"Most people vote on the basis of candidates themselves," former Sen. John Edwards, D-NC, said Saturday in Concord, New Hampshire, when asked about Oprah Winfrey campaigning for his rival, Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois.
"I don’t think that is a critical part of what’s happening," Edwards said. "People take this very seriously. I don’t think they decide who to vote for based on what movie star is for you."
Edwards may have pooh-poohed the stars hitting the trail, and his campaign may have organized a vaguely Oprah-bashing conference call last week.
But that doesn’t mean he’s above bringing a little celebrity action onto the trail himself. Monday in Des Moines, Iowa, the Edwards campaign will kick off a drive for volunteers to sell their friends and family about the former North Carolina senator.
Called "Six Degrees of John Edwards," the new volunteer drive will offer memorabilia such as policy books and bumper stickers autographed by Edwards, actor Kevin Bacon — after whom the popular "Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon" movie trivia game is named — and actor Tim Robbins to volunteers who complete any one of six actions to help spread the word about Edwards’ campaign, such as bringing six undecided caucus-goers to an Edwards event, or writing six letters to the editor.
Robbins will appear with Edwards in Iowa City, Grinnell, and Des Moines on Wednesday. Bacon will hit the trail Saturday and Sunday in Dubuque, Waterloo, Mason City, and Ames. The star of 1984′s "Footloose" will also perform with a band, though not his own.
Edwards has previously been joined on the trail by singers Jackson Browne, Bonnie Raitt, and actresses Madeleine Stowe and Jean Smart.
After Obama’s Oprah-palooza was scheduled, Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-NY, announced that she would be joined on the trail by her husband the former president, as well as her mother Dorothy and daughter Chelsea, though she said the family’s arrival on the campaign trail had nothing to do with Oprah’s arrival on the trail for her chief rival.