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Actor Kal Penn Meets With Young Obama Supporters in Arlington

by ARLnow.com June 12, 2012 at 12:25 pm 7,763 62 Comments

Actor Kal Penn met with more than 100 young supporters of President Obama in Rosslyn and on Columbia Pike last night.

At Cafe Asia in Rosslyn, Penn spoke to a young professionals event about the importance of the upcoming presidential election.

“The stakes in this election are extremely high and none of us want to see the country move backwards,” Penn said. “Obviously Virginia is a battleground state, so there are a lot of resources on both sides of the aisle being poured in here.”

Penn, 35, spent two of the past four years working in the Obama White House, in between acting jobs. He said he’s again taking a break from his acting career to make sure the president wins a second term in office.

“I loved and felt very honored to serve the president for two years and a lot of folks are doing their part… not just actors but teachers, firemen, policemen, students, young entrepreneurs,” Penn said. “As much as a love the movie career… seeing what the stakes are and seeing what the alternative is just makes you want to do everything you can between now and November to get the president re-elected. I feel lucky that I can go back to my creative job, but right now when we do events like this, it’s a little more serious in tone.”

In a question and answer session, Penn couldn’t escape a query about his showbiz career, which has included roles in movies like Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle and National Lampoon’s Van Wilder, and TV shows like House and How I Met Your Mother.

“What was more fun, working at the White House or working on House?” one young man asked. The White House, Penn replied.

Penn was joined by former White House Chief Technology Officer, Arlington resident, and possible candidate for Virginia lieutenant governor Aneesh Chopra, who spoke passionately about the role of young people and Asian Americans in propelling the president to victory in 2008.

After the event in Rosslyn, Penn and Chopra met with phone bank volunteers at the Obama campaign’s Arlington office at 2408 Columbia Pike. Protesters held anti-Obama signs outside both the Rosslyn and Columbia Pike events.

Among the messages on the signs were references to Penn’s movies, including: “Obama & Kumar Go To Debt Castle” and “If the private sector is ‘doing fine’ then Harold & Kumar should win Best Picture.”

  • Rob Geeeee


    • Becoming indifferent

      Because people are protesting, or because people are dumb enough to listen to some two-bit actor talk about politics?

    • G Clifford Prout (now moderated for extra purity)

      Young Republicans. So sweet and tasty.

  • C. Heston

    Way to protest in flip-flops.

  • drax

    “Obama & Kumar Go To Debt Castle”

    “If the private sector is ‘doing fine’ then Harold & Kumar should win Best Picture.”


    • marie antoinette


      • drax

        LOL sarcasm

        • marie antoinette

          Now Now Drax.

  • John Fontain

    Protesting someone because they have differing political views than you? Lame.

    • Arlington, Northside

      Yeah, ’cause it is not like he was going to say less then nice things about those with differing views from him inside.

    • HighViewPunk

      I was thinking the same thing.

    • drax

      “Protesting someone because they have differing political views than you? Lame.”

      Do you mean me, or the guys with the signs, John?

      • John Fontain

        The guys with the signs.

    • speonjosh


  • CrystalMikey

    What’s the deal with protesters…was Ballroom closed?

    • diabeticinarlington


  • Enough already

    Who cares what “Kal Penn” has to say. Our society is so ridiculous. Someone makes a movie and now has a following and more influence than someone else. I would much listen to what a teacher has to say, who actually has my respect than this schmo.

    • drax

      He’s a former White House staff member though!

      • Becoming indifferent

        And that is supposed to impress us?

    • MC 703

      In 2008, Penn served as a visiting lecturer in Asian American Studies at the University of Pennsylvania.[10][25] His course was titled “Images of Asian Americans in the Media.”[26]

    • CourthouseChris

      *cough* Reagan *cough*

      • marie antoinette


  • he looks like an indian joe rogan now w/ those extra white castle pounds.

    on another note, can’t believe people care about this stuff.

  • OldTimer

    Not a morsel of food left.

  • Fan

    Hated Harold and Kumar. I like the guy though, and he was wonderful in “The Namesake,” which was a more serious film and isn’t mentioned above.

  • JamesE

    Those two in the last photo probably proposed to him.

    • John Fontain

      Proposed what?

    • Quoth the Raven

      You know he came out of there with some numbers. No doubt.

      • Arlington, Northside

        He is single, more power to him!

  • KalashniKEV

    He couldn’t even shave or put on a decent shirt?

    • John Fontain

      Would that make him a better person? Or more qualified to share his political views?

      • Arlington, Northside

        It would make him more professional and thus more credable in the eyes of the majority. It is a shame that we have allowed our standards of dress to fall to where they are.

