Celebrities Hoping for Change
12:58 PM, Jan 19, 2009 • By SAMANTHA SAULT
Barack Obama isn't even sworn-in yet, and Inauguration Week is in full-swing with countless black-tie galas, concerts, and parties taking place throughout Washington, D.C. And Washingtonians and visitors alike are starstruck by the hoardes of A-list (and D-list) celebrities in the city--lining up along velvet ropes for a photo with a TV star, or waiting in long lines in the frigid cold in hopes of cramming in a dark nightclub to see a rapper like Nelly or Ludacris perform. But the celebrities themselves seem starstruck over President-Elect Obama and have high hopes for his administration.
I asked a few what they hope the president-elect's first task will be. At Saturday's Young and Powerful Group event for young professional Obama supporters, singer and D.C. native Mya told me she hopes that education will be Obama's "prime focus," and thinks that "it's probably one of his priorities, if not his first."
On Sunday, Lifestyle Communications hosted the first-ever Change Awards, honoring Senator Roland Burris, among others, at the Newseum. Though Burris was a no-show, stars of the HBO series The Wire posed for photos and described their hopes for Obama's administration, too. "What I wish for him is that he has the ability to maintain the family unit, to keep that intact, because he has obviously shown that that means so much to him, and I wish him that personal success--no matter how it goes for the rest of the country," Emmy-winning actor Glynn Turman told me. And Wendell Pierce said, "That he tells all those banking institutions that got billions of dollars that they have an obligation to make loans. Very simple."
It seems Obama has a lot to live up to. When I asked Pierce if "hope and change" is just good campaign rhetoric, he said, "It's not campaign rhetoric--he's gonna make it happen. He's gonna make it happen." Hundreds of celebrities--and thousands of average supporters--are lavishly celebrating Obama's inauguration before he's even sworn in, so let's hope he doesn't let them down.