New Hampshire Primary: Michael J Fox, Kevin Costner join celebs to add star power to Democrats after Iowa fiasco

New Hampshire Primary: Michael J Fox, Kevin Costner join celebs to add star power to Democrats after Iowa fiasco
(Getty Images)

After a less-than-impressive show in Iowa where the caucuses marked the beginning of the primary season of the 2020 presidential election, the Democratic Party is now hoping to put up a more convincing show in New Hampshire where the first primary will be held on Tuesday. The final results in Iowa showed up a close result with former South Bend mayor Pete Buttigieg beating Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders narrowly to become the topper. 

The Democratic candidates have now put all their focus on the Granite State where they cannot afford to deliver anything ordinary. But since the Democratic stage is too crowded and divided, it is not easy for any of the candidates to dominate the field overwhelmingly. On the other hand, President Donald Trump has made it even more challenging after his acquittal in the recent impeachment trial. 

To beat the odds, the leading Democratic candidates have now leaned towards the glam factor and roped in celebrity sidekicks to boost their respective chances in the New Hampshire Primary. 


Actress Cynthia Nixon speaks to the crowd before the arrival of Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) for his campaign event at the Franklin Pierce University on February 10, 2020, in Rindge, New Hampshire. (Getty Images)

In the run-up to the big test in the Granite State, Sanders’ campaign was aided by Cynthia Nixon of ‘Sex and the City’ fame. Buttigieg’s campaign, on the other hand, saw the attendance of actor Kevin Costner. Besides, actors Tim Robbins and Michael J Fox have also toured the state in support of Sanders and Buttigieg, respectively, the report added. Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren has also tried the same path by benefiting from the presence of Ashley Judd, an actor known to be politically active. 
The campaigns have sent the celebrities out on solo missions and they've played the role of opener for the candidates.

The glam factor

Sanders had the company of two celebrities on Sunday and Monday to boost his campaign in New Hampshire, a state that he had comprehensively won in 2016, beating former secretary of state Hillary Clinton. On the first day, it was Robbins who officially endorsed Sanders as his presidential preference at a California rally in December. There, he joined Sanders along with firebrand left Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who has also endorsed Sanders. Robbins said he backed Sanders for he thought he has the “broadest coalition”. 
On Monday, Nixon joined Sanders’ party. The 53-year-old, who ran for the post of New York’s governor in 2018 but lost to incumbent Andrew Cuomo, has also endorsed the Vermont senator recently. “I want Bernie because I know he's for me, but I want Bernie even more because I know he's for all of us,” she said. On Monday, however, Nixon said to an audience comprising Sanders’ supporters that she had supported Hillary in the 2016 election while asking Sanders’ supporters to stop booing him, Daily Mail reported. She said she backed Hillary because she is a woman but added that she also loved what Sanders had said. She also said that Sanders is the best person this year to beat President Trump. 

On Saturday, Fox called Buttigieg a “very stable Rhodes scholar” while mocking Trump’s certifying himself as “a very stable genius”. 

“That's what the ‘J’ stands for,” Fox joked, taking a dig at the president’s bizarre takes on words at times. 


Democratic presidential candidate former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg greets actor Michael J. Fox after Fox introduced the candidate at a Get Out the Vote rally February 8, 2020, in Keene, New Hampshire. (Getty Images)

On Monday, Costner, 65, who endorsed Buttigieg in December, added to the glam appeal to the latter’s campaign event in Nashua. 

Judd, one of the first accusers of Harvey Weinstein, has done a number of solo campaigns for Warren in New Hampshire. According to Salon, she told an audience in North Hampton: “This is the most euphoric I have ever been to support the candidate.”

She praised Warren saying she not only studies why American families go bankrupt but also does something about it. 

Former vice president Joe Biden, whose campaign looks to be in a poor shape at the moment, hasn’t roped in stars as he battles for the nomination. He has had the presence of Olympic medal-winning skater Michelle Kwan on his campaign trail in Iowa and New Hampshire, but the 39-year-old is now known more for political reasons, thanks to her work in the State Department and role in Hillary’s presidential campaign four years ago. Biden, however, has had a number of Hollywood donors, as per the FEC records on 

Andrew Yang, who finished a distant sixth in the Iowa Caucuses and spoke in the Democratic debate on February 7, has had a number of endorsements from celebrities but did not make use of them in New Hampshire. 


Dems need a push

Roping in celebrity faces to give a push to election campaigns is not something new. It is an easy way to grab attention. But through their efforts towards gaining endorsements from celebrity figures, the top Democratic candidates are conveying the message that they need to produce something special to take on the Trump phenomenon.

Politically, it is becoming very challenging for even the best of the Democratic candidates to deal with Trump, thanks to a great many factors. The mess at the Iowa Caucuses; Trump’s acquittal in the impeachment trial and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s controversial act of ripping up the copies of the president’s State of the Union speech last week have hurt the Dems’ approval rating.

And with the primary season having started already, all the competing candidates of the party know very well that policies and plans would be less effective now. That leaves them to take a more easier route to boost their ratings faster. And it is through securing celebrities’ endorsements.


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 Top Democratic presidential candidates rope in celebrities to boost campaigns New Hampshire Primary