,YES. WE WILL WWIN NOW.THANKS TO GEORGE.

    This has got to be the most rediculous story today. I say today because something dummber will show tomorrow.

    THANKS CLINTON NEWS NETWORK

    February 1, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  3. Ray

    CNN: all Obama all the time.

    February 1, 2008 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  4. LL, Columbia, SC

    Clooney said that he did not want to stump because he thinks that Obama is the best and does not want a celebrity endorsement to have a negative effect.
    Then people get on this, posting about how endorsers are a joke.
    Yep, that's what Clooney knew would happen.

    February 1, 2008 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  5. Marco,tx,

    Ron, you are from Africa. WHO CARES

    February 1, 2008 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  6. Kay

    Clinton is running to be president, Obama is running to help people. Wake up! Clinton has been running for President since Bill left. And if I not mistaken Bush was also an experienced leader who learned from is daddy's admistration like Clinton learned from Bill's. I want a president who will not only inspire me but will also lead American into the future. Someone who can really challenge McCain on the war in Iraqi and also has a plan for heath insurance that will cost American less than they pay now. All of you who are talking about Obama's experience forget the Clinton and Obama have been in the Senate the same amount of time. Also watch debates and read each candidates web site be informed do your own research do not just follow the media negative press of Obama.

    Vote Obama!!!!!!!!!!!!

    February 1, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  7. Stephina

    I like Clooney for what is best at being "Eye Candy" on the big screen but not for his political insight.

    February 1, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  8. AJ, IL

    I share Clooney's views about Obama.

    Obama in 08!

    February 1, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  9. PT

    I am an african-american woman and Hilary Clinton will be getting my vote. Barack Obama cannot even explain his own policies. Everytime someone in the media calls him out on an issue, or asks him a question of substance, he goes back to his "I have a dream" stump speech. Come on CNN, MSNBC, New York Times, Washington Post, Move.org, et al.........when are people going to begin to ask him substantive questions and demand that he answer in details??? Hats off to George Stephanopolis last weekend for asking him about the Tony Reszko deal.....none of the other pundits have the guts to ask him anything other than how he can unite the country. Give me a break....Bill Clinton was right....this whole thing is the biggest fairytale that I've ever seen. Obama for President (please)....anyone who votes for him are just setting themselves up for major disspointment.

    February 1, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  10. Texas Gal for Obama

    Geezzz people. CNN covered that endorsement for Hillary by Ann Coulter now didn't they?

    Hillary really didn't answer one question directly last night. The only thing she can say about "change" is that she is a woman. Wow, like that's a resounding endorsement for women's rights when she (a) stood by her cheating man (2) cried on national TV when the going got rough and (3) has Bill fight her battles. She is just wearing out that one liner about a Clinton cleaning up after a Bush. Hanging on the the "good old days". She is SO stuck in the 90's...she went back to that again and again last night.

    Besides if you add in all the press coverage old BillyBoy got with his tirades!!! Well there you go. Believe me, we Obama supporters fell like it has been all Clintons...especially Bill.

    Sure miss old BillyBoy's tirades...it was helping Obama so much. But ya know...I just have a feeling he isn't through. Well maybe MoveOn.org can deal with his lies and deceit. With Bill you get bad character and well...bad character is just bad character...it doesn't change.

    February 1, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  11. Marilyn South Carolina

    You Know whats a joke our country is a laughing stock all over the world because of the BUSH presidency!! We finally have a candidate that is for ALL americans not just Black americans!! And Sali .....FYI Hillary mentioned that the RFK kids are backing her..last night on the debate, guess you missed that.!! We as a country must know the world is( none of the candidates Rep or Dem) watching us, can we just behave ourselves and let the process continue, NO ONE spoke about CHANGE until they started to realize that Barack Obama was on to something!!! that seemed to be reaching the people who need a voice, the CLINTONS are for the CLINTONS. I think it was Mitt Romney who said " I can't think of anything worse than having Bill Clinton in the White House with nothing to do" !!! remember what he did when he was in charge... Now they are all for change..not buying it. You want CHANGE.....Here's what you do.... OBAMA08

    February 1, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  12. CHERYL

    THATS GREAT! I WILL NOT SUPPORT ANY MORE OF HIS MOVIES OR CAUSE'S HE IS AN IDIOT AS FAR AS I AM CONCERNED! ANYONE WHO FALLS FOR OBAMA 'S PREACHING IS A TRUE FOOL! NO SUBSTANCE JUST THE SAME OLD THING OVER AND OVER AND OVER! THE HILLARY TRAIN IS ROARING DOWN THE TRACKS!!!!!! THE POLLS DON'T LIE!!!!!!!!!!! SUPER TUESDAY!!!!!!!!!!! HILLARY#1.

    February 1, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  13. CHERYL

    CNN IS DEFINATLY TRYING TO GIVE THIS THING TO OBAMA! THEY SING HIS PRAISES EVEN THOUGH HE LOST THE DEBATE LAST NIGHT! BIASED AND PREJUDICED AGAINST WOMEN! BUT HILLARY WILL PREVAIL! : TO ALL HILLARY SUPPORTERS: DON'T LET THEM DO IT! IT DID NOT WORK IN FLORIDA! OBAMA WILL BE BEAT BIG TIME ON TUESDAY!!!!!!!!!!!

    February 1, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  14. CHERYL

    OBAMA MUST HAVE GIVEN SOME OF HIS REZKO MONEY TO CNN! NICE TRY! GO HILLARY!!!!!!!!

