Hollywood walked in near lock-step with Sen. Barack Obama on his quest for the presidency in 2008.
Celebrities couldn’t give an interview without extolling the greatness of The One. Director Spike Lee even declared the modern era would be measured in two distinct increments — Before Obama and After Obama.
Today, cracks are appearing in Obama’s celebrity wall of support. But he’s still got enough true believers in his camp ready to sing his praises — and line his coffers — for the 2012 presidential race. But a few are scrambling to find their receipts for the Hope and Change shopping spree.
Adrian Grenier, the star of HBO’s Entourage, used his Twitter account to share his disappointment that Obama hadn’t caused the seas to recede or other such modest campaign promises.
“COME ON @BarackObama why did you cave? Lead, don’t concede!” he tweeted, along with a link to a blog post titled “Obama Bails on Smog Plan.”
Matt Damon didn’t mince words regarding Obama during a March chat with low-rated CNN talker Piers Morgan.
“I really think he misinterpreted his mandate. A friend of mine said it the other day and I thought it was a great line: ‘I no longer hope for audacity,’” the Bourne Identity star told the host.
Even the Sundance Kid is having reservations about Obama. Robert Redford took to the hallowed cyber-pages of The Huffington Post to share his disappointment in the president.
“One reason I supported President Obama is because he said we must protect clean air, water and lands. But what good is it to say the right thing unless you act on it?” Redford writes. But he cites three recent administration decisions — “on Arctic drilling, the Keystone XL pipeline and the ozone that causes smog” — where Obama punked the Green movement.
“Like so many others, I’m beginning to wonder just where the man stands,” he laments.
Consider Grenier, Damon, and Redford the exceptions to the Hollywood rule.
A-listers like George Clooney, Will Ferrell, and Steven Spielberg have already donated the maximum amount of $35,800 to the Obama Victory Fund, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
And plenty of celebrities are still speaking of the president as if the last two-plus years never happened.
Singer Gloria Estefan refuses to be bothered by such insignificant issues as credit downgrades, raging unemployment, or choruses of “who can I blame for my failures next?”
The Latina singer held a fundraiser for Obama last year in her Miami home.
This month, she couldn‘t find the energy to blame him for the lack of progress on her key issue — immigration reform.
“I wish that the president had a lot more power than he does, but he doesn’t. This has to be something that Congress, the Senate, and the American people decide, everybody together,” she said, adding she predicts he‘ll be reelected in 2012. “I think that he’s doing a good job.”
Actress Mila Kunis of Friends with Benefits fame isn’t sorry she pulled the lever for Obama the first time. When asked by Stylist magazine about the current president, she couldn’t contain her glee.
“I love Barack Obama, I voted for him and I will forever be proud of my vote,” Kunis says.
Academy Award winner Morgan Freeman happened to bump into Obama on the golf course earlier this summer.
What are the odds of finding Obama there?
When a reporter asked Freeman about the president’s chances for reelection, The Shawshank Redemption star jumped to his commander in chief’s defense.
“If I could vote for him 1,000 times, I would,” Freeman said, and then added Obama had been “horribly sandbagged“ by his opponents.
And it looks like Obama will always have “Forrest Gump” in his corner. In June, Tom Hanks, who also gave the maximum amount to Obama’s Victory Fund, promised to vote for Obama again, long before anyone could know who the president’s opponent would be.
Hanks said Obama didn’t just meet his expectations but “expanded” them:
If you would have told me a few years ago that “don’t ask, don’t tell” would be repealed and about a billion jobs at General Motors and Chrysler would have been saved because the president was smart enough and strong enough and bold enough to do so, I would have said, “Wow. That’s a good president, I think I’ll vote for him again.”
You want to talk about real movie magic? How ‘bout a president who could save a “billion jobs” and still face an unemployment rate north of 9 percent?
Hollywood’s love affair with Obama may have hit a few rough spots, but here’s betting the relationship will be reborn in 2012. Hollywood loves sequels as much as it does Democratic politicians.