Debra Messing Stumped for Clinton in Glenside, Philly
Award-winning actress Debra Messing made a stop in Glenside yesterday afternoon to join a panel discussion in support of Hillary Clinton. State Representative Madeleine Dean and Montgomery County Commissioner Val Arkoosh were also on the panel, and each gave brief opening statements before opening the floor to questions and comments. The predominantly female audience was forthcoming with personal testimonies and rousing support for the presumptive Democratic nominee.
Best known for her starring role in Will and Grace, Messing has been outspoken on social media in her support for Clinton. She said yesterday that she does not allow her son to watch Republican nominee Donald Trump speak on television, “because there’s such hatred and darkness and I try and teach him about inclusiveness and tolerance and compassion. And the idea that the president of the United States would be someone that I have to protect my child from hearing speak is so unimaginable to me.”
Panelists also discussed Pennsylvania’s role in the election.
“I think Pennsylvania is getting so much attention because it is a very large and very diverse state,” said Arkoosh, who is a delegate for Clinton. “And when I say diverse I mean in every way you can think of. We have big cities. We have very rural communities. We have ethnic diversity. We have financial diversity. We have a part of the state that is highly dependent on the economics of fracking. We have another part of the same state that many individuals are vehemently against it. We are, as a state, a microcosm of the whole country.”
“In a way I think we’re the Keystone State all over again,” echoed Dean. “I think there was a moment there maybe about four years ago where we thought it was just taken for granted now as a Democratic state. This campaign is like no other in anybody’s lifetime, that any of us can think about.”
Dean also believes that electing Clinton will have an impact for candidates in other elections, including Katie McGinty. In response to an audience member who sought to help McGinty “in a non-financial manner,” Dean said, “The number one thing we can do is overwhelmingly elect Hillary Clinton. Because as the numbers are driven out, as the Democrats who come out and the Republicans who cross over come out and vote for Hillary Clinton, that will help those down ballot, including myself,” Dean said.
Messing also announced that she will be speaking at the DNC next week. “I was asked last week to speak and I was stunned and honored and thrilled and I’m very excited,” Messing told Philadelphia magazine after the panel. “I’m going to leave it a surprise what I’m going to be speaking about.”
The Mysteries of Laura star will speak on Tuesday evening, during primetime.
Audience members lingered afterward to discuss the panel. Several women from the Montgomery County Democratic Women’s Leadership Initiative were in attendance, an organization that has raised over $50,000 for Democratic, female state representative candidates like Dean.
“We are the Democratic women of Montgomery County, the epicenter,” said Ellen Brookstein.
Others were driven by curiosity, not for Messing, but for the the venue. “We came to see the restaurant,” said one woman with a shrug. The panel was hosted in the Celebrity Room of Dino’s Backstage, a restaurant and bar that opened just three weeks ago on Keswick Ave. Owner Michael Kelly-Cataldi ended the event with a rousing chorus of “America the Beautiful.”