A petition has gone viral to get veteran actress and Golden Girls star Betty White to speak at this week’s Democratic National Convention. At this point, over 9,000 people think White would be a good addition to the DNC.
A change.org petition written by Peter Slutsky, director of platform services at Wordpress.com VIP, states: “Governor Romney can have Clint Eastwood and his improvisational skills because President Obama has the one and only Betty White!”
Slutsky said it was Clint Eastwood’s appearance at the RNC that inspired him to start his petition. In a phone interview Slutsky said of the backlash to Eastwood's speech: “I was noticing there was a lot of coverage talking about his age … people saying he is 82 and that made him ramble. I was like ‘that’s not right’.” In an election season that Slutsky says is “a lot about senior issues,” he felt compelled to find a speaker who would do America's senior citizens justice. He wanted to find a speaker who would be equivalent to Eastwood in age, and show people that senior citizens can be “hysterical and smart” in front of a national audience. Slutsky said of White, “she’s a really funny woman and she’s in her 90’s. She could get up in front of the country and poke fun of Clint Eastwood at the same time.”
Back in 2010 an online petition is what got Betty White to be the host of Saturday Night Live, a movement which gained her a whole new crop of millennial fans. “Social media was responsible for her comeback," Slutsky said. "We owed this petition to Betty.”
White is a known Obama supporter and she even visited the White House back in June. White also received a taped birthday message from the president so the two have certainly been in communication before.
With all of the celebrity supporters and endorsements circling around this election season, the hazards of cross-pollinating pop and politics is a topic worthy of consideration. “I think everyone has a role to play in the system,” Slutsky said. “I think if a celebrity or a personality takes a liking or interest in a candidate or a cause, that helps moves things forward.” That said, Slutsky realizes that there are, and there should be, limits to a celebrity’s power. “Clint Eastwood is an awesome direction and actor and has been a huge part of the last century of film. But to expect that he could get up, be a surprise speaker, and people would suddenly be like ‘I supported Obama but now I’ll support Romney because I love Million Dollar Baby. That’s not something we should expect.”
Slutsky's hope for his Betty White petition is that it reach 10,000 signatures by the end of Tuesday. With only 750 signatures to go, his odds are looking pretty good. “I would love Betty White to record a video, or get on Kayak or Expedia and just book something down here. I’ll buy her a beer (if she drinks beer) or a tea if she drinks tea. The best possible outcome for me is having a beer with Betty White at the DNC,” Slutsky said.
What do you think? Should Betty White appear at the DNC? Is there a place for celebrities in politics?
Check out and sign the petition here.