It's rare for a Congressional candidate to land a spot in the Post's gossip column.
But so it went for Prince George's attorney Donna F. Edwards, who is challenging U.S. Rep. Albert R. Wynn (D-Md.) for the second time for the Democratic nomination in Maryland's 4th Congressional district.
Edwards' found her way into the Reliable Source today because she was able to produce a real live celebrity to campaign on her behalf on Monday night, bringing actor Danny Glover to the New Carrollton metro stop to meet with voters.
But does a celeb endorsement actually help at the ballot box?
The question has been analyzed nationally, as presidential candidates roll out famous surrogates. (Oprah's with Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill). Chuck Norris fights for former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee.) It's even harder to assess at a local level.
Glover was extremely flattering to Edwards' Monday, repeatedly asking voters if they had met "my friend Donna Edwards" and saying she represents "the kind of change everyone is talking about." He talked her up in such gracious terms that even Edwards seemed a bit taken aback, "Thank you Danny. My goodness, thank you," she said over and over again.
He also attended a fundraiser for Edwards that night, which had to help her campaign coffers. Plus, dozens of delighted Metro riders posed for pictures with Glover, often alongside Edwards, and they took home Edwards' fliers newly adorned with his autograph.
"You're gonna win this time--I just know you're gonna do it!" voter Verdelle Hairston, from Landover Hills, enthusiastically told Edwards, before going off to wait for her granddaughter, set to arrive at the station shortly. "I don't want her to miss this. Donna and Danny, how 'bout that?"
On the flip side, Glover's appearance could play into a Wynn argument that suggests Edwards' cause is being driven (and funded) by outsiders, particularly from New York and Hollywood.
Several who attended an organizational breakfast for his campaign Saturday morning said his aides played up that idea big there, suggesting the hard work of foot soldiers in the district would be needed to defeat money she's been receiving from interlopers. Our sources say Wynn's event was attended by many local pols, including Sen. Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. (D-Calvert), who were encouraged to mobilize their own networks of supporters on Wynn's behalf for the Feb. 12 primary.
Asked about the Glover event, Wynn campaign manager Lori Sherwood laughed and declined comment. However, she noted, "No movie stars on this campaign."
For his part, Glover dismissed such fears in New Carrollton, saying he was not trying to tell Maryland voters what to do, merely support a longtime friend he believed would make a good addition to Congress. He said he has known Edwards for more than seven years and backed her effort because of her positions on health care and a living wage.
"I'm not asking for anything," he said, "I'm just trying to support viable people.
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