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October 30, 2014

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Natalie Portman adds star power for women at pro-Obama rally

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Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun

Actress Natalie Portman speaks at a Women for Obama campaign event Saturday, August 25, 2012.

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Actress Natalie Portman speaks at a Women for Obama campaign event Saturday, August 25, 2012. Launch slideshow »

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Natalie Portman stumps for Obama

Actress Natalie Portman and President Barack Obama's senior advisor Valerie Jarrett spoke about Obama's accomplishments on Saturday, August 25, 2012, at the Historic Fifth Street School.

When Natalie Portman took the stage at the Obama for America Nevada Women Vote Summit on Saturday, she realized this visit to Las Vegas was nothing like her previous trips.

“This was a more inspiring experience just to see how active all these women are in the community,” Portman said.

Portman gave the final speech to a crowd of more than 400 women, and a few men. She followed President Barack Obama political strategist Valerie Jarrett, Nevada Assemblywoman Irene Bustamante Adams and other campaign activists.

The last time Portman was in Las Vegas, she was in a food lover’s paradise. Two years ago she came as a guest judge on "America’s Top Chef." Later, she sampled the abundance of gourmet meals the city had to offer. That opened her eyes to our food; this trip opened her eyes in a different way.

“I know how important this state is to the election, and it’s the least I can do for what the president has done for us and can do for us,” Portman said. “It was an honor and privilege to share the stage with these other incredible women too and be in a room full of women who are really active.”

The auditorium of the Historic Fifth Street School was packed with people who cheered as the speakers highlighted Obama’s actions in office, from health care reform to the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which grants women equal pay to men, to the nomination of two women to the Supreme Court. Mentions of Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney or his running mate Paul Ryan received boos.

Portman opened her speech to a standing ovation. She spoke for nearly 10 minutes about the work Obama has done for women and America. She touched on the death of Osama bin Laden, the Affordable Health Care Act and Obama’s efforts to support women’s rights.

“We are creating a future for our children, and I want them to see a president like President Obama in the office, who respects and loves women,” Portman said. “And who is all for creating an equal world for others and all of our children.”

Obama campaign volunteer Celeste Downey said she loved the experience. She brought an undecided friend, who she said seemed persuaded by the speakers.

Leslie Rogers said the event left her motivated and full of new talking points to help persuade her friends to vote for Obama. Though she liked Portman’s speech, she said she really came for Jarrett.

“(Portman) provided a name for the event and brought more people, but for me the best speaker was Valerie Jarrett,” Rogers said. “Because of her connections to Obama in the last 21 years.”

Portman was the third celebrity to visit Las Vegas to campaign for Obama. “Scrubs” stars Zach Braff and Donald Faison helped register voters on July 28.

Nevada Republican Party communications director Darren Littell did not attend the event, but he said the use of celebrities for the Obama campaign wouldn’t impact the election.

“Nevadans want to see a president focused on economy,” Littell said. “Not one that brings in a celebrity to help him win an election.”

The actress had campaigned for Get Out The Vote in 2008, but Saturday was her first campaign event for the 2012 election.

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  1. She'll always be Matilda to me.

    Nordli -- "the best speker was Valerie Jarrett"?

    "After the coffee things ain't so bad." -- Henry Herbert Knibbs, cowboy poet, d. 1945

  2. "Nevada Republican Party communications director Darren Littell did not attend the event, but he said the use of celebrities for the Obama campaign wouldn't impact the election. 'Nevadans want to see a president focused on economy,' Littell said. 'Not one that brings in a celebrity to help him win an election.'"

    You keep thinking that, Mr. Littell. Nobody in their right mind believes that. Especially women.

    After years of a campaign solely initiated by the Tea/Republican Party in State all the way to national efforts to savagely and relentlessly assault women in a self-declared World War Women, the women of Nevada, as well as nationally, see what is going on.

    While Mr. Littell seems to live in a fantasy world, he has not seen the women energized, mobilized, even mounting their own candidates for this next election. I think it's a sure bet these four hundred women who attended will be getting the word out to other women voters. It will snowball.

    The truth of the matter is that women seem to have had enough of these shenanigans where they are being attacked solely because of the anatomy they possess that's somewhere between their bellybutton and their knees. They are sick and tired of it.

    I guarantee you the women are looking for payback on November 6, 2012.

    I'd be willing to bet they will be voting just like I will. Straight up and down the ballot Democratic Party.

    So, keep up that celebrity this, she don't know what she's talking about crap, Mr. Littell. But don't be surprised when women in Nevada vote overwhelmingly to kick to the curb every single Tea/Republican politician they can. I'd bank on it. It's even a sure bet in any casino in town.

  3. I think it's absolutely hilarious that because a celebrity comes to town a voter is influenced simply by that fact.

    Do people not think on their own?

    From what I'm reading it sounds like the economy is the #1 issue in America these days. This whole abortion topic is *NEVER* going to move either way. It's simply a talking point in every election.

    Now, back to the economy. Are Nevadans, specifically Las Vegans, already forgetting that Obama criticized people for wanting to visit Las Vegas? Do you all want jobs or is a 20% unemployment rate going to be ok for you guys? Perhaps Las Vegas should hire more firefighters too?

    Yeah, good ideas: Vote for Obama and advocate for my $150,000+/yr firefighters! Brilliant!

  4. Romney's laws will take the legal status of women further back in time then those who lived in the Byzantine Empire.

    There will be no compromise in accepting that end and if he is given the power, the divisiveness will continue to escalate without limit, as it should. The Republicans will have to let the prisoners out of their cells to make room for the protesters, as they are doing in Tampa at the moment.

  5. If you enjoy reminiscing about the Caveman era...

    and you think yer women folk should be barefoot & preggers, and seen but not heard, then Mitt & Paul and the 'R' ticket is right up your alley!!!

    Personally, I have a wife, daughter, mother, and 3 sisters...

    NONE OF THEM will be voting for Rmoney/Ryan and their draconian anti-woman platform.

  6. That's okay. Let the Republicans think women don't matter.