October 7th, 2009
06:45 AM ET
5 years ago

First on the Ticker: Obama enlists Hollywood in new ad

President Obama is turning to a handful of Hollywood stars to judge a contest that asks grassroots supporters to create a television commercial promoting health care reform.
President Obama is turning to a handful of Hollywood stars to judge a contest that asks grassroots supporters to create a television commercial promoting health care reform.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – President Obama is turning to a handful of Hollywood stars to judge a contest that asks grassroots supporters to create a television commercial promoting health care reform.

Musician Will.I.Am, actor John Cho, actress Rosario Dawson, actor Dulé Hill, "Family Guy" creator Seth MacFarlane, actor Brandon Routh, actress Kate Walsh and actress Olivia Wilde will join Democratic National Committee Chairman Tim Kaine, DNC Executive Director Jen O'Malley Dillon, Rep. Patrick Murphy of Pennsylvania, Obama campaign manager David Plouffe and volunteers in helping to pick the 30-second commercial that will air nationally, a DNC official tells CNN.

The contest is being run by Obama's political arm – Organizing for America – which is housed at DNC headquarters in Washington, DC. It is the latest effort by the president's political team to try and enlist the grassroots to help pressure Congress to pass health care reform this year.

"We know that compelling videos can touch people in a way that words alone simply cannot," Natalie Foster, OFA's new media director, said in an e-mail announcing the contest last week. "The messages that regular people put together will make a bigger difference than any false smears or slick ads the other side can dream up. And who knows - your creative, powerful, or touching video could help tip the balance in favor of health reform."

OFA will officially announce the names of the judges late Wednesday morning. The contest ends October 18.

Follow Mark Preston on Twitter: @prestoncnn


Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (135 Responses)
  1. victim of republican greed

    But will it work on Max Baucus, Blanch Lincoln, and Ken Conrad?

    October 7, 2009 06:59 am at 6:59 am |
  2. independent Jim

    When will the President and Congress stop confusing the poll results with leadership? If all they are going to do is follow the polls, why do we need them? The internet has given us the ability to create a true democracy instead of a republic.

    October 7, 2009 07:02 am at 7:02 am |
  3. victim of republican greed

    The religious right is rewriting the Bible to eliminate liberal bias. I have heard of the following changes:
    1. Joseph and Mary went to Bethlehem to attend a Fox Tea Bagging Party.
    2. The gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John will be replaced by Glenn, Rush, Bill'O, and Sean.
    3. There are 8 commandments. No adultery & No killing( wars are necessary) have been eliminated.
    4. The wise men are now: Joe the Liar, Honduras Jim, and Ensign John.
    5. Revelations will become Conspiracy Theories.
    More details as they become available.

    October 7, 2009 07:07 am at 7:07 am |
  4. jane

    If only we had true statesmen and stateswomen in Congress, we would have both substantive health care and insurance reform by now. As it appears, any bill is going may so watered down - and without a public option - that it's going to be of far too little help to us in the end. Meanwhile, people are dying.

    October 7, 2009 07:24 am at 7:24 am |
  5. Ray, Florida

    Jack,
    I think the commercial is a good idea; however, I hope that in this commercial it will tell the Democrat congress that if they do not back the president in passing this bill they will have to deal with the consequence during their next election. The majority of the people voted for president Obama, and we want health care reform with public option now. People need help! More are losing their jobs, they should not be without health care too. That's an added burden for them to worry about while they are looking for work and trying to care for their families.

    October 7, 2009 07:41 am at 7:41 am |
  6. snood

    geat more campaining at least it has a deadline. How is that deadline for Iraq and what are you going to do about afganastan we need a deadline like many said to bush WE NEED TO KNOW OR GET OUT NOW............there needs to be a deadline for your plan........

    October 7, 2009 07:47 am at 7:47 am |
  7. James

    Before any one bashes the President for this – I will remind you that President Obama is not the first president to do this. President Ronald Reagan did this frequently and on many occasions invited celebrities to the White House for state functions. The use of "Hollywood" to project a message goes all the way back to the first world war. Celebrities were employed to sell war bonds fro both WWI & WWII. Just wanted to throw that out there before a nasty debate begins here on the blog. I like both President Obama and President Reagan so I am not siding with either side here. Thanks.

    October 7, 2009 07:48 am at 7:48 am |
  8. Nick

    Yes...that is what is going to convince Americans that health care reform is necessary...Use the same people that think R. Polanski should be set free after pleading guilty and being on the lamb for 30 odd years. How out of touch.

    October 7, 2009 07:54 am at 7:54 am |
  9. AMERICA LOST AND REPUBLICANS REJOICE ON US LOSING THE OLYMPICS

    and the republicans will respond by getting Beck, henty, Bill , and RUSH dim whit togather to sing love songs of we hate america LOL

    October 7, 2009 07:54 am at 7:54 am |
  10. AMERICA LOST AND REPUBLICANS REJOICE ON US LOSING THE OLYMPICS

    republicans are all MENTALY ILL go see a shrink
    and in the mean time spew your terriorst loving PRIDE

    more lies and hate the more powerfull American Democrats GET!!

