Jane Fonda endorses Barack Obama: Why Should Anyone Care?

From the Los Angeles Times:

Jane Fonda, the actress and ardent anti-Vietnam War advocate who visited North Vietnam during those hostilities, has endorsed Democrat Barack Obama for president.

There were no formal ceremonies for the endorsement. In fact, the Obama campaign may just be learning about the actress’s approval now as word spreads like lit gunpowder via the Internet.

Fonda was eating out last night and exited the restaurant, ignoring as celebrities often do the assembled press contingent.

But a video camera was rolling as she approached the street and someone, perhaps just trying to get her to turn around for a picture, shouted out at her back, “Who are you going to vote for?”

There was a moment of silence. Then, the actress did turn around toward the cameras, paused and with a smile said simply, “Obama!” Then she got into a car and drove away.

Maybe it’s a generational thing but when news broke on Memeorandum that anti-Vietnam activist Jane Fonda supports Barack Obama my first thought was, “so what?”. But then I remembered a funny fact: conservative pundits often act like we’re still stuck in the 60’s Vietnam-fueled culture war. I’m sad to admit but in this instance they might actually be right, in a fashion.

With the presumptive Democratic nominee looking to face off with one of the very POWs Fonda’s famous North Vietnamese anti-aircraft photo-op put into danger, Obama would be wise to distance himself from her. Even if she is just another over-the-hill Hollywood elite answering an ambush reporter’s question, she’s damning company to keep.

What Fonda represents to many Americans is everything that’s wrong with liberalism and all she can do is harm the Democratic nominee. As one blogger puts it:

How is this Obama’s fault? It isn’t. But the appearance it creates will hurt him if it gets heavy coverage and he doesn’t quickly and clearly distance himself from her, since that will create the appearance that her actions didn’t bother him. At that point, it will be his fault, not her actions, but reaffirming what many thought about the Reverend Wright incident: that he’s too inexperienced to handle a presidential campaign, let alone the office.

If it all blows over, no worries. If it doesn’t, he shouldn’t repeat his quasi-denunciation of Wright. Hanoi Jane is one of the most despised figures among military members as well as many of their families. In this race especially though, with Obama facing one of the POWs she trashed, he might be best off telling the press that she literally disgusts him and that her failure to apologize for more than posing in a picture is sickening.

Hopefully this story will blow over but I wouldn’t count on it. There’s too much bad blood, too much justified hatred on the part of our military families. It would be a fool’s gamble for Obama’s campaign to think that conservative MSM pundits (to say nothing about their blogger lapdogs) will ignore a chance to unjustly link him to such a controversial figure. From Hot Air:

In fact, Obama’s campaign will probably keep their heads down and hope this passes quickly. McCain’s narrative as a Vietnam War POW who suffered torture while Fonda gave his captors photo-ops will resonate even further if she takes to the stump on Obama’s behalf. Her presence would draw connections between Obama’s anti-war supporters and the radicals — like Ayers and Dohrn — of Fonda’s generation. While that might thrill the MoveOn crowd, it will likely lose Obama the heartland, independents, and centrists who will balk at that kind of radicalism, especially while the more moderate option in McCain is available.

Believe it or not… they’re probably right. I consider myself pretty liberal and even I abhor Fonda’s past actions. I’d think twice about supporting anyone she’s backing and I know I’m by no means alone in those feelings. Hopefully Obama’s people know that.

–Edited by Kathy

16 Responses to “Jane Fonda endorses Barack Obama: Why Should Anyone Care?”

  1. Dynamic says:

    I think the response he’s looking for here is to find someone far to the right who has endorsed him (such as the guy who wrote that piece in American Conservative earlier this week) and use that to show how broad his appeal is – far left, far right, we can all come together in this United States to build a dream.

    And don’t let her campaign for him.

  2. matttbastard says:

    No offense, but I’d prefer that this sort of hand-wringing over irrelevant minutia (even in earnest, as I believe you are) be left to the Don Surbers and Dan Reihls of the ‘sphere (or the Beltway press corps–hey, did you hear Obama sucks at bowling but is *ahem* good at basketball? Sweet weeping Jesus.) The flying monkey brigade will fling poo at Obama (and/or Clinton) no matter what. “Hanoi Jane” (please, can we stop giving quarter to moldy far-right memes re: the evils of ‘liberalism’?) is just the latest convenient means to an end. Dems/libs = terrorist appeasing, America-hating defeatists, regardless of who votes for/endorses them (can’t wait till Bin Laden throws his support behind Obama–I can hear the wings a-flappin’ and smell the poo already).

