What’s the difference between celebs walking the red carpet at the Andre Agassi Grand Slam for Children and John McCain’s meandering during last week’s presidential debate? The celebs had a firm idea of where they were going.
It was amid the splash of lights at Wynn Las Vegas that I asked some of the rich and famous their thoughts on the campaign. The responses ranged from Donny Osmond’s slight wince to Sheryl Crow’s comments that the Republican ticket was stoking the flames of fear (and, of course, loathing). Following are the unvarnished responses:
Donny Osmond: “I don’t -- I don’t get involved in politics. It’s crazy what’s going on. It’s one of the craziest campaigns, ever. It’s a little silly, don’t you think? Maybe they ought to just talk to Donny & Marie and get some tips. I don’t know, but it’s a little bit crazy right now.”
Josh Gibson of the a capella group Mosaic: “Aaah, it’s been back and forth. (The group has) talked about it, everybody we know is talking about it. Everybody has different opinions … The prospect of something different changing the whole makeup of what’s been going on for the last however many years is really, really fun. But if we’re ready for it – that’s the question. I would love to think that America’s ready for something brand-new, something different. The way things have been going the past couple of months, the opposition that’s been going on, I don’t know. I don’t know if everybody’s ready. It would be nice if they are.”
Emeril Lagasse: “I’m moving to Canada.” (Qualifier: I did not ask Lagasse this on the red carpet, but rather as I bumped into him in the men’s room during the Grand Slam show.)
Sarah Ferguson, Dutchess of York (on hand to gather fundraising and organizing tips from Agassi for her Children in Crisis foundation): “I have followed (the campaign) closely, but I remain apolitical. In my position it’s easier that way. I think, I’m not an American citizen, so I don’t really judge. I think it’s gone on a very long time. I don’t know how you’re not all bored of it.”
Sheryl Crow: “I love the fact that Obama is keeping it positive, I really hate seeing what I’ve been seeing last week with all of these hate rallies. I think that leadership really requires that we bring out the best in people, and I think what the Republican ticket has done is incite the worst in people – fear, anger – based on nothing. I’m really disappointed in that, and I hope that people can find a way to feel good about the leadership they are voting for. … I had this flash that we’ve really stepped backward this week. I think that what McCain is trying is a little too little, a little too late.”
Side note on the Crow comments: Doug Elfman of the Review-Journal, echoing the sentiments made earlier in the day by Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), a veteran of the Civil Rights Movement, noted that the McCain/Palin rallies remind of the racially inflammatory rhetoric used by late Alabama Gov. George Wallace in the late-1960s. As Crow started to answer (the comment about stepping backward), standing about 10 feet behind her was Flamingo comic George Wallace. We made sure she was talking about the other George Wallace. Weird coincidence.