2008 Democratic Candidates Tap Hollywood Cash

After a firestorm of controversy, Washington was fired in June from his role as a surgeon on the show.

In the first quarter, Obama received donations from high-profile Hollywood stars such Jennifer Aniston, who gave him $2,300. Obama also took in $2,300 in the first quarter from actors Ed Norton; Eddie Murphy; Morgan Freeman; Zach Braff; Joy Bryant; Gabrielle Union; Gene Wilder; Leonard Nimoy; Rosanna Arquette; Angela Bassett; Spielberg's wife, Kate Capshaw; Foster; and actress Jamie Gertz, among others.

Are Obama's Early Donors Turning to Clinton?

But while Obama continued to bank Hollywood bucks, it's notable that some of the biggest names on the roster of first-quarter Obama donors began funneling money to the Clinton campaign in the recently completed second quarter.

Oscar-winning actor Tom Hanks, "Spiderman" actor Tobey Maguire and Ben Stiller of "Meet the Fockers" and "Dodgeball" all donated to Obama in the first quarter but are now giving money to Clinton.

Hanks, a double Oscar winner for his performances in "Forrest Gump" and "Philadelphia," and his wife, Rita Wilson, both gave $2,300 to Clinton in the second quarter.

Last quarter Hanks gave $4,600 to Obama's campaign, maxing out for both the primary and the general election.

"Hollywood is a place that is very cognizant and conscious of whether there is a second act or a sequel," said Lehane, a former Clinton White House staffer. Lehane suggested while Hollywood types were initially dazzled by Obama, they may fear his luster will fade like so many Tinseltown one-hit wonders.

Maguire and Stiller are both giving more money now to Clinton than they gave to Obama earlier in the campaign.

Maguire gave $2,300 to Obama in the first quarter, and followed that with $4,600, the maximum donation to Clinton in the second quarter, according to the ABC News analysis.

Stiller, who starred with actress Cameron Diaz in the movie "There's Something About Mary," gave $6,900 to Clinton in the second quarter, which is considered a joint donation from him and his wife, actress Christine Taylor. Stiller also gave the maximum individual contribution of $4,600 to former Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina in the second quarter. Stiller gave $2,300 to Obama in the first quarter, but nothing in the second quarter.

"They are particularly attuned to the notion that a successful presidential candidate, like a successful actor or director, needs more than just a great introduction or a great opening act," said Lehane. "That's not to say that Obama will not give people an equally stirring sequel to his first act, but people have yet to see that yet."

Clinton Attracts Tom Hanks, Tobey Maguire, Paul Newman and Danny DeVito

Lehane suggested actors, actresses and directors had been closely watching the debates and liked Clinton's strong performances.

"These people evaluate performances as part of their life," said Lehane, "and she's done extremely well over the course of the debates and that's generated a strong second wave of support for her in the second quarter."

Clinton attracted second-quarter financial support from Paul Newman and his wife, Joanne Woodward, who each gave the $4,600 maximum. Woodward also gave Obama $4,600 in the second quarter.

  • 1
  • |
  • 2
  • |
  • 3
  • |
  • 4
Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
You Might Also Like...