Kal Penn made his speech at the DNC last night, the left’s answer to Clint Eastwood’s empty stool debacle at the RNC. Just as Eastwood overshadowed keynote speaker Chris Christie to steal the limelight at the RNC, Kal Penn provided a counterweight to Eastwood, defining the Democratic Party in contrast to the GOP more than last night’s keynote speaker Julian Castro.
The essence of Penn’s speech? He’s supporting Obama because, despite all the shortcomings and disappointments that dominate political dialogue, he says things have changed for the better in the last four years.
“My friend Matt got a job at a Detroit car company that still exists, and Lauren can get the prescription she needs. I’m volunteering because Josiah is back from Iraq, Chris is finishing college on the GI Bill, and three weeks ago, my buddy Kevin’s boyfriend was able to watch him graduate from Marine Corps training. That’s change!” He said.
But the most significant part of Penn’s speech wasn’t even what he said—it was how he said it. Speculating at what hashtags might pop up after his speech (and suggesting #sexyface), Penn brought the Democratic Party into sync with how the modern world communicates. It was a far cry from the Bob Hope-era empty stool vaudeville routine that fell about five decades late for Eastwood.
In the end Penn implored young voters to join him and embrace online activism. “You don’t even have to put pants on!” He said.
Sure, the speech was corny in moments, but overall it confirmed the wisdom of hiring the dude from “Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle” to appeal to the youth vote. Watch below.