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Lethal Weapon?

Rosalind Helderman

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.

By Rosalind Helderman  |  January 15, 2008; 1:12 PM ET
Categories:  Rosalind Helderman  
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I realize the Washington Post has to "appear" to be fair & balanced, but they continue to repeat Wynn's assertion that Donna Edwards' campaign is financed by outsiders.

As one of many Prince George's residents who contributes to Donna's campaign, I feel slighted by this false assertion.

AND just because many of the oil and telecommunications lobbyists who fund Al Wynn's campaign from an address inside the Beltway does not mean they're not outsiders.

Simply put - Al is again complaining about the very misdeeds he is guilty of everyday.

Time for a change.

Posted by: PG'er | January 15, 2008 3:22 PM | Report abuse

When was the last time Danny Glover needed health insurance and a living wage.

Posted by: what a joke | January 15, 2008 11:31 PM | Report abuse

The idea that supporters of Big Al the Fat Cat would complain of outside influence is just low class.

He took a few grand from Verizon and then voted against Google, Wikipedia, the little guy, plus others promoting open access, and in favor of Comcast/Verizon in the net neutrality dispute.

That tells you all you need to know about Big Al the Fat Cat. He's easily bought, and needs to be gone.

Posted by: Count Bobulescu | January 15, 2008 11:45 PM | Report abuse

We are getting just a little tired of all the complaining about who's getting money from whom. Every Poltican will take money from someone that someone dislikes, so everyone get real. We have a good ideal of what Congressman Wynn has brought to the 4th congressional district in terms of funding for Education, Health Care, Senior's needs, etc. Ms Edward needs to tell the voters about her REAL platform. What will she be able bring back to the district in terms of funding and in what time frame as Freshman in Congress. Change is good, however it must be at the correct time and We firmly believe that the Democratic party needs seniority in Congress at this time.

Posted by: senior citizens of Prince George's County for over 35 years | January 16, 2008 4:22 PM | Report abuse

It's nice that Danny Glover left his Hollywood home to come visit us in Maryland. Apart from signing a few autographs, his participation in a political forum is worthless. He's a lousy actor and is appparently just as bad at picking Congressional candidates.

Posted by: Film Critic | January 16, 2008 7:06 PM | Report abuse

Let me get this straight, Senior Citizens believe change is good, but advocate voting against change. Talk about voting against your own self interest. The WaPo posting made clear that it was Big Al the Fat Cat's people who were complaining about the source of Edwards money.

Kinda hypocritical and inconsistent to complain when the spotlight you tried to shine on an opponent is reflected back on you. Big Al the Fat Cat has gotten 49% of his money from lobbyists. Edwards has gotten one percent from lobbyists and 99% from individuals.

Check out this candidate comparison from the Center for Responsive Politics site.

Posted by: Count Bobulescu | January 16, 2008 10:58 PM | Report abuse

How can anyone talk about what Mr. Wynn has done for PG county in positive terms? His votes for tax breaks for Gas and Oil companies and his vote for the bankruptcy bill has reduced the quality of life in PG and the surrounding areas. The diverse middle class in PG is being pinched, and Mr. Wynn is concerned with impeaching the VP. Well, Mr. Wynn supported the VP's Iraq war, the VP's Energy Bill, and the White Houses' flag burning amendment.

Donna Edwards will work to get relief to the people of PG and Montgomery County. She will fight to change the bankruptcy bill, create legislation that makes energy cheaper, cleaner, and more accessible to the poor and middle class. Instead of voting to spend billions on Iraq, she will vote to use that money to invest in American infrastructure and American people.

Donna is the right candidate for the Country, and also the right candidate for the community!

Posted by: Andrew Kujan | January 21, 2008 1:30 PM | Report abuse

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