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Green Bay Press-Gazette

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Adam Brody: From 'The O.C.' to the D.P.

Oprah Winfrey. Bruce Willis. Eva Longoria. They all have something in common and thankfully it's not a sex tape. A recent poll shows that Americans have mixed feelings about celebrity involvement in politics. But love them or hate them, celebs are using their valuable air and face time to stump for their favorite candidates.

When Channel Surfing bloggers Sara Boyd and Malavika Jagannathan heard Adam Brody -- best known as lovable nerd Seth Cohen on "The O.C" -- was stopping in De Pere today stumping for Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, we had to stop by and check it out. It's not so much that we're endorsing him or his candidate, but we couldn't let a TV star slip by unnoticed in our midst.

Malavika: Although we didn't quite have time to ask Brody -- who is much shorter and skinner in person -- the hard-hitting questions like why he ever decided to star in "In the Land of Women," it's easy to see why political campaigns use likeable celebrities to push their agendas. Brody was political without being too serious, funny without being too cavalier. Plus, it helps that he still has those dimples and that dorky enthusiasm that made him stand out as Dave on the "Gilmore Girls."

Brody, who talked briefly about the importance of voting in a swing state, took a number of questions from the audience that surprisingly had nothing to do with his acting career (at least the part we listened in on). There was a lot of screaming -- yes, the audience of about 100 mostly St. Norbert College students was mostly female -- and we may have been blinded by the cameras flashing.

Sara: Oh blinded were we ever. But as much as the young college co-eds were drooling over his presence -- yes, OK, even I had to peek when Brody's pants started to droop off his very tiny behind -- it was refreshing to see the turnout and what we've seen all campaign long: evidence that the young vote will play a crucial role in this election. And hopefully not just because Seth Cohen told them to, but because they care about their voices being heard.

Celebrity involvement in an election is a tricky thing. On one hand, it's interesting to see a celeb use their TV fame for something other than free Dolce and Gabbana sunglasses, and on the other, you have to wonder what credibility they have to be considered a source on national politics.

Brody and his fellow celeb friend Joy Bryant (former fashion model who appeared in movies such as "Honey" and "The Skeleton Key" -- but we're keeping this post strictly about TV stars) talked about why they support Obama, which is valid for a rally. But when it came to their opinions about what's happened in the past eight years and what the biggest issue is for this election, I just hope the audience remembers these people are celebrities -- not political science professors. Not to say they don't know anything about the political scene, but a mere reminder of why they are here. Or as one front row rally supporter put it to Brody: "You're hot."

Brody talked about the motivation and the enthusiasm Obama has instilled in his supporters as a presidential candidate -- and at one point called President Bush a "boob," adding that if Sen. John McCain and Sarah Palin win the election, "it will be a nail in the coffin." But most importantly, he urged young people to get out and vote. Sure, there may be some who walk away from a "Seth Cohen for Barack Obama" rally and say, "I'm totally voting for Obama because Adam Brody is, like, so hot," but I think this crowd deserves more credit than that and really, Brody brought the biggest point home through his celebrity endorsement: "Be a part of the election."

-- Sara Boyd, and Malavika Jagannathan,

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