Celebrities jumped into politics decades ago





Some historians credit Republican President Warren G. Harding with running the first campaign that made liberal use of celebrity endorsement.

When Harding ran in 1920, film was still just a fledgling industry. Harding was backed by conservative silent film stars like Lillian Russell, Douglas Fairbanks, Mary Pickford and Al Jolson, evidently as part of a well-orchestrated campaign by ad agency Lord & Thomas.

Evidently, W.C. Fields, curmudgeonly comedian on the early 20th century, wasn't a big fan of Franklin D. Roosevelt -- so much so that he allegedly called the polio-victim "Gumlegs," in addition to supporting Roosevelt's challenger, Wendell Wilkie.

Back in the day, John F. Kennedy was practically a card-carrying member of Frank Sinatra's Rat Pack and some political types believe his relationship with the coolest people in the world at the time aided in his defeat of Vice President Richard Nixon in the 1960 election.

Remember back in the day when basketball great Wilt Chamberlain was bedding all those ladies? Well, it's possible that the lanky Lothario took a brief break from all that sexin' in 1968 -- to stump for Richard Nixon. We guess it worked, because who wouldn't want to vote like a man who claims to have slept with more than 20,000 women?




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