It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s… Superman in flip-flops?

by Sarah LefeberEditor in Chief

When Brandon Routh arrived at Simpson on Friday, he wasn’t wearing a cape. He wasn’t wearing a blue suit or black boots. In their places were an Obama t-shirt, jeans and flip-flops.

“This is the true kind of grassroots campaigning going on right now,” he said. “There’s no sound system and we have class going on upstairs. This is going to be a little bit informal, because as you can see, I’m wearing flip-flops.”

News crews from Des Moines television stations and newspapers roamed through the crowd of students and faculty as Routh, the star of 2006’s “Superman Returns” mostly talked on the opportunity that students have of early voting.

“You guys have a great opportunity here at Simpson,” he said. “The benefit of that (voting early) is that you can help at the polls that night, help drive elderly people, and more, rather than just voting.”

As Routh spoke to a largely pro-Obama crowd. When he asked for a show of hands as to who was unsure of who they were voting for, only one person raised his hand.

“It’s an important thing to listen to both sides,” said Routh. “It’s really interesting to see how everybody uses different information to their advantage… or to someone else’s disadvantage,” he said.

Sophomore Michelle Perkowitz said she appreciated the fact that he incorporated both parties.

“I liked how he was not trying to force people to vote for Obama, but he was really encouraging them, showing his positive side as well as encouraging them to vote early,” Perkowitz said.

Although the audience only asked Routh a couple of questions before they posed for pictures with the star, he did talk on Obama’s plan for reducing student loans.

Obama, he said, will give every student a $4,000 tax cut for every year they are in school if they do a set amount of community service, such as volunteering for Americorps or in a nursing home.

According to Routh, this emphasis on young voters is what makes the election exciting. He cited the 2004 election as a rallying point for this year’s race.

“Twenty-one million young Americans voted for Kerry-the biggest youth vote ever,” he said. “Not only did we lose that election and get kind of upset about that, so we have all of that stored-up passion to win, but we have a leader who inspires us.”

Although Obama has recently been slammed by McCain attack ads for becoming a celebrity instead of a politician, it didn’t seem to stop the show in Iowa last week.

Routh’s visit to Simpson was just one in a line of Iowa colleges such as Iowa State that he, Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore visited in support of Obama.

While Routh only mentioned his upcoming movies, “Unthinkable” and “Zach and Miri Make a Porno,” when asked by reporters, he also said that he doesn’t feel his two roles are conflicting.

“I’m campaigning because it’s my future,” he said. “Before I didn’t want to mix the two things. As we got closer to the primaries, however, I realized how important this was for my future.”