Sources are blaming a last-minute decision by singer/actress Jessica Simpson to snub President Bush on security issues, including the continued fall-out over the Dubai ports deal. The Hollywood hottie—and notorious hawk—had been expected to join Mr. Bush at a GOP fundraiser in Washington, DC on Thursday, but suddenly backed out of the event. Ms. Simpson was reportedly worried that her appearance with the President might be interpreted as an endorsement of his border security policies, of which she has been an outspoken critic.
Will Simpson back 'Team Tancredo' in 08?
By Deanna Swift
WASHINGTON, DC—It was to be the kind of night that political celeb watchers only dream about. Hollywood a-lister—and defense hawk hottie—Jessica Simpson was expected to join President Bush on the blue carpet at a star-studded GOP fundraiser. Mr. Bush hoped to use the event to rescue his tarnished image among the coveted 18-49 year old members of his base, while Ms. Simpson planned to use the Republican gala to further solidify her reputation as the GOP's go-to 'it girl.'
But after weeks of planning—sources say Ms. Simpson had even chosen an ultra patriotic red gown by designer Michael Kors to wear at the event—the "Dukes of Hazzard" star suddenly pulled out of the gala.
Jess to George: no thanks
What's behind the starlet's fickle fundraiser behavior? Sources close to the singer/actress say that she worried that an appearance with Mr. Bush would be interpreted as an endorsement of his controversial policies on border security and immigration—policies over which Ms. Simpson is said to be critical of the president. "Jessica knew that she had to follow her heart on this one," said one member of Ms. Simpson's camp. "She draws the line at foreigners owning our ports and an amnesty for illegal aliens."
While some conservative members of the GOP, including Simpson family pal Mike Pence, urged Ms. Simpson to meet with President Bush in order to 'clear the air,' the honey-haired chanteuse ultimately turned down a face-to-meeting with the Commander in Chief.
Farewell to liberal Lachey
Ms. Simpson, who reportedly earned upwards of $35 million last year, has long been one of Hollywood's few outspoken young conservatives. In recent years she has spoken out in favor of key GOP positions including abstinence education—she famously remained 'chaste' until wedding former husband Nick Lachey in 2002. The pop star, best known for hit songs including "Sweetest Sin" and "With You," also traveled to Iraq last year to assess the security situation there.
But sources close to the singer/actress say that since she split with Mr. Lachey last year, she is increasingly embracing her inner conservative. "Nick really pressured Jess to live the typical Hollywood life which means liberal politics," says one friend of Ms. Simpson's. "Now that they've split, she feels a lot freer to speak out about the things she believes in: that includes aggressively going after terrorists wherever they may be, especially if they're trying to sneak in over our borders."
Team Tancredo in 08?
Ms. Simpson spent most of Thursday lobbying Congress on issues that are near and dear to her and posing for White House press corps photographers. While the blonde bombshell disappointed some onlookers by refusing to take questions, she set more than a few tongues wagging with her decision to drop by the office of Representative Tom Tancredo, a likely candidate for the presidency in 2008 and an outspoken critic of the President's handling of immigration issues. Sources close to Ms. Simpson say that she has been an admirer of Mr. Tancredo since catching him on the Fox News Channel's "Hannity and Colmes" last year.
Was Jessica Simpson right to snub President Bush because she disagrees with him on border security and immigration issues? Talk back to firstname.lastname@example.org.