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Thursday, April 18, 2024
<p>Jason Alexander speaks at UF Hillel on Wednesday about why it is important for students to register and vote. The event was hosted by Gators for Obama.</p>

Jason Alexander speaks at UF Hillel on Wednesday about why it is important for students to register and vote. The event was hosted by Gators for Obama.

When Jason Alexander was greeted by applause at UF Hillel on Wednesday afternoon, he wasn’t sure if the crowd was clapping for him or his full head of hair.

His hairpiece may have been fake, but Alexander’s message was sincere; students should vote in the upcoming presidential election.

“I’m not proud of it, but I didn’t vote in most elections,” he said to a crowd of about 70 people who gathered to hear him speak at the Gators for Obama event.

“I didn’t think anyone would get elected and change things,” he added later.

Alexander told the audience that putting money in education and cutting costs to middle-class workers would stimulate the economy. He also warned attendees to be wary of Mitt Romney’s austerity and trickle-down economics advocacies.

“He’s made a profit for investors, not workers,” Alexander said. “Nothing Mitt Romney has ever built or destroyed has helped that guy.”

He also spoke about protecting reproductive rights, improving Palestinian-Israeli relations and nominating Supreme Court justices.

“I truly believe what happens in this election will set the course for the next 20 years,” he said. “That’s most of your and my sons’ adult lives.”

He wasn’t the first celebrity to endorse Obama at UF. Actor Justin Long spoke at a Gators for Obama event in August.

“Engage, understand, advocate,” said Alexander, who spoke at Florida State University earlier that day. “You may have to get your hands dirty sooner, but there could be great rewards.”

Rachel McGovern, a 20-year-old political science junior and co-chairwoman of Gators for Obama, said both actors offered to speak at UF for free.

“They know the youth vote is important,” she said, “and it’s important to get them excited for President Obama.”

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McGovern said she supported President Obama because of his policy to keep student loan interest rates low. She and her twin sister took out loans to pay for classes.

“I know that I can’t ask my parents to borrow money for college,” McGovern said.

Jon Beever, a 19-year-old economics freshman, said he wasn’t surprised Alexander took time to speak to students.

After his speech, Alexander took pictures with fans for about five minutes.

“They come across as apathetic comedians, but they’re really passionate about voting,” Beever said, referencing Alexander and Jerry Seinfeld. “If there’s a couple things they care about, it’s who runs the world.”

Contact Michael Scott Davidson at mdavidson@alligator.org.

Jason Alexander speaks at UF Hillel on Wednesday about why it is important for students to register and vote. The event was hosted by Gators for Obama.

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