It's nothing new when various celebrities step onstage at a political convention and make their case for the candidate they believe in-- Clint Eastwood made headlines around the world for that very thing last week. But the star power at the Democratic National Convention's final night was considerably ramped up, not just for the number of famous people, but for how many different ways they were contributing to the cause. There were musical performances by James Taylor, Marc Anthony and Mary J. Blige, speeches from Scarlett Johansson, Kerry Washington and Eva Longoria, a vocal appearance from George Clooney on a seven-minute video, and another video with none other than Tom Hanks behind it.
That's a lot to catch up on, sure, but lucky for you you live in an era where you don't even have to fast forward through the commercials-- you can just catch up with all this stuff on YouTube. Kicking things off, here's Anthony's performance of the National Anthem:
And here's the performance from James Taylor, who made an "empty chair" joke in reference to Clint Eastwood before sitting down to perform, of course, "Carolina in My Mind."
Here's Mary J. Blige's performance of U2's "One Love," gamely trying to get the entire crowd ramped up and clapping together, even though I imagine the vibe at a political convention doesn't really lend itself to the kind of enthusiasm you get a concert-- at least, not until Obama took the stage.
Here's Scarlett Johansson making an appeal to young voters, and talking about her own relatively middle class background, which I admit I didn't expect based on her career as a child actress and growing up in New York City.
There was also an appearance from Tom Hanks and his voice, narrating of a trimmed-down version of the documentary The Road We've Traveled, that he made along with An Inconvenient Truth's Davis Guggenheim.
And finally, here's the surprise celebrity appearance that didn't even require someone getting on a plane. George Clooney recorded the voiceover for this video yesterday in Los Angeles, but from the moment he starts it off saying "we've been through a lot together," by golly, you just believe him. Clooney has been one of Obama's most important financial backers, hosting a fundraiser for him back in May, but given the lukewarm response to Obama's speech last night, maybe Clooney actually did him a favor by not showing up in person and outshining him.
Now, with all that out of the way, let's all join together regardless of our political beliefs and be grateful for one thing: the conventions are over! The next time you wind up watching any of these people speaking on your TV, they will probably be debating each other, which is always more exciting than convention speeches!
Oh, and if you're not yet registered to vote-- for God's sake, go do that. I actually did it myself, just like Scarlett said to, at commit.barackobama.com -- but I promise you won't be forced to vote for him just by using that incredibly easy tool to register. Do it!