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. Bluebonnet

    Why can't this man just take care of business at hand? He's got to meddle into everything – control is more likely the proper word! Can't wait for this one-timer to be GONE!!

    October 7, 2009 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  2. Dar

    This man will stop at nothing to get this crap of a bill passed, what is the hurry, rush rush rush. It is because he wants every one of us confused, if an actor says it is true, well then it must be???????? Does he really think that we are stupid. How much money will this ad cost the tax payers? IM sick of the crap Odumbo keeps pulling off to try and deceive us. We all want reform but we want the right reform bill. NO PORK and this bill has plenty. Pull the pork out of this bill and see how many pages are left. might just make the reading easier.
    God Bless All

    October 7, 2009 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  3. Pete

    What a great idea. let's have our leadership come from Hollywood. All those people know so much about government and polictics.

    Is it 2012 yet so we can get this clown out of office?

    October 7, 2009 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  4. Torch

    GIVE ME A BREAK!

    GIVE IT UP WILL YA?

    How many times are the Dems going to try new tactics, and anticipate a different result? NOT GONNA HAPPEN!

    Dems, they aint listening, and frankly they don't care.

    Man your pitchforks, we're coming to DC.

    October 7, 2009 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  5. Sam Sixpack

    Any add that says anything about taking money away from your Grandmother's Medicare won't make the cut.

    Any add that touts the benefits of forcing poor people to give all they can "afford" to insurance execs won't make the cut either.

    What's wrong with the truth?

    October 7, 2009 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  6. dan smith

    Social security and medicare will be bankrupt in 15 years-so here's a great idea,let's spend trillions more we don't have on something we can't sustain. Thanks Obummber for another great idea. Guess we'll all be glad when we're slaves to China!

    October 7, 2009 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  7. Gale

    Good, let's make a commercial to support the President's agenda, while no one really knows, " what is the agenda?" Also, let's leave all the boys in Afghanistan holding while we have a commercial contest. Cool, huh?

    October 7, 2009 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  8. RealityKing

    Why!?
    Obama already has the support of Americans who listen to Hollywood..

    October 7, 2009 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  9. Greg Pottstown Pa

    Interesting, a grass roots movement started by Hollywood elite. As opposed to a grass roots movement. You know, the real kind started by everyday people like you and me. "The messages that regular people put together" clearly Obama's political arm – Organizing for America – thinks that Hollywood represents regular people.

    October 7, 2009 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  10. Marcy

    Imagine if George W had done this.. Just imagine! The left would have screamed bloody murder about manipulation.. Obama skates with everything.

    October 7, 2009 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  11. JJ in NY

    Talk about Astroturf !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Such hypocrisy by the liberals dems .

    October 7, 2009 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  12. GGG

    Thankyou Fox news for pointing out the facts on this Hollywood President...He is so busy making commercials and speeches that one has to wonder when is he ever at the White House... What a disgrace he has become!!! CNN it is time you start pointing out the real issues and truth of this President instead of praising him for doing absolutely nothing for this Country!!!

    October 7, 2009 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  13. stevegee

    Another blockbuster idea from the people who brought you The Beer Summit. The PropOganda machine of this administration knows no bounds.

    How about the American people judge a contest about promoting freedom, liberty and capitalism? It's called the Elections of 2010, and all the liberals will be judged incompetent and thrown out!

    October 7, 2009 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  14. christa

    Mr. Obama, go to Hollywood and make a living there, let Mr. Biden be the president. You are such a so called smooth operator, but you have no substance. By the way I voted for you and now I regret it. We need another party, because the republicans are corrupt as are the democrats. Healthcare will not come for all Americans. Who pays for all the trips, for dates with your wife and children. I hope we can find out, because you do not make the money. Oprah maybe, she has your ear. But we are no so called show here in the USA, we are living and breathing humans. You promised so much and until now, you have not delivered anything. You will probably be a one term president.

    October 7, 2009 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  15. Rose

    What a desperate act, Hollywood stars have no idea what health care even means to the average people of this country. I would not believe one word any of them had to say and I am sure it would be well scripted.

    October 7, 2009 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  16. Four and The Door

    Hey, I have an idea! Try and make it all about fat cat insurance executives and downplay the fact that America's economy is going downhill fast in spite of unprecedented life support measures.

    "We can afford this now! Let's get this done while America can still sell Treasury bonds! It may be more difficult when unemployment reaches 15%!"

    October 7, 2009 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  17. ran

    I want universal single payer non-profit health care if I am going to be forced to buy insurance.

    No way will for profit insurance ever bring down cost. It is there for profits. And this President or congress will never mandate that the insurance not give multimillion $ salaries/bonuses or dividends.

    why not give the subsides to medicare instead of the profit insurance companies. I would buy into medicare.

    October 7, 2009 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  18. JohnT

    Most Americans agree that our health care system must be reformed in some way. But they want to know what the reforms entail, how they will work, and what they will cost. In other words, details. What we don't need is a dose of razzle-dazzle featuring an unimpressive group of Hollywood semi-stars.

    October 7, 2009 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  19. fedupintx

    Harold and Kumar both working for the White House now. That's rich.

    October 7, 2009 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  20. cramit

    The bills suck so they need hollywood to sell it ?Germany was good at propoganda movies too.

    October 7, 2009 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  21. diane

    words, just words, without a public option there is no reform, just a gift to insurance companies

    October 7, 2009 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  22. j

    My money is on the insurance and health care lobbiests and there has never been more money flowing to "campaign funds" for Congressmen than now. -–We`ll end up paying more getting less. health carerofits will continue to rise. ----- Buy stock in big pharma, insurance companies and health care providers– NOW. Catering to our aging population till they are broke is where the profits are. Signed, DISGUSTED

    October 7, 2009 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  23. Steve (the real one)

    If the plan stinks (and most Americans believes it does), ain't no way for the Hollywood help and a contest to eliminate the odor!

    October 7, 2009 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  24. A Democrat of 51 years who has finally got smart to their foolishness.

    Oh Boy! Now we get to hear from the home of the homosexuals rooting for Obama. Darn it OBAMA is there anything else on your agenda instead of health care. Don't you have war decisions to make, Economy, elderly people losing their homes. No raises for government workers and retirees. THAT IS ALL EXCEPT POLITICIANS BECAUSE THEY SEPERATED THEMSELVES INTO A DIFFERENT CLASSIFICATION. THEIR RAISE WILL CONTINUE. All you people need to be voted out of office.

    October 7, 2009 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  25. phoenix86

    Makes sense. Hollywood deals in fiction. Obama lives in a fictional world. Americans don't want State run health care, and putting white robes on real doctors or actors won't change the fact that Obama's health care package is really only a reduction on medicare.

    October 7, 2009 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
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