If you’re a fan of Grey’s Anatomy or Private Practice, when you hear Kate Walsh’s name, you wouldn’t normally think that personal strife or poverty is synonymous with her name. However, in a very personal video detailing why she’s voting for Obama, the actress talks about growing up poor and the issues she finds important in this election.
Walsh, who currently stars on the hit medical drama Private Practice, has been on the campaign trail speaking out for president Obama in the quad cities. A few days ago, Kate Walsh took to her own YouTube account to speak out one last time on why the issues surrounding the current election are important to her. In the personal video, Kate Walsh stated:
“I just wanted to tell you a little bit about myself, and why Barack Obama is so important to me, and why this election is so important to me. My father was an immigrant. He came over from Ireland when he was 4 years old with his parents. He had a pretty hard life. He spent a lot of his time in an orphanage. For the majority of his career he was a union man.”
The actress continued to speak about her life, detailing her mother’s struggles raising a family on her own and the poverty she lived in because of those hard times:
“My parents were divorced when I was 6 years old. My mother went back out into the work force. She was largely unskilled, and depended hugely on the federal government program called CEDA to train her, so that she could get out in the work force, and make some money. The same government subsidies kept me going when my mom went back to work. These government programs that provided daycare for the elementary school that I went to, so that my mom could drop me off, and know that I was well taken care of. We struggled. We were on food stamps. We relied heavily on medicaid, and medicare. I went to work when I was 14”
Student loans were hugely debated during the presidential debate, as students are graduating or dropping out with a mountain of debt. Walsh was no stranger to these hard times and stated:
“My parents didn’t have the money so I had to take out student loans. I accrued thousands, and thousands, and thousands of dollars in student loan debt. At least, somewhere between 30 to 50 thousand dollars, and then I left. Here I was going back out into the world at the ripe age of 20, with this massive debt, and no health insurance. I defaulted on my student loans, and because I was no longer in college, I was at the mercy of whatever I could get, medical wise, and planned parenthood was always there for me.”
The actress later added:
“I carried that anxiety with me of not having health insurance all through my twenties. I know what it’s like to live both with that debt, and that anxiety. It wasn’t until I was 36 years old, when I got on Grey’s Anatomy, and I could finally pay back my student loans once and for all.”
Do you think there’s a place for celebrities on the campaign trail? How much influence do you think celebrities have on the average voter?