A ‘Desperate’ endorsement:

A Desperate endorsement:

by Andrea KempEditor in Chief

On the afternoon of the season premiere of his hit TV show, “Desperate Housewives,” James Denton was on campus spreading a message of support for presidential hopeful Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.). The stop was the last of a series of college visits, including Iowa, Iowa State, Drake, Grinnell and Coe.

Despite being raised Republican, Denton, who plays plumber Mike Delfino on the ABC series, explained to the mostly-female audience in Great Hall that Edwards’ stance on a number of issues, including environmental consciousness, led to his endorsement of the southern senator.

“Not only was he the most progressive candidate, but he was also the one with the most solutions to the problems I was interested in,” Denton said. “Nobody else was answering those questions. He had an answer for every question I had, and he was telling me where the money was coming from…I believe him, I know he’s sincere. I know he’s passionate.”

Denton also made mention of the changes Edwards has in store for public education and points out that he believes those in power now are not handling college payment well.

“Its kind of a shame that you kids are in college in this administration, it really is,” Denton said. “It’s absurd that it’s as outrageous and expensive as it is. The government-owned program that he’s proposing is much more available than the way it works at the banks now.”

Edwards plan of “College for Everyone,” based around a concept of GPA and work commitments in exchange for monetary awards, would allow financial benefits for college students beginning their freshman year. While much of the program Edwards is proposing would not affect current students, Denton pointed outattempts would still be made by Edwards to help current students out.

“What he wants to do is make the college loan program more affordable and make sure you guys are qualifying for loans,” Denton said.

Simpson is no stranger to being graced by the presence of Hollywood personalities endorsing presidential candidates.

Lora Friedrich, associate professor of sociology, served as the faculty advisor to Simpson’s Students for Edwards group during the 2004 election. Friedrich points out the visit by Leonardo DiCaprio and John BonJovi for the Kerry-Edwards campaign had similar motives as Denton’s visit–to build momentum and enthusiasm for the candidate.

While Friedrich was realistic about the reasons for the Sunday event’s attendance, she was also hopeful that a positive impact would be made by the television star’s message.

“I think most of the young women here…came to visit the ‘hunky plumber,’ but hopefully they’ll hear something that will cause them, if they’re not registered, to be registered, and if they haven’t paid much attention to the campaigns, to begin to learn more about each candidate and maybe make an informed decision,” Friedrich said.

Sophomore Amanda Yanchury admits there was “obvious appeal” in coming to hear Denton’s message, but was ultimately impressed by his delivery.

“I thought the message was really good,” Yanchury said. “He didn’t claim to know everything. He was engaging, I think he was a great speaker.”

Denton was up front about his views on hearing actors’ views on politics, and the hesitation it caused him when decided to speak for Edwards.

“I was a little hesitant because I don’t like to hear actors talk politics,” Denton said. “I don’t really care what actors think. Most of them I know aren’t very bright.”

Still, Denton is confident his support for Edwards is coming from the right place.

“I’m the poster child for how he can win the election,” Denton said.