        • John Fontain

          Should he have worn a sweater vest?

        • NPGMBR

          If that were true The Donald would be swimming in credibility!

          • Arlington, Northside

            Think of how much less credability he would have if he dressed like the Facebook kid.

      • KalashniKEV

        A better person? Perhaps.
        More qualified to share his political views? Absolutely.

        He looks shabby and unkempt, like a person of low worth. If he doesn’t respect himself enough to clean himself up when he wakes up in the morning, or at least on days when he’s going to address an audience, then why should anyone else have any respect for him? Forget about respect for his personal political opinions…

        • Banksy

          “a person of low worth” — did you wander in from a Dickens novel? Please. He looks fine. Find something real to gripe about. It’s not like you would have had any respect for his opinion anyway. He could have been clean-shaven and wearing a suit and you would have screamed “Elitist” instead.

          • KalashniKEV


            He looks slovenly and disheveled.

          • drax

            Kev wears a hoop skirt and drinks mint juleps and complains about “persons of low worth.”

        • WeiQiang

          so, guys who show up in Alabama at political rallies with scraggly beards and a give-away Skol hats and assault rifles – because they can – don’t respect themselves or aren’t worth listening to as speakers or … well, I’m not sure.

          I’d suggest that in either case, they’re catering to a particular demographic. Legally.

          • KalashniKEV

            Not sure?

            I’ll help you then- “people of low worth.”

            We’re not talking about whether or not I agree with their position, just the Presence they make when they’re telling me I should support or adopt it.

          • drax

            “We’re not talking about whether or not I agree with their position, just the Presence they make when they’re telling me I should support or adopt it.”

            Sure, Kev.

    • fashion police

      he still looks a whole lot better than those wannabee geeks with the signs.

  • Arlington, Northside

    I have to give the guy credit, unlike activist actors like Sean Penn, he has actually stepped up and spent time working within the administration in an under paid official capacity.

  • j

    I love his Arlington raps about flip-flops and the green line.

    • Arlington, Northside

      😮 He should stick to funny movies with T&A, Remmy will continue to do the rapping.

  • SpySmasher

    Filthy Rich Bubble Resident and Actor Kal Penn Lectures Naive Children in Arlington.

    Says, “I’m rich! So things are great! Disagree and you are a raaaacist!”

    • WeiQiang

      Seriously? Babylon Translation produced THAT?

  • Jenny

    Looks like Obama’s “supporters” are all desi H1B, H2B, B1, L1 foreign visa workers. the types who do not love or have loyality to the US, who he uses our tax dollars to subsidize, and he relies on to illegally re-elect him.

    • Quoth the Raven

      Hi Steve!

    • Banksy

      Congratulations — you win the award for Most Racist, Xenophobic Generalizing Comment (so far).

      • true

        ….and idiotic because because obviously people here on visas can’t vote.

      • El

        Racism and Xenophobia are good. You’re a traitor, watch your back.

    • WeiQiang

      … or maybe they are US citizens who happen to be *gulp* brown.

      wait a minute. wouldn’t a “worker” have to be hired by a “job creator”? Job creators don’t support President Obama! Kal was being punk’d! Those wily Republicans.

  • Jenny

    Do you know who hooked Obama and Kal Penn up, former Obama tech czar, Vivek Kundra, who has a felony arrest record, as does his sister. They stole thousands worth of goods from stores, then Obama had Kundra’s record purged. Of course, by that time Kundra and his company was already under federal investigation for extortion… Obama has had that purged as well.

    Kal Penn represents the racist, corrupt, pro-slavery elites of India, you know those types who oppress the Dalit people. But of course the left adores plantation slavery, always have, always will.

    • CourthouseChris

      Sorry, the transitive property does not apply here.

      • El

        Keep your mouth shut.

  • Banksy

    Just one more rant, Jenny, and we might be able to decipher exactly what axe you’re grinding. Member of a different Indian ethnic group? Turned down a job in favor of someone from India? We’re almost there…

  • KalashniKEV

    I just googled it, and unfortunately Jenny is correct- Vivek Kundra is the MOST CORRUPT Indian-American.

  • ArlForester

    Who is more boring, actors who think they matter or people who show up to hear them speak?

  • Craigonomics

    The private sector IS doing fine. Quarterly profits continued to rise to record levels throughout the “jobless recovery” of 2002-2007. All of a sudden that Obama is in office, his opponents’ definition of “doing fine” has changed to “jobs.” Jobs is not the definition of “private sector doing fine.” If you can cut staffing levels and other operating expenditures while still increasing your net, then you are doing fine, although some of the people involved — ex-employees for example — may not be.


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