When Democrats get together in North Carolina in September to formally nominate Barack Obama as their party’s candidate for president, one of the delegates at the 2012 Democratic National Convention is going to stand out like a sore thumb. A really glamorous sore thumb. Ashley Judd has been selected by Democratic officials in Tennessee to be one of her home state’s official delegates. That’s right, folks, the star of ABC’s Missing — and movies like Kiss the Girls, Frida, High Crimes, and Tooth Fairy — will cast a vote in the nominating process. A real vote that actually counts.
Of course, celebrities are nothing new at political conventions, especially Democratic ones. In 2008, Oprah Winfrey, Bono, Kayne West, and a slew of other stars (including, come to think of it, Judd, who has long been an outspoken supporter of Democratic candidates) flocked to Denver to cheer as then-senator Barack Obama was made the party’s presidential nominee. Occasionally Hollywood stars even make headlines during political conventions, although not always for their political stances. Remember that video Rob Lowe shot in a hotel room during the 1988 Democratic convention in Atlanta? But as far as we can tell, this is the first time a Hollywood celebrity has been given voting power.
Maybe this is not such a terrible idea. In fact, maybe all the delegates should be celebrities. After all, these days the conventions are designed as highly choreographed spectacles, so why not pack the place with stars. It would certainly make the ceremony less boring. Then again, it could end up making it as dull as the latest Oscars ceremony.
What do you think, PopWatchers. Is Ashley Judd a good thing for the Democrats? Or should Tennessee pick a less famous delegate?