En­dorsed by a celebrity? Then you prob­a­bly lost

The Star Democrat - - OPINION - RICK KOLLINGER

I have al­ways been sus­pi­cious of po­lit­i­cal en­dorse­ments. The news­pa­pers are filled with let­ters from peo­ple en­dors­ing one can­di­date or an­other, usu­ally Democrats en­dors­ing Democrats and Repub­li­cans en­dors­ing Repub­li­cans, hardly shock­ing. Some­times peo­ple en­dorse one can­di­date by trash­ing their op­po­nent. I don’t know if this works or not; in fact, I have a the­ory that the more let­ters that are for a can­di­date or po­si­tion, the least likely it is that they will win. This is based on the KDT (Kollinger Dis­like Theor y), which is that while you may like the can­di­date, the odds are (the more that are writ­ten in) that you will not like one of their en­dorsees.

Celebrity en­dorse­ments al­ways make news, although I’m not sure ex­actly why. A movie or rock star who may or may not have fin­ished high school and makes their liv­ing ei­ther im­per­son­at­ing oth­ers or rhyming words doesn’t seem to have a lot in com­mon with me, nor do they seem po­lit­i­cally as­tute. But let’s look at some of this year’s en­dorse­ments by celebri­ties and see how they did.

Oprah Win­frey went to Ge­or­gia to en­dorse Stacey Abrams for gover­nor. She spoke at events for her and knocked on doors. Abrams lost.

John Leg­end, the singer, said of Abrams, “She’s an awe­some woman, an awe­some leader, and an awe­some politi­cian.” But ap­par­ently not enough to win.

Amy Schumer, the come­di­enne, took a more na­tional view and sup­ported Abrams in Ge­or­gia (lost), Gil­lum in Florida (lost), Bre­desen in Ten­nesee (lost) and Gil­li­brand in New York (won). A win­ning per­cent­age of 25 per­cent, not even good enough to man­age the Ori­oles.

Which was the same per­cent­age as T.I. (I don’t know who this is, but ap­par­ently he’s a celebrity.) T.I. en­dorsed Abrams (lost), Gil­lum (lost), Jeal­ous (lost) and Ayana Press­ley in Maine, who won.

Tay­lor Swift did a lit­tle bet­ter. She en­dorsed Bre­desen and Cooper in Ten­nessee. Bre­desen lost, but Cooper won, giv­ing the singer a 50 per­cent win­ning per­cent­age.

Which was bet­ter than co­me­dian Dave Chap­pelle, who en­dorsed Ben Jeal­ous for gover­nor of Mary­land, go­ing so far as to knock on doors to con­vince vot­ers to go with his guy. It didn’t work as Jeal­ous got ham­mered by in­cum­bent Larry Ho­gan. Meek Mill was one for one when he en­dorsed Gover­nor Tom Wolf of Penn­syl­va­nia. He liked Wolf’s po­si­tion on prison re­form, which Meek Mill is ap­par­ently fa­mil­iar. I don’t know who Meek Mill is.

Cher was zero for one when she en­dorsed Na­tive Amer­i­can Paulette Jor­dan for gover­nor of Idaho.

An­drew Gil­lum lost in his bid to be the first African-Amer­i­can gover­nor of Florida. This de­spite be­ing en­dorsed by Ri­hanna, DJ Khaled, Diddy, T.I. and Amy Schumer.

In Texas, Beto O’Rourke, who was a fa­vorite of the na­tional me­dia and who raised $ 40 mil­lion, lost in his Se­nate race to Ted Cruz. Beto had been en­dorsed by LeBron James. Un­be­liev­ably, Beto lost af­ter be­ing en­dorsed by Wil­lie Nel­son. In Texas.

Strangely, com­pa­nies hire th­ese same peo­ple to help them sell their prod­ucts.

Lo­cally, Wayne Gilchrest en­dorsed Jesse Colvin, en­sur­ing his crush­ing de­feat at the hands of Andy Har­ris. Wayne has be­come the Typhoid Mary of po­lit­i­cal en­dorse­ments.

I wait un­til af­ter the elec­tions to en­dorse can­di­dates, and to let them know I’ve al­ways been there for them.

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