Mirror, mirror on the wall... who's the greenest candidate of all? Ah, if only it were that easy to figure out.
Happily, climate change is a driving political issue for most of 2008's prexy candidates, and thedailygreen.com, along with The League of Conservation Voters (LCV), are dutifully charting the runners and their environmental positions.
So for this presidential election, or at least this week's edition of TGC, let's agree to leave blue states and red states in the background and concentrate more on the green policy makers.
According to LCV stats, eco-topping candidates are (in this order): Barack Obama, Dennis Kucinich and Hillary Clinton.
Moveon.org, however, claims John Edwards is the greenest; more than one-third of the liberal political-action committee warmed to the North Carolina trial lawyer's eco-promises during a virtual town-hall forum.
Although none of the Republican candidates have set forth an environmental plan, the one closest to donning green elephant ears is John McCain, plus he has the approval of Republicans for Environmental Protection.
So which candidates are Hollywood's greenest celebs showering with support dollars and endorsements thus far?
Activist Paul Newman has doled out campaign bucks to Obama, Clinton, Chris Dodd and Bill Richardson, but has yet to name his main candidate. Likewise, Barbra Streisand has slid some dough to Obama, Clinton, Edwards and Dodd, but recently announced that her solid vote is for Hil. "Madame President of the United States -- it's an extraordinary thought," said Babs in her endorsement statement.
Steven Spielberg and Rob Reiner also sit squarely in Clinton's camp, as does activist and longtime Arkansas buddy Mary Steenburgen. Divine Compost Queen Bette Midler has donated to Richardson, Obama and Clinton, but also will give Hillary her vote.
Obama boasts an impressive list of hot green star donors and endorsers including Zach Braff and George Clooney, who said in an ABC interview: "He possesses the one quality that you cannot teach and you can't learn.... He is a leader. He walks into a room and you want to follow him somewhere, anywhere. And...I've only seen that a couple of times in my life."
In a recent interview, BP Solar activist Edward Norton enthused about Obama: "In my adult life there have been so few people in the political spectrum that I have really gotten excited about. I think he's got the goods."
And while on a recent press junket, Matt Damon spilled to MSNBC interviewer Chris Matthews that he'd be keen on Obama as president. And when Damon's BFF Ben Affleck introduced Obama at a Proposition 87 rally in Los Angeles (to raise oil-company taxes to help fund research for alternative energy), he said, "In a short time, [Obama] has already proven himself to be the most galvanizing leader to come out of either party in my opinion in at least a decade and a half, if not more."
The Oprah-backed candidate also has a firm endorsement from Larry David, the Prius-driving creator of "Curb Your Enthusiasm," so it's no surprise that co-stars Cheryl Hines and Jeff Garlin have followed suit. David, stumping for Obama on the Dartmouth campus in New Hampshire, told students: "Haven't we had enough with Bushes and Clintons and Bushes? The country needs a shower -- a good, long, hot shower. That's what Obama is, a hot shower. So fresh you can smell him. Delicious."
Jackson Browne and Bonnie Raitt, co-founders of the 1979 activist group Musicians United for Safe Energy recently campaigned for Edwards. (Browne has also given cash to Obama, while Raitt has contributed to Kucinich).
Sean Penn, who has also donated to Edwards' campaign, threw his sole support behind dark horse Kucinich, saying: "He has been the dominant voice of integrity on issues of trade, labor, education, environment, health, civil liberties, and the one endlessly determined voice of peace." Penn also called Kucinich "the most deserving and noble of candidates, the most experienced in issues of policy and the least willing to play into the politics of personal power."
And for the "He's No President, He Just Plays One On TV" file, actor Dennis Haysbert, who played President David Palmer on Fox's "24," believes his character gave Obama an edge. "As far as the public is concerned," Haysbert tells TV Guide, "it did open up their minds and their hearts a little bit to the notion that if the right man came along -- I do believe Barack Obama is the right man -- that a black man could be President of the United States."
It appears that right now Hollywood is pretty split between Clinton and Obama, and Democrats especially count on star support and cash. But one celebrity public-relations princess they should give up on is Lizzie Grubman. "I am not allowed to vote," said the convicted felon, who served six weeks in jail in 2002 for a Hamptons car mash-up. "A lot of candidates have asked for my help with my contacts, and although I'd love to help, I have to decline. Unless one of them wants to pardon me so I can vote again."
We don't think Grubman will be jumping on the Lincoln bed anytime soon.
BROWN THUMBS DOWN TO...
Writer's Guild strike stalled negotiations: Smack on the heels of California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's proposal to help stave off a billion-dollar state deficit by -- get this -- closing down state parks, Los Angeles is reeling from the financial hit served up by the absent Golden Globes Award Show, some say to the tune of $75 to $100 million. Salon.com's Heather Havrilesky writes: "Even though it sounded a little paranoid a few months ago, the AMPTP's refusal to negotiate looks more and more like a naked ploy to break the back of the unions, starting with the Writers Guild of America."
Photo credit: Wireimage.com, 24 image courtesy of Fox
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