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De Niro Iisn’t the Voice Voters Should Hear From

S.E. Cupp, Tribune Content Agency on

According to the most recent polls, former President Donald Trump is leading President Biden, despite facing several criminal indictments and regularly reminding many of his detractors why they’d voted him out — chaos follows him everywhere.

Trump’s lead is in fact growing, and importantly he’s beating Biden in five key swing states, one or some of which will likely decide the 2024 election. And Democrats are reportedly panicking.

While there are myriad reasons Trump is up and Biden is struggling — Biden’s age, stubborn inflation, rising home prices, the cost of gas and groceries, a migrant crisis, crime, discontent among his far-left wing over Gaza, to name a few — none of them are likely to be solved by Robert De Niro.

Yet, there he was Tuesday, at Trump’s hush money trial in lower Manhattan, home to De Niro’s Tribeca Film Festival and Tribeca Grill, as a surrogate for the Biden campaign.

For the first time since Trump went on trial for paying off a porn star he allegedly had an affair with, the Biden campaign staged a news conference outside the courthouse, taking advantage of the many cameras already trained on the spectacle.

In an event that seemed disjointed and confused as to its own purpose, De Niro did his best impression of, well, himself, echoing some of his most memorable film characters.

“If Trump returns to the White House, you can kiss these freedoms goodbye that we all take for granted,” he said. “And elections — forget about it, that’s all.”

Also there to address the crowds were two hero police officers who were serving on Jan. 6 at the U.S. Capitol during the insurrection. Michael Fanone and Harry Dunn delivered powerful messages, as they have before, in support of keeping Trump from re-entering the White House.

But it all had an impromptu feeling to it more characteristic of Trump’s all-over-the-place rallies where you just never know who’s going to show up — Kid Rock or a Cabinet member?

But the De Niro performance will not do what Biden needs it to do — sway independent and undecided voters or bring disgruntled Democratic voters back.

For one, voters don’t care about celebrities when they go to the polls. Celebrity endorsements have limited value, at least according to a new Suffolk University/USA Today national poll.

Former President Barack Obama, a very popular figure in the Democratic Party, is considered the most influential, and even then only 18% of voters say his endorsement would influence them. The most famous woman on the planet, Taylor Swift, gets a measly 3%. As supposed psy–ops go, call that one a dud.

But most importantly, surrogates are best when they tell a story voters can relate to. De Niro, a Hollywood mogul who was just nominated for an Oscar and welcomed his seventh child at 80 in 2023, isn’t relatable.

De Niro may be angry at Trump, even disgusted by him. But he’s not a victim of Trump in the way others — real people — are.

And if team Biden were smart, they’d tell those stories instead.

Harry Dunn and Michael Fanone are two of them. Add the family of fallen officer Brian Sicknick to the list. Their stories are important.

 

E. Jean Carroll, a victim of Trump’s sexual abuse and defamation, is another. Her story is important.

Shaye Moss, the Georgia election worker who Trump and his cronies falsely accused of an election fraud scheme, who endured death threats from Trump supporters as a result, is also a victim. Her story, and the similar stories of other election workers baselessly threatened and maligned, are important.

There are other victims whose names you might not know.

They’re women who now have to choose between risking a dangerous pregnancy or going to jail.

They’re lawyers, clerks, judges, and their families who Trump has villainized for doing their jobs.

They’re health care workers who Trump demonized for telling the truth about COVID-19.

They’re farmers who had to pay for Trump’s costly trade wars and tariffs.

They’re American immigrants he told to “go back to where they came from.”

They’re his own voters, who he scammed out of hard-earned money to help “stop the steal,” but instead used their small donations to offset his legal fees and pay for his wife’s stylist.

They’re every voter in a district where someone like Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene cares more about sucking up to Trump than solving real problems, like lowering the cost of prescription drugs.

Biden needs to tell these stories, and remind voters how Trump will victimize countless more if he gets elected again.

With no disrespect to De Niro — he’s a brilliant actor — but Trump’s victims are everyday people, and they should be the heroes and “celebrities” of Biden’s campaign.

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(S.E. Cupp is the host of "S.E. Cupp Unfiltered" on CNN.)

©2024 S.E. Cupp. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.



 

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