    February 1, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  15. Walt, Belton, TX

    Considering that Clooney has as much practical political experience as Hillary, that's almost like getting an endorsement from Hillary. George is so desparate to be considered as important and relative; kind of pathetic, isn't it?

    February 1, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  16. Marilyn South Carolina

    CHERYL!!! you must be 12 years old!! ...you sound like a child..he doesn't need you to support his movies...if he never made another movie he is all setThats why we live in this country Freedom of speech...And all politions preach...
    Times have changed little girl....don't worry we will take care of you too... OBAMA 08

    February 1, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  17. bob b

    who gives a CRAP what george clooney thinks...

    February 1, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  18. Brenna Kearns

    To Kay: Obama and Hillary have NOT been in the United States Senate for the same amount of time– Hillary was elected in 2000, while Obama wasn't elected until 2004. He was only in the National Senate for two years when he started running for the presidency. How's that for using one political office to vault to another? Hillary, on the other hand, served a full term before she started running and was reelected in a landslide.

    I would suggest you follow your own advice and "watch debates and read each candidates web site be informed do your own research" before you start deriding a certain candidate.

    February 1, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  19. Steve, Houston, TX

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

    See how dumb that sounds HIlary supporters???

    And I hate when people say "Oh, I'm *gender or race* and I'm voting for *candidate who is the opposite*" Whatever.

    February 1, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  20. nonA

    Kay

    Your post reeks of ignorance. The first thing you should know is that Hillary has been in the US Senate since January 2001. Obama has been there since January of 2005. It's true to say that she has twice as much experience in the federal government.

    Second, I must point out a bit of irony. You portray Hillary as power hungry, but neglect the fact that Obama has served a mere 3 years in the US Senate (i.e. half of a term) and thinks that he's ready to lead the federal government. Obama is the one who seems a bit too eager for power.

    As for the other things you said: this is the typical Obama fan. There is a total lack of logic in your reasoning. You want someone to inspire and lead you? The President is the chief executive of the country, not a ceremonial figure for morale and inspiration.

    This is why I support Clinton: she has a realistic no-nonsense plan of negotiating with others to get her policies through while acknowledging the fact that it will be difficult and take time. I cannot say the same for Obama, who has yet to announce how he will actually bring people in Congress together, other than the mantra "I'm a uniter and not divisive, like some of my opponents" or something to that effect.

    I suggest that you examine the way you come to a decision. Buying into a person's speech without looking at the facts, or "drinking the kool-aid," is no way to make a decision, especially when it comes to selecting a nominee for President.

    February 1, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  21. MCNEIL

    REMEMBER BOY WONDER BUSH WHEN HE WAS FIRST ELECTED...........WHAT DID HE EVER DO FOR THE COUNTRY? 8 YEARS YOU PEOPLE VOTED HIM IN....HE WAS A BIT LIKE OBAMA WASN'T HE ...DON'T BE FOOLED AGAIN ...YOU WILL BE SORRY.....VOTE HILARY AND YOU WILL GET EXPERIENCE,JUST WHAT YOUR COUNTRY NEEDS RIGHT NOW............ I AM A CANADIAN AND PROUD OF IT................ THINK BEFORE YOU VOTE THIS TIME.......OBAMA SHOULD RUN IN 8 YEARS OR WHEN HE GETS THE EXPERIENCE TO LEAD A COUNTRY .........

    February 1, 2008 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  22. Richard Rote (California)

    Cheryl – look only at the issues and make your mind up.

    This is not a football match. This is our future.

    February 1, 2008 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  23. Rebecca - O.C.

    Oh sweet Clooney ... don't follow the rhetoric! Obama may have his few seconds of youthful charm on the stand when he speaks but it's very clear that he uses the words "change" and "hope" with no merit repeatedly. He does not provide precise clarification of direction on issues. He side steps when be questioned and cleverly ducks and covers and throws back questions at Hilary, rather than graciously, openly and honestly explaining in detail. Time after time his words carry no value in experience or credibility as a leader should and must. Talking is not enough anymore ... enough of that.

    We need a leader that understands America, has been there for us always, and will continue to be there for us! Hilary 2008!!!!!!!

    February 1, 2008 11:04 pm at 11:04 pm |
  24. Andrew!

    I'm happy George Clooney made this choice, he's got a good head on his shoulders.

    To all of you who say Obama is lacking in experience, hear this:

    It is the very experience that Hillary Clinton touts all over that makes her politically weaker! She has more time to spend becoming ingrained in the same old politics! She bows to the influence of special interests and ignores the will of the people! This is since her being First Lady up to now in the Senate. This is NOT an advantage for her, it's a detriment, and in a national election it will ruin her against a McCain for example.

    Obama's advantages are many:

    Graduated from Columbia and Harvard Universities. Served as a community organizer in Chicago for over ten years. Served in the Illinois senate and US senate for a combined total of over ten years. Yet throughout this time he has worked on a new kind of politics that unites all sorts of people from all walks of life.

    It's a blatantly obvious choice, people. OBAMA'08

    February 1, 2008 11:08 pm at 11:08 pm |
  25. No Rock Stars, Thanks Anyway

    We don't need someone who is a rock star. We need someone who knows their way around the international arena.

    You can't eat HOPE, and you can't pay the rent with INSPIRATION.

    We need someone who knows how to repair our tarnished image, who has built-in respect around the world, and who can bring jobs back to America.

    Clinton can do that. Obama will spend his first term learning, and we don't have time for that.

    February 2, 2008 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
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