    Steve M. nailed it a month and a half ago:

    Get used to waking up every day and seeing your political culture — candidates, the press, even (perhaps especially) the blogs — discussing this crap rather than the issues. Get used to it because we’re going to have nine more months of it. By fall, one of these non-issues is effectively going to be the central issue of the campaign — or more than one is. And that would have been true no matter who the Democratic nominee turned out to be.

    Enough with the ritualistic denouncing rejections and “action figure conservatism”, as DDay puts it; at some point one has to forcefully tell the screeching wingnut wankrags to go shove their manufactured outrage.

  3. tas says:

    If Fonda really wanted to help candidates win, she would shut the hell up.

    As for why the media still races to her everytime she has an opinion, that’s beyond me. She hasn’t done anything meaningful since the 70s. Maybe if I commit a famous act now, in 2048 the media what ask me what I think, too!

  4. thisisthetruth says:

    (Post deleted)
    People, copying and pasting hit articles and whisper campaign mailers is still spam! Comments sections are not platforms for mass produced propaganda.

    K-

  5. Cee says:

    Don’t forget that Ann Coulter endorsed and will work for Hillary.

    I’ll take Jane anytime.

  6. tas says:

    But Coulter did that to keep her name in the news and remind everybody that she had a new book to sell. Even Coulter realizes that her act is getting old and she might have to get a real job soon.

  7. ooh… maybe fry cook? No, then we’d have to listen to her stupid French jokes all day long.

  8. tas says:

    Well, she definitely can’t be a special ed teacher.

  9. matttbastard says:

    A. Two. Second. Soundbite.

    Jesus fucking wept.

    Hey, how about that recession?

  10. Cody says:

    You know what’s funny, most of the younger people supporting Obama probably don’t even know who Jane Fonda is. Heck, I only know because I took a Vietnam War class in high school and my teacher had a thing against her. In the big scheme of things, I don’t think she’s that important and if conservatives have to resort to attacking Obama through her, it’s obvious they’ve got nothing else left.

  11. Pretty much. She was in 9-5… awesome movie btw.

  12. Dustin says:

    You know what’s funny, most of the younger people supporting Obama probably don’t even know who Jane Fonda is. Heck, I only know because I took a Vietnam War class in high school and my teacher had a thing against her In the big scheme of things, I don’t think she’s that important and if conservatives have to resort to attacking Obama through her, it’s obvious they’ve got nothing else left.

    I couldn’t agree more.

    Still no matter how pathetic we may think it is being able to counter the wingnut attack ads sure to come out of this if it stays in the news cycle are a key skill. Look, what Fonda did was reprehensible. There’s no getting around that. Obama’s probable best course of action is to just ignore it unless asked and, if asked, denounce her.

    This isn’t Power’s “monster” quote. Hell this isn’t even Wright. Fonda’s her own special kind of offensive and yes it will rub off on anyone she supports unless they disavow such support. We can’t ignore that, as much as we’d like to stick to the issues. She is an issue, especially to the important independent vote. Obama can’t ignore that.

  13. matttbastard says:

    Once again: A two second soundbite.

    Talk about transmogrifying molehills into mountains.

    As I said: this is nothing but pure manufactured outrage. I just wish “our side” wouldn’t contribute to the disingenuous sturm und drang. Tell me: why is it that McCain can court endorsements from the likes of John Hagee and Rod Parsley?

    IOKIYAR.

    And why is it ok? Because the GOP responds to outrage (manufactured or otherwise) with a collective shrug.

    We progressives should learn how to firmly say “yeah, so fucking what?” too.

    (Oh, and patriotic pearl clutchers like McQ can go lick my hairy, anti-American nutsack.)

  14. TROLL says:

    GOD IS NOT THE AUTHOR OF CONFUSION

  15. NOW WE KNOW WHO YOU ARE!
    GOD BLESS AMERICA BECAUSE YOU DON’T

  16. david slayton says:

    Jane fonda is a real piece of shit. I was in vietnam during her little visit….what a whore she is such a fucking loser this bitch is

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