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The show biz of politics

Pop culture Mitt Romney introduced Big Bird pop culture electicampaign after first presidential debate.  | AP

Pop culture Mitt Romney introduced Big Bird to the pop culture election campaign after the first presidential debate. | AP

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Updated: November 11, 2012 6:17AM



So much of show business is politics and so much of politics is show business, it was only a matter of time before the lines were practically erased.

From Richard Nixon meeting with Elvis to discuss a “federal agent at large” position for the King in 1970 to Ronald Reagan welcoming Michael Jackson to the White House in 1984 to Bill Clinton blowing the saxophone on the “Arsenio Hall Show” in 1992 to Oprah Winfrey giving a speech anointing Barack Obama as “The One” in 2007 to Clint Eastwood talking to an empty chair in 2012, there’s a long history of presidents and/or candidates and pop culture.

But in the immortal words of the late John Wayne, it’s getting to be re-bleep-bleep-diculous.

In just the last week
or so, we’ve seen more
stories about the
campaigns of President Obama or Mitt Romney meshing with the entertainment world than we used to see in an entire presidential campaign.

We’ve been Big Birded to death by now, but let’s not forget Obama’s wish-eyed response a couple of days later. (Wish-eyed as in, “Wish I’d thought of that the other night!”)

At a rain-soaked rally in Cleveland, the president said, “My opponent was doing … a little tap dance at the debate … it was like ‘Dancing with the Stars.’ Or maybe it was ‘Extreme Makeover, Debate Edition.’ ”

One could almost see Obama’s speech team Googling around for just the right shows to reference to zing Romney.

They should have kept Googling.

Katy Perry vs. Kid Rock

Before taking the stage to perform at a fundraiser for President Obama in Los Angeles last Sunday night, Katy Perry painted images of the president and red-white-and-blue donkeys on her nails. One of the numbers Perry did was a cover of Al Green’s “Let’s Stay Together”— which the president sampled at the Apollo Theater in Harlem last January.

The day after the
star-studded fundraiser
for Obama, Kid Rock
introduced GOP vice
presidential candidate
Paul Ryan at a rally in Rochester, Mich.

“It is a little difficult to put myself in this position knowing it may alienate a few fans, but … I really believe strongly that it’s OK to disagree on politics and the direction of our country without hating one another,” said Rock, and three cheers for that.

The headline on a CBS News story about Rock’s Republican leanings means Rock “Risks Alienating Fans,” but does he really? As a card-carrying member of the Elite Liberal Media, I gotta say when I’m watching Clint Eastwood bantering with Amy Adams in “Trouble With the Curve” or I’m working out to Kid Rock’s “Bawitdaba,” I couldn’t give a bleep cahoot about their political leanings.

The Dash to November

The actress Stacey “Clueless” Dash (that’s not her nickname, that’s a movie she was in) recently posted a photo of herself in a tight red tank top in front of an American flag, along with this caption: “Vote for Romney. The only choice for your future.”

Now there’s a bit of an upset: An African-American actress who once shed her clothes for Playboy is all about the Mormon Republican. Good for Ms. Dash for having the fortitude to speak her mind, knowing it goes against the Hollywood tidal wave of support for Obama.

And we just sigh when we hear Dash received a barrage of negative comments on Twitter, including some racist remarks from clueless dimwits. Not surprising, but still sad.

Meanwhile, Jon Stewart is debating Bill O’Reilly, that Octomom person is debating Michael Lohan (!), and Snoop Dogg is sharing “Why I’m Not Voting for Romney” (“B---- got a dancing horse”) and “Why I’m Voting for Obama” (“He smokes Newports”). Three of the nine reasons not to vote for Romney: His name is Mitt.

This from a guy who recently changed his name from Snoop Dogg to Snoop Lion.

Of course, the candidates don’t control all of this nonsense, but my unsolicited advice for both of them for the home stretch would be to refrain from any more glittery fundraisers and tell their celebrity friends to cool it. Even as a Pop Culture Guy, I’m getting pop cultured to death in this election.

I feel as if we’re a week away from Obama making a “Honey Boo Boo” joke, Biden doing a cameo on “Homeland,” Ryan making a viral video with Hank Williams Jr. and Romney changing his slogan to “America’s Got Talent.”

And even if all four of those things happened, we’d hardly blink.



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