Four years ago liberals in Hollywood couldn’t seem to get enough of Barack Obama. From George Clooney calling Obama “the best candidate he’s ever seen” to Oprah declaring that he was “The One,” the soon to be president was a genuine star.
Today it looks more like Obama will be “one and done” as his star fades in Hollywood and elsewhere around the country.
One of the more vocal critics has been actor Matt Damon who was an ardent Obama supporter in 2008 but made his disappointment known publicly last year when he told Piers Morgan that while he thinks Obama is a “brilliant man,” he had “misinterpreted his mandate” by bowing to corporate America.
Damon went a little further in a recent interview in Elle magazine in which he spoke about his conversations with Occupy Wall Street protesters and how they now feel about Obama.
“I’ve talked to a lot of people who worked for Obama at the grassroots level. One of them said to me, ‘Never again. I will never be fooled again by a politician,’” Damon says, his disappointment ringing with a now-familiar tone of wounded idealism. “You know, a one-term president with some balls who actually got stuff done would have been, in the long run of the country, much better.”
And Damon isn’t the only disenchanted Hollywood liberal.
As CNN reported in October, singers Melissa Etheridge and Harry Belafonte are also disappointed with Obama’s performance to date, with Belafonte saying that it was “almost criminal” for the President to listen to the “reckless right-wing voices” that shout the loudest.
Losing a few supporters in Hollywood won’t hurt Obama’s efforts to raise money, as recent fundraisers attest, but it does underscore the enthusiasm gap that has developed with a core constituency.
If Damon and other popular stars are no longer enthusiastic about Obama, that could easily trickle down to the young adults who were so crucial to Obama’s victory in 2008 and will be needed again this year if he is to win re-election.
Hollywood will no doubt remain firmly in the Obama camp this year, but he is clearly not the rock star he was just four years ago, which even the liberal media are beginning to admit.