Entries in Campaign (478)


'Hick' Ad Actor: 'Don’t Tase Me, Bro'

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(NEW YORK) -- The Republican attack ad that sought out the “'hicky' blue collar look” for actors to play “real” West Virginians has placed a spotlight on a common practice in the campaign advertising world – or, at least, what had been common practice before this story emerged.

One of the actors in that ad, Damian Muziani, told ABC News Monday that the attention on his role in the ad has been good for his own business.  However, he expressed fear that politicians will shy away from using professional actors in future campaign commercials. 

“I can't speak for all actors, but I seem to be the focal point for this hot button topic of theatrical politics.  So on behalf of all actors, ‘Don't tase me, bro,’ ” Muziani told us.

“You're still looking at an item -- you're looking at a product that a candidate is trying to sell.  So when you go to a drug store and buy a birthday card for your mom, your mom's not going to look at that card and say, 'Oh, I love the author of this card so much.' No. She's going to say, 'My son loves me.'”

“And that's what actors are supposed to do,” Muziani continued. “[Gov. Joe] Manchin put out a commercial, saying 'they hired Philadelphia actors to pretend to be West Virginians.'  So I guess Joe Manchin would rather have real West Virginian actors ripping him on camera.  Is that any better?”

Muziani also backed up the National Republican Senatorial Committee’s assertion that they had nothing to do with the criteria for finding actors for the spot.  The language asking for a “hicky” look was only in the “booking sheet,” Muziani said, which was produced by an outside talent agency that was not directly hired by national Republicans.

Muziani didn’t share his own political views, but he did express sympathy for President Obama’s current predicament.

“On a broader scope, my opinion is I don't know if the condition of the country is such that Barack Obama would be able to fix so many things in such a short period of time.  So on one hand it's easy to say, you know, I'm kind of disappointed half-way into the term.  On the other hand, I have to think, I don't know who would've done better.  I don't know where we would've been with someone else. I know things were bad and they're still really bad.”

“That's why getting work is very, very important for everyone – and, of course, the actor,” Muziani added.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Obama Fundraiser To Co-Chair Rahm Emanuel Mayoral Campaign

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(CHICAGO) -- Mellody Hobson, a notable local fundraiser for President Obama, confirmed Thursday that she would co-chair Rahm Emanuel's campaign for mayor of Chicago. 

"Rahm has been a friend of mine for many years.  I think he's very, very capable," Hobson told Greg Hinz, a blogger for 

Hobson, who currently is head of the Office of Business Liaison for the U.S. Department of Commerce, has gained national recognition for her expertise in financial literacy, investor education and civic engagement.

Sources say Hobson's role in Emanuel's campaign will be more than just fundraiser.  Hinz says Jordan Kaplan, a fundraiser for the president's 2008 campaign, will be assisting Hobson along with Anne Olaimey -- a fundraiser from Emanuel's time in Congress -- who will serve as finance director.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Teaming Up: The President and First Lady to Campaign Together

Photo Caption - The White House | Pete Souza(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama and the first lady will hit the campaign trail together next weekend, the White House announced Thursday, the first time the Obama duo has been out on the campaign trail together this midterm election cycle.

During Thursday afternoon’s daily White House briefing, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs announced that on Sunday, Oct. 17, the president and the first lady will attend a fundraiser for Ohio Democratic Gov. Ted Strickland. The Ohio governor is fighting for re-election in a tight race against Republican John Kasich.  Afterward, the president and the first lady will travel to Columbus, Ohio for one in a series of big rallies hosted by the Democratic National Committee.

With less than a month until the Nov. 2nd elections, the president has been out campaigning for Democratic candidates in order to minimize losses in November.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Tea Party Fever Means Big Cash from Small Donors

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- In a year of record-setting campaign fundraising and spending, driven largely by contributions from corporations, unions, third-party groups and dozens of self-financed millionaire candidates, the small-scale individual donor is also proving to be a formidable force.

A snapshot of Federal Election Commission (FEC) campaign finance data compiled by the nonpartisan Campaign Finance Institute, and reviewed by ABC News, shows that of the more than $731 million raised so far by more than a thousand candidates for the U.S. House, nearly 10 percent came from donors giving no more than $200 total.

