October 7th, 2009
06:45 AM ET
9 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. cnn=right wing media and works for sarah "death pannel" palin

    Where is the article on our president's job approval? We real Americans love him

    October 7, 2009 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  2. Slider

    Why not.

    He enlisted the land of useful idiots for his campaign.

    The campaign never ends for our socialist friends.


    October 7, 2009 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  3. Steph

    I can't wait to see the winning commercial.

    October 7, 2009 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  4. troy

    Commercials tend to have a powerful inpact when the issue matters to millions who care for it.

    October 7, 2009 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  5. S Callahan NYS

    Bad move...the public perception of Hollywood has been justified by the recent Polanski doings....there's not trust for anything coming out of Hollywood...this will just be fodder for people saying he is rock star or drama king. Not good.

    October 7, 2009 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  6. mjm

    "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."

    This is so wrong on so many levels. Clinton never had a "political arm” pressuring anyone to do anything. Bush 41 and 43 never needed a political arm.

    It's just not American...It's more like Communism, which is worse Socialism.

    2010 and 2012 cannot come soon enough.

    October 7, 2009 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  7. Bob the Observer

    Whether you are for him or against them, it seems you'd have to agree that Obama does not have to "enlist" Hollywood. They've been on his side since the Illinois senatorial election.

    Between the fawning of the press and the coronation by Hollywood, we've never really had a chance to find out for ourselves who this man really is.

    October 7, 2009 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  8. Sam Sixpack

    Good ideas are not this hard to sell. This is a health care "reform" scam.

    October 7, 2009 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  9. Tony

    How about stopping with the fake doctors and Hollywood stars that support the bill, and paying attention to the American people who say they don't want it. The guy is an embarrassment. How about instead of props you demand the the FINAL bill be posted for 2 weeks before any votes are allowed. This will allow the people to sniff out all of the backdoor deals and corruption in it and for the media (FOX News) to broadcast the problems with the bill and how much we Americans stand to lose in freedom and taxes.

    October 7, 2009 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  10. worriedmom

    Has the President not learned yet that we don't care about the Hollywood elites say or think. Why don't you Mr. President talk to the "real people" that know what it is to work hard each day, struggle to make ends meet. Guess Pres. Obama failed at Copenhagen and wasn't worshipped like he thought he would be, so he has to go back to his Hollywood people to make him feel like a star again!
    And as far as Mr. Kaine, Mr. Kaine why are you not in Virginia doing what you were elected to do, be our Governor!!!! Never again, will I vote for a Democrat for Governor. We were used by Mr. Kaine and left in debt!!!
    Go McDonnell

    October 7, 2009 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  11. AJ

    More gimmicks...

    October 7, 2009 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  12. sal gonzalez

    What is Americas coming to when a president has to rely on Hollywood and actors to impress the people? I no more buy this approach than the use of actors to advertise heart medicines or other medicines when they are no doctors!

    October 7, 2009 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  13. D. Tree

    In the end, it will be the President's version of reform that passes – and thank goodness for that, because its the one that makes the most sense and saves the most money!

    October 7, 2009 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  14. Mark from Louisiana

    I wonder how many millions will be slipped to those artists through the NEA?

    October 7, 2009 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  15. Steph

    Before all you right wingers freak out about the "liberal" Hollywood folks getting involved in politics, please remember your Charleton Hestons, Fred Thompsons, Ted Nugents, etc...

    October 7, 2009 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  16. James

    No much of a surprise for the all style and no substance President. Biggest joke since Carter & Obama is such a disgrace he should not even be mentioned in the same sentence with Presidents Clinton or Kennedy. This is what happens when someone is put in a position and they do not have the experience to perform.

    October 7, 2009 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  17. Tom in Delaware

    Isn't it funny how when something is organized from the halls of the White House itself it's characterized as 'Grassroots', but when housewives, retirees and millions of other Americans from every walk of life come together in the Tea Party Movement they're called 'Astro-Turf'.

    The people are rightfully fed up with the propoganda and you're going to find out on October 17th...ttfn.

    October 7, 2009 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  18. Tina

    Bad idea.

    October 7, 2009 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  19. mypitts2

    Let's hope his team properly vetted to make sure none of these folks are Polanski/child-rape sympathizers.

    October 7, 2009 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  20. Malia

    Obama is an actor! And Hollywood stars should stay out of politics...

    October 7, 2009 11:01 am at 11:01 am |

    Oh come on...more campaigning at tax payer expense?! Obama, get out of this debate and go to work on so many other fronts. Let's start with unemployment and the 10 million unemployed Americans that need healthcare. Obama, you and your policies, or lack of policies, or ignorance, or hidden communist agenda are a major part of the problem. I don't think you or your Czars have a clue about how to run this country and are spending way too much time, expense, and effort building your "legacy" on this one issue. This is beyond rediculous. Congress and the Senate are on task. What comes in a bill will be what the people want. You sign it and move on. If it's a bill the people don't want and you sign it, the 2010 election revolt will provide the opportunity to change it. Assuming we still have a country that can be saved by then.

    October 7, 2009 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  22. white female

    I am so sick of these people the Party of No and the Cable news group) everytime this Admin. and this President try to do something for the good of this country and it's people, the smear tactics start.

    Tell everything that is about to happen in a negative way, so it want help the President get his agenda done. Please stop it, Enough, get a grip people we need help in this country, with health care , jobs, and so many other things. Those of you who have these jobs, and health care, should stop the bashing, and stop and think if it was you are your love ones who needed help, would you be so negative and hateful. Congress need to get it together, before they all be looking for jobs next term.

    October 7, 2009 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  23. Joey Graham

    Wow, nothing speaks to middle America more than Hollywood elites. I'm sure that a movie star will encourage me to give up my medical freedom.

    October 7, 2009 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  24. Gary's Opinion

    President Obama needs to do less talking and spend less time hob nobbing with celebrities and spend more time figuring out our plan in Afghanistan with his military leaders and our economy with our nations business leaders. This President is becoming something of a joke – – even Saturday Night Live sees this now!

    October 7, 2009 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  25. Sam Sixpack

    The plan:

    Take $500 billion from Medicare and give it to insurance execs.

    Force all poor people to give all they can "afford" to insurance execs.

    Pull the plug on Grandma because Medicare can't "afford" her anymore.

    Deny health care to poor people because they can't afford to pay their huge deductable.

    What's not to like?

    October 7, 2009 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
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