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Edwards gets some celebrity help

November 19, 2007 | 11:28 am

Amid the perennial and much-publicized efforts by various presidential campaigns to attract young people to their banners, Democrat John Edwards is not neglecting the baby boomers.  He is hitting the road in Iowa (where else) with two members of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame who have long mixed their music with politics: Jackson Browne and Bonnie Raitt.

Browne, 59, and Raitt, 58, were campaigning today in Davenport, Iowa City and Cedar Rapids with their preferred -- and younger -- candidate (Edwards is 54).  On Tuesday, the trio are to appear in Grinnell and Des Moines.  According to Edwards' website, the events include performances by the two musicians.

We remain skeptical that celebrity endorsements translate into actual votes, even when entertainment is included.  But at the least, we suppose the Edwards camp may generate some goodwill for itself by offering a chance for Iowans closing in on retirement to briefly relive the halcyon days of their youth.

Also playing the celebrity card -- with a vengeance -- in Iowa these days is Mike Huckabee.  The Republican presidential contender earned a fair amount of attention when Chuck Norris signed up as a backer; now, the actor with the quintessential tough-guy persona is spotlighted in Huckabee's first television ad.

Huckabee has used humor as a major element in his bid to rise from a long shot to a top-tier candidate, and this ad is no exception.  It begins with Huckabee saying: "My plan is secure the border. Two words. Chuck Norris." (You can see the rest of it here.)

Huckabee was candid when asked on "Fox News Sunday" whether he thought the ad would boost his support.  "Oh, it probably doesn't convince anybody.  The spots we'll run next week will start doing that."  And he added: "What we want to do is to, first of all, show that running for president is serious business but that a person ought to have a little fun doing it. And so we're going to have some fun."

-- Don Frederick