Kumar Goes to the White House




By: Rachel Steinman, guest blogger

Normally, I promise to be more unbiased and demonstrate a professional demeanor when it comes to posting political blogs, but this week I am going through withdrawal of a particular actor that I have come to respect and “crush” on.  

Kal Penn is not your typical A-list actor like Angelina Jolie or Matt Damon.  Kal Penn is mostly known for his role as Kumar in Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle and its sequel Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay, both not very highly regarded roles.  

But to judge him merely on these roles, you would have to judge many other notable actors for their first roles in Hollywood.  

Jennifer Aniston’s debut movie was in Leprechauns and Kevin Bacon played a narcissistic fraternity boy in Animal House.  

Kal Penn has proven himself that he can immerse himself into any role.

 Moviegoers got a taste of his dramatic chops in the independent film The Namesake.  

But this week, Kal took on his most challenging role yet, working for President Obama.

Taking on the position of associate director of the White House Office of Public Liaison, Kal will be refraining from acting for the next four, possible eight years.  

While I will miss watching him on the silver screen, his work in the political arena will have a positive impact.  

More and more celebrities these days have taken on political causes to enhance publicity surrounding certain issues.  

With name recognition and a famous face, people are drawn to that cause.  

Take Angelina Jolie for instance on her role as a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations.  Because of her role, not to mention numerous adoptions, world issues and UN work became a household name.  

With Kal Penn in the White House, there is no telling what that can do for public interest in DC politics.  

His role with the Office of Public Liaison will make Kal one of the major faces coming from the White House.  

Not only does he have the name recognition, but he also has the “cool” factor that teens and those in people in there 20s like.  

His celebrity status will help draw those who are not really into politics to become more interested in what is going on The Hill.  

He could help keep the momentum of youth involvement going outside of the election year.  

With an economic recession and a war being fought on two fronts, the youth of America need to have a vested interest in the politics.

So while I will miss my weekly dose of Kal Penn, I know he is doing bigger and greater things up in Washington DC.  

Who knows maybe he’ll become the next Ronald Reagan or Arnold Schwarzenegger.


Rachel Steinman is currently a International Relations and History major, with a minor in Art History, at the University of Florida. She is the 2009-10 UF Model United Nations president and she hopes to enter law school in fall 2009.



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