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. Dee, 1 Vote

    Health Care is all of us, not "White GOP Cry Babies!"

    October 7, 2009 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  2. 2010 can't get here fast enough

    More phoniness from the biggest fraud in the history of our once great country.

    Everything is fake and choreographed, like it is all a bad, bad dream, but until 2012, it is much worse than that.

    CNN how about a story on Shelly lying about sitting on Daddies lap watching Carl Lewis at the olympics when she was in her 20's?

    How about some research on Obama hammring Hillary during the campaign on her MAKING people buy insurance and fining/taxing/charging them if they DIDN'T and he made ADS HAMMERING HER, but now it is the "right thing to do"?

    Never mind, the lovefest continues.

    October 7, 2009 09:02 am at 9:02 am |
  3. Polanski's Platoon for Obozo

    Obozo calls on Polanski's Platoon – Hollywood – for help. Go Obozo !

    October 7, 2009 09:06 am at 9:06 am |
  4. JB - NYC

    Ah yes time for propaganda.. Now he has to use Hollywood since the NEA was exposed..
    Gee, I wonder if the NEA will still help? Shhhhhhhh.

    October 7, 2009 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  5. jp,michigan

    Obama can use whom ever he wants to try and sell his health-care plan. The American people do not want it and the power of the voting booth will prevail!

    October 7, 2009 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  6. kris

    OMG!!!!! Obama has gone out of his mind!!!! Its one thing to use hollywood to commercialize and market you as a candidate when you are a bit of an unknown but as a president, hollywood has no legitimacy mr. president. You and you alone need to sell your agenda to the people, not hollywood.

    October 7, 2009 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  7. Phil

    Oh that will surely get my support...enlist the Hollywood twits!

    October 7, 2009 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  8. sifto77

    He must really be desperate–dump the doctors and health care professionals for Hollywood? This guy needs to get a grip. Probably will have his buddy, Letterman, as their spokesperson. Creative, powerful, "touching" videos? come on Pres, those people are professional actors-there is nothing "grassroots" about these multimillionaire capitalists. (movie stars)

    October 7, 2009 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  9. Mississippi Miss

    Contest... now that is a very nice idea, and an even nicer word.

    Grass roots patriots will CONTEST this horrific attempt to control
    one-sixth of our nations economy.

    Content... that's another good word. The congressional budget office is being asked to review a Health Care Bill based on Concepts?

    Contest..Content..Concept? Go Hollywood.. we really pay attention to
    your cooky ideas.. keep em comin'

    October 7, 2009 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  10. Mike in LR

    Sad. Turning to actors and cartoon producers for political input. Oh well, a cartoon would seem approporiate for government run healthcare. Maybe the keystone cops could be used to portray the government.

    October 7, 2009 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  11. Enough

    Going to Hollywood for support? Are we desperate now? Maybe the same ones who think Polanski should be set free will assist Obama in pushing the plan that the MAJORITY of us don't want. We DON'T want it, what doesn't he understand about that?

    October 7, 2009 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  12. Biased

    When will the campaigning ever end? The vast majority of people want some forms of health reform – the problem is what the government plans on reforming or leaving alone and what it does to the budget. Unfortunately those in charge in the democratic party could have passed this already with their majority but even they can't agree. So what does this so-called competition really accomplish other than having others pay for a commercial that they don't have to?

    October 7, 2009 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  13. shmeckel

    Hey, I guess if you want to manipulate people, you should hire professionals to do it.

    I have an idea instead of a Hollywood production, (because you can always trust Hollywood) why don’t you be the first party to make a commercial that provided facts. Explain to us how we pay for it. Explain that if it is truly competition, and people are going to pay for their plans, why is it going to cost anything at all (let alone a trillion dollars), at the very worst it should break even.

    October 7, 2009 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  14. Desiree

    Maybe if Obama would stop worrying so much about being a celebrity and being in the spotlight all the time, keep his butt at home for a change instead of flying all over the world to help his croonies in Chicago get a bid on the Olympics....maybe ...just maybe he might be a more effective president. You can only point the blame finger at Bush for so long before you realize the other 4 fingers are pointing back at you!

    October 7, 2009 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  15. Simmy

    Do what you must to pUSh this badly needed healhcare bill through, Mr. President.......Your supporters are with you, stay strong.....
    ***********************************************************************
    Someone please tell Hong Kong Sue that her never relevant persona has left the building.....A tool for the GOP then......A tool now.....In any other setting she would be paid for her services......Oh...she is getting paid......
    ***********************************************************************

    October 7, 2009 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  16. Cold Feet

    Obama does what he does best.

    October 7, 2009 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  17. OH_DEM

    Oh come on! Please, obama, you're making us look so foolish! How trivial can you make health care reform!? Bring in a hollywood panel of "judges" that includes teh Family Guy creator . . . that's how.

    healthcare reform, as you see it, is dead. Be truly bipartisan – include tort reform, allow interstate competition, and buy the 15mill TRULY uninsured (not the ones who choose not to buy insurance) some medicare.
    It wont cost 1 trillion dollars and wont pull the rug out from under the 265million Americans who are content with their current healtcare

    October 7, 2009 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  18. Fed-UP

    Who needs Hollywood? Facts are facts. Do some homework people (its easy w/google). Each of the top 5 CEOs of the health insurance corporations earn greater than 100 times the compensation of our best doctors. The current system is morally indefensible!

    October 7, 2009 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  19. Pat F

    Maybe Obama can get Roman Polanski and Woody Allen to make a personal appearance – just be sure and keep them away from the First Girls.

    October 7, 2009 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  20. Wake Up

    Obama is such a joke. Obama is all about propaganda and lies. Wake up and refute this awful president.

    October 7, 2009 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  21. Tucker Wimsley

    We all know that entertainment people are not highly intelligent. They are, for the most part, emotionally torn people who are acting out through their narcissisms. Why would any stable American care what a Hollywood "actor" has to say about anything? They just want the government to pay for all their valium and crack.

    October 7, 2009 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  22. Never Repub again

    Who care what Sarah Peelin is thinking. How can she make any recommendations to the President. She cant even run her household.
    OBAMA-BIDEN 2012

    October 7, 2009 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  23. JP

    How about a bunch trial lawyers going on vacation in their private jets laughing about how much money they make and how Obama is too scared to do the right thing and make comprehensive medical malpractice reform part of his agenda.

    October 7, 2009 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  24. NICE REAL NICE

    this is called propaganda i think..... it is not new to this administration at all, they have the NEA do it all the time. now they can corral all the celebrities to do obams bidding just like cnn does (factchecking comedy skits of snl ) what a farce, and passing out labcoats to doctors in a presser... what a farce,,,,,,,,,

    this is all getting sickening. no self respecting american has any respect for hollywood celebrity anymore, and we certainly don't trust them to decide our health care matters... this might have flown in the past, NOT ANY MORE>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    October 7, 2009 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  25. inofritzn

    Oh my Obama. You are accused of being campaigner in chief and all talk, then you turn around and ask hollywood to help make videos of why we should want health care reform. Stop trying to convince us with endless speeches and stories, that's what car salesmen do, and let the facts of the debate change minds.

    October 7, 2009 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
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