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Stars Who Don't Have Money on This Race

A-List Celebrities Often Give Time, But Not Cash

Oprah Winfrey campaigned with Barack and Michelle Obama in South Carolina, which she says is more valuable to him than her money.
Oprah Winfrey campaigned with Barack and Michelle Obama in South Carolina, which she says is more valuable to him than her money. (By Linda Davidson -- The Washington Post)
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Sunday, February 3, 2008; Page M14

Whither Hulk Hogan's money? The Hulk came out swinging (faux-body slamming?) for Barack Obama earlier this week, but according to FEC records, he hasn't donated a dime to the Illinois senator's campaign.

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Ditto for Danny Glover and Tim Robbins, who stumped for John Edwards but didn't donate any dough. Even the blessed Oprah Winfrey, worth an estimated $1.5 billion, couldn't be bothered to max out her contribution to favorite thing Barack Obama; she ponied up $2,300 for the primaries but zilch for the general election.

Call it another variation on "My presence is my present," the code by which the swagged-out celebrity lives -- and what A-Lister even brings a wallet to a restaurant these days? When Winfrey first parked herself in the Obama camp, she told Larry King, "My money isn't going to make any difference. My value to him -- my support of him -- is probably worth more than any other check that I could write."

Which might explain why Donny and Marie Osmond sing Mitt Romney's praises but don't open their wallets, why Bo Derek liked Rudy Giuliani enough to host his $2,000-a-plate fundraiser but not enough to write her own check and why porn star Jenna Jameson "loves Hillary" but hasn't put her money where her mouth is.

Actually, that's probably a blessing.

Hey, Big Spenders!

Campaign need a quick cash infusion? Ring Michael Douglas. So far this election cycle, Mr. Zeta-Jones has doled out contributions to fi ve Democratic candidates: Clinton, Obama, Richardson, Kucinich and Dodd. While some famous names seem like the Big Donor type (Barbra Streisand: $436,975), others are more, well, whodathunk?

The ladder of celebrity patronage, since 1978:

Don Henley: $686,185

If you run, he will give. Senators and representatives from California to Massachusetts have benefi ted from the -- generosity? insanity? --of the Eagle.

Phil Donahue and Marlo Thomas: $409,950

Their combined total is impressive -- but still well below the gold standard do-good pair of Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward. (FYI: Brangelina's grand total: $0).

Chevy Chase: $237,849

Theory: Chase started Brinkley's political fire while on the set of the "National Lampoon" movies. He liked Clinton and Dodd this round.

Bette Midler: $232,525

More than $50,000 of that went to the Democratic senatorial or congressional campaign committees. It's almost like -- wait for it -- she is the wind beneath their wings.

Christie Brinkley: $94,560

In between "National Lampoon" film cameos, Brinkley gave tens of thousands to the Democratic National Committee and Emily's List. This cycle, she's spread the wealth among Obama, Clinton and Richardson.

-- Monica Hesse


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