    HA Haha ha ha

    October 7, 2009 07:58 am at 7:58 am |
  11. Brian0901

    I bet all of you consertatives will jumping all over this, shame on hollywood for wanting health care, how dare they!

    October 7, 2009 07:58 am at 7:58 am |
  12. Mark,B'ham,Al.

    Hollywood knows they will get the VIP health care being rich and famous and they will probably get their cosmetic surgery on the taxpayers dollar (special interest/union) when we get socialized health care for all. We will also have to pay for their drug rehab too.

    October 7, 2009 08:01 am at 8:01 am |
  13. New Yorker

    Hollywood "grassroots"? "Regular people"?? What a joke!

    BTW, "Family Guy" would have been banned from television a few years ago; another indicator of how far this country has slipped into the immoral abyss.

    October 7, 2009 08:01 am at 8:01 am |
  14. MS Redhead

    If a bunch of Hollywood celebrities can influence our Congressional representatives to vote AGAINST the will of their constituents, then America is in BIG TROUBLE. Don't ya'll get it by now? If constituents–VOTERS–DON'T WANT OBAMACARE, then the bill should NOT BE PASSED. That's what is known as the DEMOCRATIC PROCESS. Americans are tired of its representatives being strong-armed by the Obama Administration to support something they don't want.

    October 7, 2009 08:07 am at 8:07 am |
  15. terry, va

    Hollywood (fantasy land west) meets Washington (fantasy land east). Neither of these pieces of ground in this country represent anything close to what this country thinks.

    October 7, 2009 08:08 am at 8:08 am |
  16. bert, Tampa

    Good job Mr. President.

    October 7, 2009 08:09 am at 8:09 am |
  17. Enlightened Voter

    More PROPAGANDA from Hollywood. This should be interesting. I didn't realize Hollywood actors, congressman, and a campaign manager were grass roots. It is just more manufactured garbage from an ever campaigning president. If the healy care plan is so great, why can't it survive on its own merits? Why isn't the Congress included in it?? They don't want it for themselves and the MAJORITY of the Americcan people don't want it either.

    October 7, 2009 08:09 am at 8:09 am |
  18. ICARE

    This whole plan is a disaster. Even Creigh Deeds claims it is a drag on his campaign. If Obama is a leader, then I am an astronaut.

    October 7, 2009 08:11 am at 8:11 am |
  19. Fed Up

    Whatever Hollywwod is for, I am against, so go ahead and pull them in. Just because they have an opinion (usually bought and paid for, as far as I am concerned) does not mean I will be swayed.

    October 7, 2009 08:11 am at 8:11 am |
  20. Silence DoGoode

    Yeah, a bunch of actors who will make all the difference...NOT.... once again...Obama...if you have read the CONSTITUTION you know what you are trying to do here is illegal, unethical and should it pass you could be impeached under the category of high crimes and misdemeanors and also for disbarment proceedings. But I digress, this will never get posted, as CNN like to spin the world the way you do

    October 7, 2009 08:12 am at 8:12 am |
  21. Angus McDugan

    Where is the news about Obama taking care of the fraud in the current health care system that he has already acknowledged? He said there is massive corruption and waste in the system but he is doing nothing about it. What if the health care takeover fails? If there is corruption then there needs to be investigation and retribution.

    October 7, 2009 08:14 am at 8:14 am |
  22. T22

    I heard Roman Polanski is in the country, maybe he can direct it!

    October 7, 2009 08:16 am at 8:16 am |
  23. brian

    He is still a bad community organizer. How did he get the title head community organizer let alone president of the USA? Maybe he will get this ad approved and this will be the hallmark of his Presidency...cause I've yet to see any other accomplishment.

    October 7, 2009 08:20 am at 8:20 am |
  24. smokey

    I thinks this is a wonderful idea ! Who better to make the case besides nurses and doctors than the Amercian People..It is about time, that we are allowed to let our voices be heard around the country, to truly express that we support Health Insurance Reform as well as a strong public option as Pres Obama does..This message will carry alot of weight because people I feel are tired of all of the mis-leading information and frankly nonsense that has been coming from the right along with their senators..Let the games begin !!!!!

    October 7, 2009 08:22 am at 8:22 am |
  25. Wise Latina

    This the same Hollywood that rallies around pedophiles (Polanski) and other sexual perverts (Letterman), because they all have similar or worse skeletons in their own closets. The messiah may be Hollywood's choice - not to mention the choice of ACORN, Venezuela, Cuba, Nicaragua, Saudi Arabia, and Libya, etc. - but that is just one more reason why he is definitely no longer America's choice.

    October 7, 2009 08:22 am at 8:22 am |
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