Joining the list of celebrities trying to get college-aged students to vote in the very tight 2004 presidential race is Titanic and Catch Me If You Can star Leonardo DiCaprio. He and former Environmental Protection Agency chairwoman Carol Browner will be in the Phyllis P. Marshall Center Ballroom at 9 a.m. today to campaign for Sen. John Kerry.
Omar Khan, former student body president, said DiCaprio’s visit is part of his national college tour — he was at the University of Central Florida on Tuesday.
Khan said he has heard some people say the reason they vote for someone is based on attractiveness, but he’s not sure how many people will be persuaded by DiCaprio’s looks. Khan added that he is impressed by the way public figures are getting involved in the election.
“Leonardo is an actor who you normally would not see acting in a political role, and this is a trend we have been seeing a lot this year,” Khan said. “We haven’t seen anything like this before to try to get the youth to vote.”
Organizations such as “Declare Yourself,” “Rock the Vote” and “Choose or Lose” are recruiting entertainers such as DiCaprio and P. Diddy to encourage those between the ages of 18 and 24 to vote.
“A lot of entertainment people in general have gotten involved in the election with appearing and giving their opinions,” Khan said. “It really shows and says something about how important this election is.”
DiCaprio’s co-campaigner, Browner, has been involved in politics. She was chairwoman of the EPA for the Clinton administration. Both Browner and DiCaprio will try to encourage people to vote for the Kerry-Edwards ticket. They will also be discussing what they say is President George W. Bush’s terrible environmental record.
“The event should be really cool and entertaining even though it is at a rough time, 9 a.m.,” Khan said.
Students for Kerry and the Kerry-Edwards campaign are sponsoring the event.