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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Chelsea Clinton and kid from Two and a Half Men share stage at Improv



A handful of young political celebrities – Chelsea Clinton, Josh Romney, George P. Bush, among them – took the stage Wednesday afternoon at the Improv theater. But they weren’t there for a lot of laughs.

 The “Conversations with the Next Generation” event, presented by National Journal, The Atlantic and Microsoft included interviews and panels discussions on the youth vote, education and the future of America's economy.

Romney talked a bit about his father and the sometimes surreal nature of the campaign. “I usually call him dad, but Mitt sometimes slips out,” he said.

He said all but one of the five Romney boys (Tagg) had been initially reluctant to see their father run for president again. “You know your dad is going to get taken out of context, he’s going to get beat up,” he said.

He said he was surprised by questions about his father’s professional success. “We see my dad’s success being attacked … Would you rather have someone run for office who’s been a failure at everything he’s done?”

Bush, who is involved with a public charter school in Texas, talked about the need to pay teachers more money and about making high school curriculums more “relevant” to students’ career choices. Clinton, who now works for NBC, mainly asked questions but got a few “get-out-and-vote” p lugs. Other panelists included Hillsborough Schools Superintendent Maryellen Elia, who talked about the district's opening of 57 new IT academies where students can earn industry certification.

The end of the discussion featured an interview with 18-year-old Angus T. Jones, who’s headed off to University of Colorado next year. Jones co-starred in the sitcom Two and a Half Men.

He was asked about how he’ll make his voting decision, why young people don’t vote. Amazingly, no one asked about Charlie Sheen.

But someone did stand up and ask Jones why he was at the convention. That audience member? Tim Daly (the guy from Wings!), who was prompting Jones to speak about an arts project with which they are involved.

-- Jodie Tillman, Times Staff Writer


[Last modified: Thursday, August 30, 2012 5:07pm]


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