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Photos: Jesse Williams, John Cho promote Obama in Colorado

Jesse Williams.
Jesse Williams.

Marking one hundred days before Election Day, Barack Obama's campaign held thousands of events across the country on Saturday, asking supporters to take at least one action for the President through an initiative called "It Takes One." As part of that effort, his Colorado team brought not one, but two celebrities to this key swing state to promote him.

Harold & Kumar headliner John Cho and Grey's Anatomy star Jesse Williams made several campaign stops for Obama on Saturday.

Jesse Williams, "Grey's Anatomy" star, at the Obama campaign's Five Points office.
Jesse Williams, "Grey's Anatomy" star, at the Obama campaign's Five Points office.
Sam Levin

It's not the first time in recent months that the campaign has gotten celebrity support in Colorado -- most recently with an appearance from actress Eva Longoria at a women's summit event. Before that, the campaign also got a boost from Kal Penn, the other half of Harold & Kumar.

And it's likely Colorado may have more celebrity visitors lending their voices to the Obama campaign in the future. After all, it's a crucial swing state that is fairly accessible from Los Angeles.

"Colorado is an important state in the election. From California...conveniently, I can get here. I left at 2 a.m. yesterday, and I can get here and get back. I can't get to Pennsylvania, can't get to Florida, can't get to Ohio...with my current schedule," says Williams, the Grey's Anatomy star. "It's a real opportunity, real privilege to be able to come here...and try to inspire and encourage people."

Registering people to vote is a key first step and an area where he can help, says Williams.

"It's literally the least you can do. And aside from that, I'd like you to vote for our guy. I think that choice is so clear. It would be funny if it wasn't so dangerous to consider a guy like Mitt Romney," he says.

Williams seemed to echo a theme that the Obama campaign has been pushing in its election messages: Romney could actually win this thing if people don't come out and vote. (The latest fundraising e-mail from the campaign has the subject line: "Romney defeats Obama?" -- telling supporters to donate in order to avoid that headline in November).

"He doesn't stand for anything," Williams says of Romney. "He's a quick-fix guy and that's what he's made his career out of.... He's stubborn on things that make no sense."

Williams, who says education is especially important to him, spoke to volunteers and supporters at the campaign's new office in Five Points on Saturday morning.

"If the fact that I...am on a hit TV show will give us three more seconds with viewers to pay attention...then that's valuable...and there's certainly no shame in that," says Williams. "It's an exciting opportunity."

Cho, who spoke to fans at a booth at the Dragon Boat Festival later that afternoon, also says his support is just a tiny boost to attract more people to the campaign.

John Cho campaigning for Obama at the Dragon Boat Festival.
John Cho campaigning for Obama at the Dragon Boat Festival.
Sam Levin

"I really do consider it a privilege to come and see and be, in a very, very small way, a part of this election," says Cho, who also came from Los Angeles. "To be really invested in not just my own local politics, but to invest myself more heavily in a very personal way in national politics is a really cool feeling." Page down to read more from our interview and see more photos.   Fans at the festival, located at Sloan's Lake, lined up to take pictures with Cho -- who was also part of the Star Trek movie reboot and is now on a new NBC series called Go On -- thanking him for coming to Colorado.

John Cho takes pictures with fans at the Dragon Boat Festival on Saturday.
John Cho takes pictures with fans at the Dragon Boat Festival on Saturday.
Sam Levin

But he needed no thanks.

"It's silly. I've been hearing, 'Thanks for coming,' which is so ridiculous to me," he says. "To me, it's of historical significance to come here.... I'm really thankful.... A lot of the perks of my job, I don't particularly care for, but something like this where I'm meeting people because they're wanting to better their country, that's a very cool way to meet people -- I'd maybe say the best way."

And the perks of being an actor that he doesn't like?

"I'll tell you what's the worst part. If I've had a bad day, like I've just had a fight with my wife and then I'm going to the post office, I still have to smile. It's tough," he says.

Cho says that there are several issues that he thinks particularly resonate with Asian voters.

"I know that access to education is the reason my parents immigrated to the United States, and I want that to continue to be affordable and to continue to be accessible to all Americans, because I do think it's what distinguishes this country," he says.

And Obama's stance on health care is another issue that Cho rallies around when he talks to voters, he says.

"I just feel as though we would be much better off if everyone could see a doctor when they are sick," he says. "What our president is doing, trying to get health care for every single American, is our top priority."

Cho says he also appreciates that Obama has reached out to groups that may have previously felt ignored.

"Our president is unique in history. I feel like he has gotten to people who are first-time voters, people who are outliers traditionally...and that sense of inclusiveness is part of the ethos of his campaign and his presidency," he says.

When asked what concerns him most about a Romney win, he says, "I guess I could go on forever.... Suffice it to say, Obama is my man."

Federico Pena at Latinos for Obama lunch on Saturday.
Federico Pena at Latinos for Obama lunch on Saturday.
Sam Levin

Obama's Colorado campaign team didn't just bring out Hollywood celebs on Saturday. Former Denver Mayor Federico Peña, who is also an Obama for America national campaign co-chair, stopped by a Latino Leaders BBQ at State Senator Lucia Guzman's home to offer his support.

"I have been focusing a lot on Colorado, first of all to make sure the same base we had four years ago comes out to vote for the president, because this is clearly gonna be a very close election and this is a battleground state," says Peña, adding, "If we get a strong Latino turnout, we will win statewide. Everybody now knows...that if candidates running in close statewide elections...don't win the Latino vote, they lose."

He adds, "Everyday, I'm beginning to feel that the enthusiasm that we had four years ago is coming back. We are not yet there, in my opinion, but every day we're getting closer."

Page down to see more photos.  

John Cho with fans at Sloan's Lake.
John Cho with fans at Sloan's Lake.
Sam Levin
Actor Jesse Williams listening to speakers at the Obama campaign's Five Points office.
Actor Jesse Williams listening to speakers at the Obama campaign's Five Points office.
Sam Levin
Sign outside the Latinos for Obama lunch.
Sign outside the Latinos for Obama lunch.
Sam Levin

Page down to see more photos.  

Signs outside the Five Points office of the Obama campaign.
Signs outside the Five Points office of the Obama campaign.
Sam Levin
State Senator Lucia Guzman who hosted a BBQ for Obama in her house.
State Senator Lucia Guzman who hosted a BBQ for Obama in her house.
Sam Levin
Obama Five Points office.
Obama Five Points office.
Sam Levin

More from our Politics archive: Harold & Kumar, Grey's Anatomy stars visiting Denver for Obama 2012

Follow Sam Levin on Twitter at @SamTLevin. E-mail the author at Sam.Levin@Westword.com.


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