CEDAR FALLS — Actor and activist Sean Astin has been ready for Hillary Clinton to be president since he met the Democrat as she campaigned for her husband’s bid for the same office in 1992.
The star of “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, “Rudy” and “The Goonies” was a supporter during her 2008 bid and has been campaigning for Clinton’s 2016 presidential bid once more as the days narrow to Nov. 8.
He told a crowd of about 100 people at the Octopus in Cedar Falls on Friday night why he’s so eager to see the country elect its first woman president.
“I was raised by a strong and powerful woman; I have been married for 25 years to a strong and powerful woman; we are raising three daughters to become strong and powerful women; and it is way past time for our nation to elevate a qualified, strong and powerful woman as president of the United States of America,” Astin concluded his speech. Astin, whose mother is the late actress Patty Duke, said he’s been making that statement since Clinton ran in 2008, only changing the number of years he’s been married.
Astin said he is the father of a “millennial,” and his speech urged members of that demographic to get to the polls.
He insisted there is “no daylight” between Clinton and Democratic runner-up Bernie Sanders, who won over younger voters on many issues. Where they differed, Astin defended her positions as being more practical to achieve. Trying to dissuade young people from turning to third-party candidates, he said only “one of two people” stand a realistic chance of being sworn in and representing the United States on a world stage on Jan. 20, 2017.
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“Idealism and practicality, at 45, meet up,” Astin said, refering to himself.
Astin didn’t spend much time discussing Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, but when he did he put the choice in stark terms.
“Hyperbole aside, the catalogue of atrocities, the brilliantly located manipulations of the media, the stoking of people’s blood lust in big campaign rally settings, all that aside, Donald Trump has zero experience in government,” Astin said.
He said Clinton and Sanders both agree “the system is broken,” but he said to “take a wrecking ball to it” isn’t the answer.
Despite the setting in a bar, the crowd was nearly silent as Astin spoke, offering only chants of “Rudy” at the outset and then occasional cheers or comments of support throughout his speech. Though part of Astin’s charge was to get people registered and to sign up to support Clinton’s campaign, he found three-fourths of the audience was already registered and at least a quarter were already volunteering.