GOP convention: Is ‘celebrity’ a four-letter word?

My colleague Mary Anne Ostrom at the San Jose Mercury News gamely attended the California GOP delegation lunch this morning and blogged on this item:

Who’s the celebrity now?

Hanging around the California delegation breakfast this morning, it was ironic to hear Republicans describing how Sarah Palin will play in Democratic leaning California, where her conservative credentials may be a tough sell.

It’s all about her story, said several GOP boosters, citing her face on magazine covers and calling her a “Mrs. Smith Goes to Washington” story. Californians will love the fact she’s an outdoorswoman, a marathoner, too. And, yes, even the celebrity factor will help, suggested Southern California Congressman David Dreier.

Ok! Magazine has her on the cover. Us Weekly has her on the cover. This is something that is very unusual. I think that Sarah Palin is going to be a candidate who galvanizes the attention, capture the imagination of people who were never really focused on politics.’’

OK! Magazine, which calls itself “First for Celebrity News’’?

Excuse me, senator, asked one media member, isn’t “celebrity’’ what the McCain campaign just a few days ago was slamming Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama about, suggesting he is all story and no substance?

Dreier’s defense: ”If you look at what is says on the cover of OK! Magazine, it talks about the tough choice she made with her baby. So, I don’t know that that’s the kind of celebrity status that a lot of these people who are on the covers of those magazines make.’’

Added Dreier, “What I’m saying is that she is a unique candidate.’’

Lisa Vorderbrueggen