With just over one week left until America heads to the polls, two of John Kerry's biggest and most tireless supporters — his daughters Alexandra and Vanessa — stopped by "TRL" on Monday (October 25), making a last-minute appeal to undecided young voters.
"I just ask people to take a look at the last three and a half years and ask themselves if this president has been investing in our future," Vanessa said. "He hasn't talked about healthcare, he hasn't talked about making college education more affordable. He hasn't talked about the environment or making an investment in that future."
"We're just targeted towards making sure we get a change of leadership," added Alexandra, "and get a president who's going to make sure college education is affordable, [and] that there are jobs waiting for young people. There's been a lot of misleading under this administration, so to have somebody who can potentially be your leader speak directly and honestly is something that's of great value."
The environment, the cost of education, and the war in Iraq — all important issues to young voters — have been some of Vanessa and Alexandra's main talking points as they've crisscrossed the country in support of their dad. And though they've been far from silent on the campaign trail, there's little actually known about John Kerry's only daughters. They're both students — Vanessa goes to Harvard Medical School, while Alexandra attends the American Film Institute in Los Angeles — and they've both put their academic pursuits on hold to campaign for their father.
They also aren't afraid to be out of step with the company line, particularly on the issue of gay marriage, which both sisters have gone on record as saying they support (their father favors same-sex civil unions). But they're quick to defend him when asked about the incident in which he mentioned that Vice President Dick Cheney's daughter is a lesbian during a debate with George W. Bush.
"He said that comment with so much compassion, and one of the first bills he voted for when he came to the U.S. Senate was for gay rights," Alexandra said. "I think for loss of being able to talk about the debate or [Bush's] record, [Republicans] went to that and made that an issue."
Although "TRL" tapes in New York (whose Yankees lost to the Red Sox in dramatic fashion last week), and even though Missouri (whose St. Louis Cardinals are battling the Red Sox in the World Series) is a crucial swing state, the Kerry sisters weren't afraid to show a little hometown love on Monday, with Vanessa sporting the words "Go Red Sox" scrawled on her right arm. But she explained the matter in a way that would make her father — or any politician — proud.
"It's very important, and I feel very strongly about it," she laughed, rubbing her forearm. "Baseball is baseball, and our future is our future, and it's very important we get a president that is going make sure we can play baseball for years to come."
For more on Vanessa Kerry, check out the Q&A "Vanessa Kerry: Political Science Road Scholar." Choose or Lose has requested interviews with the Bush daughters and with the president himself, but they have yet to agree to it (see "Why Hasn't MTV Interviewed President Bush?").
— James Montgomery, with reporting by Gideon Yago