So far, Hollywood's reticence on the right is reflective of the herky-jerky nature of the race itself, where Mitt Romney looks like the front-runner, yet Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry and now Herman Cain threaten to make him work hard for the nomination. Romney has garnered the support of such industry execs as Harry Sloan, and Cain has received the high-profile endorsement of comedian and radio host Dennis Miller, while such disparate figures as Vince Vaughn and Barry Manilow favor Ron Paul. But by and large, industry conservatives have yet to coalesce around a candidate.
Flash back four years ago at this point, and industry Republicans were lining up largely behind Rudy Giuliani and John McCain, who courted coin and endorsements from figures like Robert Duvall, Sylvester Stallone and Jerry Bruckheimer.
By contrast, the present GOP candidates have not been as aggressive in mining showbiz dollars and support. McCain and Giuliani, celebrities in their own right, had long-time Hollywood ties, while few in the current GOP field have that kind of cachet. The ones that do, like Sarah Palin and Donald Trump, teased candidacies but chose not to run.
Hollywood Democrats, meanwhile, were hoping that Perry would do better. Tina Daunt writes at The Hollywood Reporter:
Rick Perry's supporters weren't the only ones disappointed with the Texas governor's shaky performance in the latest Republican presidential debate on Tuesday night. He also let down a very determined cadre of Hollywood politicos.For weeks industry activists have been quietly rooting behind the scenes for a Perry victory in the Republican primary -- simply because they think he would be easy for President Obama to beat.
With Perry seemingly weakened (he was the subject of widespread Internet ridicule Tuesday night after he misstated the date of the American Revolution by two centuries), there is more work ahead than some Hollywood Dems had anticipated.
"What if it's a Romney/Christie ticket?" said one insider. "(New Jersey Gov. Chris) Christie could be wrongly seen by some as the Bill Clinton of the Republican Party."
Los Angeles veteran political consultant Bill Carrick had a bit of advice today for his fellow Democrats: "Everyone has to get over their complaining and suck it up and go to work."