December 9th, 2007
06:39 AM ET
15 years ago

Richardson: I'll have celebrities, too

Richardson said he's fine with celebrities stumping for candidates and added that he'll soon have some of his own.

LAS VEGAS, Nevada (CNN) – As ‘Oprahbama’ fever sweeps Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, Gov. Bill Richardson told reporters in Nevada on Saturday, “Of course celebrities play a role in American culture, and I don’t see any problem in trotting out people that are outside of politics that support your candidacy.”

The announcement that Oprah Winfrey would stump for Sen. Barack Obama ignited a debate over the role of celebrity endorsements in presidential politics. A South Carolina legislator who supports Sen. John Edwards called the Oprah events “publicity stunts,” perhaps unaware that celebrities have hit the trail for her candidate as well.

In Iowa, Sen. Hillary Clinton danced around a direct Oprah question but argued, “At the end of the day it’s a choice among those of us who are running. And I think that most voters understand that.”

Richardson agreed with Clinton, saying, “I think the voters should make up their minds on the qualifications of the candidates,” but admitted to CNN, “I’m going to have a few [celebrities] of my own too.”

- CNN Nevada Producer Alexander Marquardt

soundoff (32 Responses)
  1. henry,newton,iowa

    Talk of copycats!

    December 9, 2007 12:48 am at 12:48 am |
  2. caroll,charlestown,s.c

    Nervous to miss vice presidency? Talk of desperation....Go home Bill!

    December 9, 2007 12:59 am at 12:59 am |
  3. John Degraff

    Sorry Bill, but Carrot Top is not going to help you at the polls. Plus, I here he has links to Balco.

    December 9, 2007 01:16 am at 1:16 am |
  4. mike shelton, yuma, arizona

    If Richardson had any big celebrities behind him they'd already be here. He needs to quit.

    December 9, 2007 01:23 am at 1:23 am |
  5. MidniteRyder Everytown USA

    You know this story just kinda touched my heart for some odd reason?! LOL In this day & age of political cynicism along comes a rather quiet & humble man. Maybe worth looking into.... the little engine that could – just keeps chugging along.

    Clinton/Richardson '08 ??

    December 9, 2007 03:26 am at 3:26 am |
  6. Chris Hassel, Saint Paul, Minnesota

    This is a good man and an experienced leader. He would be a good Democratic nominee for president. He'd win the 2008 election. I only hope we support him.

    December 9, 2007 04:33 am at 4:33 am |
  7. Independent in IA

    And Billdro is frantically looking for some poor schmuck who needs the publicity to engage in his own dog-and-pony show.

    December 9, 2007 07:08 am at 7:08 am |
  8. Alice Newman Center Harbor NH

    But people should ask ... are the crowds there to see Oprah or Obama?

    I hope voters, when looking for quality, will give Richardson a fair chance. I don't want a star or celebrity for president. I want someone who is in it for the country's best interests – not his/her own, or heaven forbid, just for "the party."

    December 9, 2007 08:26 am at 8:26 am |
  9. Desiree, Queens, New York

    I think the use of the celebrities takes away from the real issues.

    December 9, 2007 08:40 am at 8:40 am |
  10. Nando, Palm Coast,FL

    Bill, you can bring out Elvis, you never had or will have a chance to be president.

    December 9, 2007 09:08 am at 9:08 am |
  11. Betty Hooker, Greensboro, North Carolina

    Harry Belafonte spoke eloquently for John Edwards in South Carolina. Those who remember Belafonte's work with Martin Luther King were very moved that this great gentleman came out to endorse John Edwards. Like Danny Glover, who often campaigns with Edwards, I believe Belafonte was speaking as a civil rights and human rights champion, rather than as a celebrity. It is very interesting to me that Edwards endorsers/supporters will go to small and poor towns as well as large venues, and will do as much listening as they do talking.

    December 9, 2007 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  12. Betty H., North Carolina

    This morning CNN showed large portions of Oprah's speech for Obama. I think the story could have been covered without broadcasting Oprah's speech to the nation. Doesn't this kind of coverage encourage all future candidates to try harder to find celebrity endorsers in order to gain this kind of free air time? Do we really want that?

