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Celebrity Endorsements: What Happens When Reality TV And Politics Collide

Filed by KOSU News in Politics.
January 9, 2012

On a day where Newt Gingrich picked up the endorsement of former “first dude” Todd Palin of Alaska, there are plenty of other celebrity endorsements to go around.

While Sarah Palin has not endorsed any presidential candidate this election season, ABC News and other media outlets report her husband and former reality TV hopeful, Todd, did just that, saying Gingrich has shown he’s a political survivor.

Todd is not the only celebrity husband to pick a side.

Reality TV star Jim Bob Duggar showed up in Iowa in support of Rick Santorum.

“He’s somebody that believes in lower taxes, less government intervention in our lives. He’s somebody that stands for what’s right and we’re just behind him 100 percent,” Dugger told a blogger in Iowa.

Duggar’s wife, Michelle also created a video supporting the former Pennsylvania senator, posting it on their family’s blog.

The parents of “19 Kids and Counting,” which is also the name of their TLC reality show, say they like the strong religious faith of the former Pennsylvania senator.

Now, Duggar is not a political novice, he went public with his support for Mike Huckabee in 2008.

But some of his fellow celebrity endorsers are new to the game. Kelly Clarkson found herself in the political spotlight for a tweet endorsing Ron Paul.

“I was like sitting at home with my brother watching Leno… and I was like, ‘Man, I like this dude.’ I liked him the last time around… All the stuff he’s going for, regardless the topic, he’s all for states’ rights. And I think that that’s very important,” Clarkson told NPR’s Guy Raz.

Libertarian Ron Paul, in fact, is feeling a lot of love from Hollywood types. Or make that Carson City, Nev. types.

“What I like about Ron Paul is… the fact that he can recognize that what works for one person in their own individual community is not what is going to work blanketed across the entire country,” said Cami Parker, star of HBO’s “Cathouse” series.

Parker and her colleagues, who work at a legal brothel in Nevada, launched a “Pimpin’ for Paul” campaign.

“Any customer who comes into the Bunny Ranch who says, ‘I’m Pimpin’ for Paul’ gets a great discount off his party. There’s over 500 girls licensed here and we all vote as a block. So we’re hoping that people will listen to us because we do have a voice,” said Parker.

Meanwhile, singer Kid Rock is keeping his options open.

He’s allowed Mitt Romney to use his tune “Born Free” as a campaign anthem.

But, Kid Rock said on his blog, that doesn’t mean he’s endorsing Romney — he’d let any candidate use the song.

Though he did say any candidate bold enough to adopt another song of his — “So Hott” — has a good shot at winning his vote. [Copyright 2012 National Public Radio]

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