#MCM Election Edition: Blake Cooper Griffin on Why He Loves Hillary
Now that primary season is in full swing, it seems like everyone has an opinion on who our next president should (or shouldn’t) be. With that in mind, we’re highlighting some politically minded man crushes to prove that hot dudes can also be knowledgeable about current events… who knew?
This week, we’ve got Blake Cooper Griffin, an actor whose latest film “Love Is All You Need?” premiered at the Cinequest Film Festival on March 5. Blake played a frat president and football player in a world where gay relationships are the norm and straight people are persecuted. Next, he’ll play the lead in “Before You Say I Do.”
Let’s talk about your love for Hillary.
BCG: I love this idea because I love Hillary. My friends make fun of me because I am such a nerd about her. They say the only person who knows more about Hillary Clinton than Blake – is Hillary Clinton.
So how did you get into Hillary?
I grew up in a sort of “political family” but on the other side [conservative]. Then, when I started discovering what my political leanings were, I realized that I’m a Democrat and a Liberal.
A couple of years ago I was in New York and I was doing a job out there – an acting job – and when I was coming back from The Hamptons I picked up Hillary’s book Living History. I started reading it, and as I read, I couldn’t believe how truly badass she was. I was reading it and I was thinking that this is one of the smartest women, no, one of the smartest people I’ve ever encountered in my life and I just couldn’t believe that this person was not president of The United States – this was before she ever ran.
Then, in 2008, she announced her candidacy and I campaigned for her. I did phone banking and that sort of thing – I did some sort of basic volunteering but when she didn’t get the nomination I campaigned for Barack Obama.
I’ve been waiting – I gotta tell you – I’ve been waiting since then to campaign for her again.
What’s been the extent of your involvement with the campaign?
When I heard she was running I got really involved and started writing articles about her. I wrote a few and then somebody that was related to the campaign read one of them and set up a meet-and-greet with one of the people on the campaign so they could figure out how I could volunteer. I got involved and I went to the Iowa caucus and went door-to-door for her. I was also there when the election results came in.
Three or four weeks before the Iowa caucus, I got a chance to meet Hillary in LA. She gave me a hug and thanked me for everything. We talked briefly and I told her that I really wanted to help get more millennials involved in her campaign. She said, “I’d really appreciate that,” and I just expressed to her how awesome I think she is.
What was a moment of hers that really inspired you?
Honestly, her 2008 DNC speech where she rallied around Barack Obama. I thought the speech was so electric. She’s a woman who has consistently defined the conversation for herself – she’s not been defined by the conversation. As a young person and as an actor, I really appreciate that. I think she is the smartest, most capable person, most experienced person ever to run for the presidency. I think we have an opportunity like never before to put the best person in the job.
I also watched some videos online when she was in the White House and she was a revolutionary then. She got 8 million kids healthcare, she went overseas and said, “Women’s rights are human rights and human rights are women’s rights,” and before she even entered the public arena, she was knocking on doors for Children’s Defense Fund and getting disabled students to school. This woman is somebody who has consistently been part of the conversation and everything that she touches gets better.
It’s a multifaceted admiration for her.
It’s through her actions and even in New York – when she helped rally and support New Yorkers after the 9/11 tragedies – or the fact that she’s one of the most distinguished secretaries of state.
There’s a great story about her when she was at Wellesley College. She was the first student – because it’s all girls – she was the first student to ever give a commencement speech at Wellesley for graduation. There was a senator there that was also giving a speech and he asked the girls of Wellesley to remember their role in society and be demure women in order to fit their role in society. Hillary threw her speech out that she was going to give and she stood up and as a young person, she basically read the Senator. She railed against him for 10 minutes in a speech that she just gave on the spot where she talked about everybody needing to have an equal place in society.
I think that’s really inspiring because – especially some of the movie projects I’ve been doing recently have been about people having equal rights and in many cases I’ve played the bad guy but – I’m very passionate about everybody in our society having their voice at the table and I think Hillary really personifies that.
Now what are your thoughts when people say she takes too much money from banks and special interest groups?
I have to say – I think there’s a double standard there.
First of all, I don’t think that in any position Hillary Clinton can be bought. I have not seen a single example of when she changed a position based off of a donation. So that, to me, is ludicrous because she is a fighter, a revolutionary, she is that person that stood up at Wellesley and railed against injustice. I don’t think that Hillary will ever be bought.
I think many politicians have accepted the support of many backers so I don’t know why she’s being held to a higher standard and I’m very confident in the fact that Hillary Clinton has the confidence and the courage to stand up for what’s right.
How do you think she did as Secretary of State?
I think she entered into the position of Secretary of State at a time when America desperately needed their image to be rehabilitated on the world stage. I think she did that and I have an immense amount of gratitude to her as an American.
I also think that experience is key to her run for being president because it is a multifaceted world that we live in. We live in an intricate and deeply interconnected world and now more than ever we need somebody that understands the nuance of that.
I feel very confident with Hillary Clinton stepping into that role.
She is going to attack income inequality. She’s going to attack equal pay for women. She’s going to protect equal rights for our gay and lesbian friends and brothers and sisters. She’s going to make sure college is more affordable but she also has this vast knowledge of international policy and diplomacy which I think we need more than ever.
You can see the rhetoric that’s playing you in this election and to me it’s very scary. We need somebody that has a firm grasp on every single issue not just one issue – but all issues.
What sets her apart from Bernie Sanders?
I like Bernie Sanders.
My love and support for Hillary Clinton is because I am confident in Hillary Clinton not because I don’t like Bernie Sanders. I respect everyone. I’m an actor and not a politician so I respect everyone’s ability to vote for whoever they choose but for me, Hillary Clinton is the entire package.
I think that she offers the spirit of somebody who has consistently stood up to special interests, she’s stood up for America throughout her entire life. I trust that history.
She’s somebody that deals in facts – which I appreciate and is needed. She also is someone who I think is ready to be president. For me, that’s why I support Hillary Clinton but again, my love for her has nothing to do with being anti-Bernie – it’s just that I support Hillary fully.
Anything else to add?
She is somebody who has really broken the mold and has been first. She’s been first in so many different arenas and I think that it would be fitting if America made her the first female president.
If you have a man crush who’s stumping for another political candidate, send the deets to firstname.lastname@example.org so we can feature him.
Photo by Benjo Arwas.