    December 9, 2007 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  13. Chris, Middletown, CT

    Wow...a guy with a 1% share – getting press everyday from the Clinton News Network....she's betting the Dems will look past her ambiguous answers to simple questions (do you support the governor of NYs position to license illegal aliens?? wait...she answered both ways...nice) – now she has her sites focused on pandering to the latino vote...people who support the entitlist left wing baffle me....

    December 9, 2007 10:04 am at 10:04 am |

    Let's see if Martin Sheen can come to this guy's aid. It might increase the viability for them both.

    December 9, 2007 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  15. Philip, Austin, TX

    "In Iowa, Sen. Hillary Clinton danced around a direct Oprah question" ...... when will Madame give us a direct answer about anything? And this is not even about Iran .. it's Orpah!

    December 9, 2007 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  16. chris

    Obama's black and he's got Oprah who is twice as big and black as he is. Who will you get that is twice as stupid as you are?

    Forest Gump?

    December 9, 2007 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  17. Independent in IA

    Just figured it out....he's gonna try to get Howdy Doody to stump for him.

    December 9, 2007 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  18. Ba Gua Zhang, Chico, CA

    "Obama's black ." Actually, 50%. His father is black; mother white. Running only on the black factor is disingenous. He's an American first and foremos. Ditto for those who thrust their Christianity at us first. Let's look at all the candidates that way,
    as Americans.

    December 9, 2007 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  19. Kate, Aurora CO

    Maybe his first "celebrity" endorsement will come from President Felipe Calderon of Mexico. I mean since this candidate does not believe in enforcing the immigration laws and advocates all but an open border. They could work together to help aid all of Mexico's poverty stricken citizens move to America.

    December 9, 2007 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  20. curtis

    "Me, too! Me, too!" shouted little Mikey Huckabee as he tried desperately to be one of the big kids.

    December 9, 2007 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  21. Julie Medford,Oregon

    This is the political year of big money,celebrity endorsements and 1 term senators in the top 3 spots for the democratic party. My friends and family and myself included are instead going to go for substance over hype and pick a candidate who has experience both Foreign and Domestic and most important he does not just talks about our problems, but take action on them, by leading and passing bills with both parties and most important has a exit strategy on the war that makes since.

    December 9, 2007 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  22. TAS West Columbia, SC

    “At the end of the day it’s a choice among those of us who are running. And I think that most voters understand that.” (by Hillary Clinton, yesterday)

    Now if that isn't no(n)sense double-talk Hill-Speak, then I don't know what is.....

    And believe it or not, there ARE folks out there in the electorate, who actually would put someone who talks like this, in the Oval Office.

    I have always been a Democrat, but if SHE's the nominee, I may be looking elsewhere.

    Its NOT that she is female (my doctor and vet are both females). She is simply not qualified to make the Changes we need here in the US. Unless of course you believe that talking out of both sides of her mouth is a qualification...

    The only remote advantage I can see for HER being Pres, is to make sure that the liberals regain control of the Supreme Court.

    Conservatism is lost cause, but like Racism and the rampant use of guns in our society, it still rears its ugly head now and then.

    We -certainly- need to stamp out the conservatives, but NOT with Hillary. Edwards, Obama, Biden, or Richardson... Yes.

    Hillary NOT...

    TAS, one of many liberal Democrats in Columbia, SC.

    December 9, 2007 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  23. john williams san diego, ca.

    Betty Hooker ATTN: Your two heroes 'harry belafonte and danny glover' are pro-Castro, pro-cuba and anti-american and your american hero edwards is a pure fraud but he's got you sold.

    December 9, 2007 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  24. John T, Omaha, NE

    I kind of feel sorry for Richardson. His Latino heritage isn't working for him since there is a well-known female candidate and an African-American candidate in his Democratic party running for the same job. You'd think he could have worked that angle in a bit better, that and his experience as a governor of a border state, and as a diplomat. He's just too low key right now; no one is paying any attention to the man. I haven't heard too many negative things about him, but to be honest, I haven't heard much of ANYTHING about him or his beliefs. It's too bad that the Dems may have a very viable candidate sneaking under their noses because of his lackluster media coverage. But is the media to blame, or should Richardson have done something different?

    December 9, 2007 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  25. Val Davydov, Agawam, MA

    I agree with john williams san diego, ca completely. The two "heroes" hate America.

    December 9, 2007 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
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