Candidates in races involving high-profile Tea Party-endorsed candidates, some of whom have a virtual lock on re-election, top the list of grassroots fundraisers.

The findings offer a striking illustration of the political engagement sparked by the Tea Party this election season and demonstrate that the recession has not diminished small-scale political fundraising in many congressional races.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Obama at Fundraiser: 'People...Can Make a Difference'

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- In twin Democratic fundraisers in Washington, President Obama helped the party raise an estimated $1.75 million as he urged the party's faithful to get energized for the congressional elections in which Democrats could lose significant majorities.

“This was never going to be easy,” the president told 50 donors at a candlelit dinner in the home of his former aide, Linda Douglass. “When people come together, they can make a difference. You can see them get a little more pep in their step."

He scoffed at critics who claim his recent rally in Wisconsin didn’t show the same degree of enthusiasm he drew in his campaign.

The president urged the donors who contributed as much as $34,000 each to the Democratic Party not to rest between now and Election Day, Nov. 2.

“You can rest Nov. 3,” he said.

At the night's second event, 3,000 young people crowded into DAR Constitution Hall for what the party called a Gen44 Summit concert, with tickets as low as $44.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Obama And Biden Give Campaigning 'The Old College Try'

Photo Courtesy -- Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden are going back to school this week. Obama travels to Madison, Wisconsin on Tuesday to headline a rally at the University of Wisconsin while Biden heads to Penn State to fire up voters -- particularly the younger crowd -- in the two key battleground states.  Why the emphasis on this segment of the electorate?  A recent ABC News/Washington Post poll found that only 55 percent of 18 to 28-year-old voters said they were “absolutely certain” to go to the polls this fall, compared to 78 percent of the 50 to 64-year-old crowd and 77 percent of those over 65.  As former Obama campaign manager and midterm election strategist, David Plouffe, told the Post’s Philip Rucker and Anne E. Kornblut: "A lot of these voters feel very strongly about the president, but still a lot of them aren't showing enough predilection to vote.” Plouffe also previewed the president’s speech on Tuesday: “When Obama steps onto a grass quad at the University of Wisconsin on Tuesday, he will deliver a newly tailored, more personalized campaign appeal aimed at ginning up enthusiasm, according to White House and senior Democratic officials. Plouffe said Obama will remind students of the work they put into his 2008 campaign and warn them that if they don't reengage now, ‘all that could be jeopardized.’” On Monday, the president will also host an on the record telephone briefing with college student journalists. 

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Bill Clinton Hits Campaign Trail for Democrats

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- Former president Bill Clinton says Democrats are not yet putting up a good fight. He was on the campaign trail this weekend, playing defense deep in home territory, where, in a typical election year, Democrats would be leading comfortably: the solid-blue states of Massachusetts and Connecticut.

Clinton is campaigning for longtime politicians, including Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, a Senate hopeful, and 30-year Massachusetts Rep. Barney Frank, who crushed his last opponent. In three earlier races, the Republicans ran no one against Frank. Now, the president's point-man on the banking bailout is also on the endangered list.

Also on the campaign trail Tuesday will be campaigner-in-chief President Obama in Wisconsin and Vice President Joe Biden at Penn State. Next month, Democrats bring out the most popular resident of the White House: first lady Michelle Obama.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Michelle Obama To Hit the Campaign Trail

(WASHINGTON) -- Nicknamed “the closer” by her husband in the 2008 presidential campaign, Mrs. Obama will try to live up to her nickname as she hits the campaign trail starting October 13th in the lead-up to the midterm elections.  The First Lady will campaign, and raise money at fundraisers, for Senator Russ Feingold in Wisconsin, Alexi Giannoulias, Representative Debbie Halvorson, Dan Seals, and Bill Foster in Illinois, Senator Michael Bennet in Colorado, Senator Patty Murray in Washington, and Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senator Barbara Boxer in California. Additionally, she will speak at two fundraising dinners for the Women’s Leadership Forum within the Democratic National Committee in New York and California.  Expect Mrs. Obama to echo themes she spoke about in the 2008 presidential election, and to highlight the change that the country has seen under her husband’s administration and Democratic control.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio.  Image Courtesy: The White House

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