Based on the public schedules of many of Hollywood's more politically active Democrats, there may be a shortage of major actors and musicians during the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte next week. There are several reasons but one could have something to do with the location of this year's convention.
Four years ago when the Democratic convention was held in Denver and when Barack Obama was a young, rising star who had just secured the party's primary with a hard-fought victory over Hillary Clinton, there was no shortage of celebrities eager to flock around the young senator from Illinois whose promise of "hope and change" was motivating a throng of young voters nationwide.
Now many of those celebrities – especially many of the larger musical acts – who could not wait to see and be seen in Denver, will bypass Charlotte in favor of the more glitzy MTV awards show in Los Angeles.
The annual Video Music awards show will be on Thursday, Sept. 6, the same evening President Obama is scheduled to give his acceptance speech at the convention.
"Charlotte is not Denver," The Hollywood Reporter reported one Democratic activist of the 2008 host city said. "My guess is it might not be the star fest that it once was, but it will still command some star power."
Another timing issue that may be playing a role in the lack of A-list musicians is that many of them will just be coming off of their summer tours and are looking forward to much needed rest and not another two to three days of hobnobbing with politicos.
Still, others admit there is some lack of enthusiasm for Obama compared to four years ago.
Matt Damon, an A-list actor who attended the convention in Denver, has expressed some disappointment over the president's performance last month but still said Obama was the "clear choice" in this year's election.
But absent the "hope and change" theme from 2008, this year Democrats are hoping to draw a distinction between Obama and his GOP opponent, Mitt Romney over such hot-button issues as marriage, abortion and contraception, just to name a few.
"This is a campaign based on raising questions about the other candidate," Democratic consultant Chris Lehane told The Associated Press. "It's a whole different narrative this time."
Celebrities will still be performing at both the Republican and Democratic conventions. Acts such as Lynyrd Skynyrd, Trace Atkins and The Oak Ridge Boys will be in Tampa. James Taylor will be performing for the Democrats on the final night in Charlotte.