Celebrities and Industries Who Contributed to Obama's Re-Election Campaign
Access for VIPs Only
What celebrities and industries contributed to Obama's re-election campaign in 2012?
We'll eat dessert first, then get to the vegetables later. The fun stuff: which celebrities donated a bunch of money to Obama's reelection campaign? Among the biggest donors -- the ones who gave the $61,600 maximum possible to the Democratic Party -- were will.i.am. Tom Hanks, George Clooney and Wendell Pierce (Bunk from The Wire). The next tier down included Anna Wintour (the inspiration for The Devil Wears Prada), Eva Longoria and James Taylor (they all gave about $30,000).
Some of the cheaper celebrities: Zach Braff ($2,500 to Obama), Scarlet Johannson ($12,000 total) and Adrian Grenier ($5,000 to Obama).
(If you're interested, here's a long list of celebrity donors to Romney's campaign. Some highlights: John Elway, Peyton Manning, Dean Koontz, Kristi Yamaguchi, Alex Rodriguez -- athletes like Republicans apparently).
That was fun, but what really matters is which industries gave to Obama. Some background first.
Remember that Obama trumpeted how his support was coming from small, individual donors in 2008? That wasn't true; some political scientists estimated that donors who contributed $250 or less were only about 10 percent of Obama's then-record total raised in 2008. The fact is this: in 2008, both candidates were funded by the wealthy.
In sharp contrast to endlessly repeated claims that big business was deeply suspicious of the President, our statistical results show that a large and powerful bloc of "industries of the future" -- telecommunications, high tech, computers, and software -- showed essentially equal or higher percentages of support for the President in 2012 than they did for Romney.
The authors note the connection between the NSA surveillance and these contributions. Hmmm? Keeping the President happy? Besides the technology sector, Obama pulled in roughly $25 million from lawyers and law firms in 2012. This is not simply the plaintiff's lawyers -- lawyers as a group are part of that educated, professional class which skews liberal, especially on social issues. Perhaps not surprisingly, in the education sector (including academia), Obama crushed Romney -- the education unions and academia both skew left -- but he lost support from Wall Street/Big Finance to Romney (again, not surprising).
Obama also "won" the healthcare sector, but only by $2 million ($17M for the President, $15M for Romney). The healthcare sector wanted to keep all its options open in case of a Romney win. Obama also benefited from donations from women's rights groups and the entertainment industry. Everyone knows that Hollywood is famously liberal -- no good conservative would ever let you forget that -- and women's rights groups were perhaps a bit more scared of Romney than McCain (though McCain was never a moderate on abortion, until recently).
Yes, you should be depressed. Lobbyists and their money -- and the flexians -- matter more than you, even to President Obama. Remember in 2008, when you painted on all your hopes and dreams about a changed America onto Obama because he was an empty political vessel into which you pour such? Remember not to do that politicians; they will disappoint you.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Houston Press' biggest stories.
- College and NFL Football: Thanksgiving Weekend's Best Bets
Sat., Nov. 28, 2:30pm
Sat., Nov. 28, 7:00pm
Sun., Nov. 29, 12:00pm
Mon., Nov. 30, 7:00pm
- The 10 Best Things About the Holidays in Houston
- Prosecutors: Paxton's Hollow Outrage at "DEFCON 1"