Lawrence meets the OC with celebrity Obama campaign

Nicole Capozziello

If only to make my 16-year-old sister jealous, I found myself in Riverview Lounge on Tuesday, Sept. 30, awaiting the appearance of Adam Brody. The event was sponsored by the local Obama Campaign for Change and Lawrence’s College Democrats. I entered the room three minutes before the alleged starting time of seven o’clock, ignoring the first of many text messages from my sister Natalia commanding — not requesting — “detes.”
From next to me, a stunned Rachel Russell asked, “Are we going to be on MTV?” For the first time in my Lawrence career, this seemed like a legitimate question; members of the liberal arts bearded population were few and far between while listener-friendly, John Mayer-esque jams blared from the speakers. It felt like a Gap commercial. I wanted to buy sweaters, skinny jeans, perhaps vote for Obama.
For the next 47 minutes I perched on the windowsill, looking at the crowd of over 300 people seated on the floor of Riverview. We stared expectantly at the decked-out podium where the late teen heartthrob, now 28, would soon stand, or, judging by the crowd, possibly descend from the heavens. I expected little from the event. My decision to vote for Obama, like most of the people in the room, was already sealed; I knew only that it would be the first thing my sister has regarded as cool since I could give her rides. “Bond and bring him home for Christmas!” said one of her emphatic text messages. I promised only to let her know when he arrived.
A few minutes later the crowd was parted and, with little warning, “OC” actor Adam Brody and actress and model Joy Bryant approached the podium. I dialed my sister. Cameras flashed, my sister complained that she couldn’t hear, cheers erupted and girls squealed. Diplomatically, Brody and Bryant kept the focus on Obama.
“We’re just ordinary citizens,” began Brody, an admission that immediately put me more at ease about the entire hero-worshipping event. “We didn’t want to sit by and not do anything.” Brody and Bryant talked for a bit about their own decisions vote for Obama and then offered the audience some inspiration, amidst flashes. “It’s our job to be convincing our grandparents, our parents,” said Brody.
Soon after, Brody and Bryant turned things over to the audience for questions. “How do you feel about a woman running for VP?” asked one audience member. After quieting the crowd, which was reacting with repulsion to Sarah Palin, Brody said, “I love the idea of a woman in that position but it bums me out that that woman doesn’t represent any women I know.”
Meanwhile in my pocket, my phone told me, all in capital letters, “You better be taking so many pictures that your index finger is imprinted with the camera button.” I later told my sister that while I hadn’t taken any pictures, lots of people had. Without a hint of understanding, she responded evenly, “Well, they better be your friends.” For the record, they were not.
At one point in the question and answer session, a fan and prospective voter screamed, “Why don’t you run for president?” Brody, smile intact, replied, “I’d have the teen vote locked in.” Truer words have never been spoken.