Saturday, July 28, 2012 | 7:16 p.m.
Zach Braff and Donald Faison huddled around a laptop in a dingy back room of a Barack Obama presidential campaign office Saturday afternoon in Las Vegas.
Between responding to tweets on a special live Twitter chat event, the actors cracked jokes and composed the beginnings of a mock love song. At the campaign office, 860 S. Rancho Drive, they were just two miles away from the north end of the Strip, but they might as well have been in another city, because catching a show and placing a bet were the furthest things from their minds on this trip.
“I don’t think either one of us has been here and not gone to the Strip,” Braff said.
Not this time. This time, they were in town to motivate volunteers, inform people and visit a few homes in what Braff calls “150-degree heat.” The former “Scrubs” TV show actors were there to use their fame and get residents involved in the 2012 presidential election.
“We’re here to rally the troops and say, ‘You have to participate, please participate,’” Braff said. “So if the fact that we are known in the public eye can remind people, ‘Oh yeah, I (need) to check that I’m registered’ … we’re happy to use that because we want to bring attention to the election.”
Faison and Braff spent the afternoon giving brief speeches to volunteers at two Obama campaign offices in Las Vegas, tweeting about the election and canvassing door-to-door. Faison said their status as celebrities offers them an opportunity to have an impact on the election.
“You get people who are ready to receive you instead of telling you to scram, because they recognize you,” Faison said.
They said the highlight of the visit came during the hourlong canvassing in the sweltering 105-degree heat. Faison said a woman came sprinting from a home they had just visited asking to sign up to vote. The two even went inside to help her register.
“It was exciting. We were like, ‘We have that form,’” Braff said.
Volunteer Cathie Buchanon said seeing the two actors come out in support of the election has been a great experience.
“It’s important,” she said. “For them being there, (people can see) they’re taking time out of their busy lives to come do this, so they can see it’s important.”
While the dingy back room of a campaign office next to a tiny bathroom might not boast the same amenities as a penthouse suite at the MGM Grand, at the end of the day, Braff and Faison knew they were exactly where they wanted to be.
“Nevada is a swing state. The election will be decided here and a couple other places,” Braff said. “If we grab the attention of some young people that like me and Donald on 'Scrubs' and have never participated in a presidential election, and we get some of those to register, we really feel like we’ve made a difference.”