Posted by Mary
The candidates are reaping lots of endorsements, with celebrities and public figures coming forward with who they are backing and why. John Kerry has gained the support of Senator Ted Kennedy and former ambassor Joe Wilson. Besides Madonna and Michael Moore, Wesley Clark is also backed by Sherron Watkins, the whistleblower in the Enron scandal, Alan Alda and Christopher Guest. In addition to the extensive Union backing, Gephardt claims the support of such celebrities as Chevy Chase and Barry Manilow.
Yet Howard Dean is still winning in the celebrity endorsements having some of the top political names (Al Gore and Iowa Senator Tom Harkin) and some of the cream of the liberal Hollywood celebrities including Paul Newman (who is a strong backer of the Nation), Martin Sheen, Robin Williams and Susan Saradon. This week he scored some top environmentalists backing from Bruce Babbitt, Paul Hawkins, Bill McKibben and Terrie Tempest Williams. They've cowritten an article explaining their decision.
From their article:
But with the unprecedented Dean campaign, we sense a new possibility for a deeper democracy. This campaign has come from nowhere -- not with spin, not with TV commercial blitzes, not with focus groups and catchy slogans. It's come through the sheer hard work and devotion of hundreds of thousands of Americans, a political force like nothing we've seen in many years. Just consider the amazing fact that he has raised more than $40 million, and that the average contribution is under a hundred bucks. That speaks volumes about the new chapter he's writing in American politics.
And imagine what it would mean to have a president who offered real attention not to the high and mighty, but to normal people with normal problems. For environmentalists, it would mean that the natural tendency of people to support a healthy planet for the sake of their children might finally prevail. Poll after poll shows that our fellow citizens consider global warming a serious problem; that we want more wilderness and protected land; that we favor protecting small farmers, not corporate agribusiness giants; that we're sick and tired of acid rain and mercury pollution; that we can't stand the constantly growing epidemic of childhood asthma. We want windmills and solar panels; we want abundant, enduring fisheries and forests. And we want international cooperation to solve the truly global problems like climate change that threaten every town and every business.