Hanoi Jane backs Obama
posted at 9:20 pm on April 2, 2008 by Ed Morrissey
Good news or bad news? Jane Fonda, the anti-war activist that some believe should have been tried for treason for her propaganda efforts on behalf of the North Vietnamese government, told reporters that she backs Barack Obama in the presidential race:
Jane Fonda, the actress and ardent anti-Vietnam war advocate who visited North Vietnam during those hostilities, has endorsed Democrat Barack Obama for president.
There were no formal ceremonies for the endorsement. In fact, the Obama campaign may just be learning about the actress’s approval now as word spreads like lit gunpowder via the Internet. …
Many people question the value of celebrity endorsements, whether they actually attract anything other than simply more publicity, not to mention votes. The imprimatur of Fonda, who’s been an antiwar activist for decades, certainly supports Obama’s anti-war credentials.
Less examined is whether some celebrity endorsements may actually cost a candidate votes. This could be one of those less desirable votes for part of the country, especially if Obama was hoping to attract some crossover Republicans if he’s the Democratic candidate come fall.
On the plus side, it brings Hollywood closer to the likely Democratic nominee. On the minus side, it helps paint Barack Obama as a far-left candidate, and suggests that his flirtation with William Ayers and Bernadette Dohrn wasn’t just a one-off brush with radicalism. Overall, this may be a public endorsement that Obama might not promote too heavily.
In fact, Obama’s campaign will probably keep their heads down and hope this passes quickly. McCain’s narrative as a Vietnam War POW who suffered torture while Fonda gave his captors photo-ops will resonate even further if she takes to the stump on Obama’s behalf. Her presence would draw connections between Obama’s anti-war supporters and the radicals — like Ayers and Dohrn — of Fonda’s generation. While that might thrill the MoveOn crowd, it will likely lose Obama the heartland, independents, and centrists who will balk at that kind of radicalism, especially while the more moderate option in McCain is available.
Some might be surprised that Fonda didn’t support Hillary Clinton in gender solidarity. Hillary, in this one case, probably isn’t among them, but instead relieved to avoid Fonda’s baggage.
Let’s see if this falls into the newshole after this news cycle. If Team Obama mentions this after tomorrow, then they’re not as clever as people think. As for McCain, he will welcome the chance to go after Fonda and all she represents.