Molly Ringwald

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On Wed., September 14th, actress Molly Ringwald stopped at Plymouth State University in the middle of her travels across New Hampshire as the Clinton campaign’s newest advocate.

Ringwald, who rose to fame through a string of successful films in the 1980s, now works on her singing career, writing, and occasional acting roles. She added advocacy to her résumé when she began to follow closely the campaigns of Sen. Bernie Sanders and Secretary Hillary Clinton in the early stages of the presidential race. Shortly after Sanders dropped from the race, Ringwald began putting more time in to ensure local communities would be educated on the impact of the race, including working at call stations and advocating for voter registration.

Ringwald spoke briefly on why she sees Clinton as the most qualified candidate for the presidency, supporting Clinton’s vision for a new state health insurance plan for children, while leaving the rest of her visit open to questions from the event’s attendees. There were playful questions regarding political views of characters in her movies (“Duckie couldn’t vote for Donald Trump,” said Ringwald. “Who would vote for that comb over?”) as well as personal questions regarding Ringwald’s stance on social issues such as women’s rights.

In the end, Ringwald spent several minutes visiting with her fans, taking pictures and signing posters. Her next stop was a phone bank in Concord, but before she left she gave me an exclusive interview that I would later publish in a local newspaper, The Record Enterprise. She brought the focus on her kids, and on her ultimate goal for them to see her fighting for them.

 

Record

First of all, I feel like you should be running for president. That presentation was great.

 

Ringwald

[Laughs] Thank you.

 

Record

What inspired you to do this?

 

Ringwald

I think really what inspired me is what I told the kids: I’m a parent, and a concerned American. And I really care about the safety of my children, and their children, and making sure that they have the same rights that I was raised with.

I’m trying to remember a defining moment. I think it was around the time that Trump insulted the Khans, the Gold Star parents. [Back in July, Trump insulted the mother of a fallen Muslim soldier who had previously denounced Trump during the Democratic National Convention.]

 

Record

That’s when it hit you?

 

Ringwald

It really hit me. Everything up until then I was just posting privately with my friends. Then I realized I had to do something. I had to speak out, and put myself out there.

 

Record

What did you do?

 

Ringwald

I contacted the [Clinton] campaign, and I said, “Here are the dates I’m available. Whatever I can do, however I can be helpful.” So this was my first stop, Maine and New Hampshire. Hopefully I’ll get to go to other places before the election.

 

Record

Were you thinking about getting involved in the beginning? Or were you waiting for the right time?

 

Ringwald

I was thinking about it. But my family was moving from California to New York, and a lot of my focus was on finding a house, getting my kids in school, all of that stuff.

 

Record

What were your thoughts on the campaign at that time?

 

Ringwald

I was watching the campaign closely, and it was really hard, because I loved both Hillary and Bernie. I felt very good about both of them, but I’m really glad Bernie did what he did and brought so much focus to those issues.

But I really feel like Hillary is the best candidate, I feel like she’s the most experienced. One of the great things about Hillary is that she listens to people, it’s something I try to do too, and it’s something that she’s really good at. It’s the right time for me, and for everyone, to make that push, and to make sure that a crazy person doesn’t get into office.

 

Record

So have you met Hillary?

 

Ringwald

I did, I met her in the Nineties. There was a Time magazine party where everyone who had been on the cover of Time was invited (that was living).

 

Record

I was there too!

Ringwald

Oh, were you?

 

Record

They just forgot about me.

 

Ringwald

[Laughs] I met both of the Clinton’s then. And I was really struck, actually, the first time I met them. Because everyone always talks about how charismatic Bill is, and I was struck by how charismatic she was. She was really friendly, very open, and so easy to talk to. Pretty soon after that she started her senatorial campaign, and I had done some fundraising for her in New York for that.

 

 

Record

So you’ve known Hillary for a while.

 

Ringwald

Yeah, I mean we’re not texting each other, or Snapchatting each other, but I’ve known her.

 

Record

Have you been in a position like this before where you used your status to support someone?

 

Ringwald

I think the last time I did anything like this was during the Prop. 8 issue in California and I did some PSAs. I actually did one with my family. Because the whole issue was that gay marriage was going to destroy families, and so my husband and my child all did this sort of like, “Uh, we’re fine!” It was another moment where I felt it was really important for me to stand up. Not just as a celebrity, but as a mother. So my kids would be able to look back and say, “My mom did that. My mom was on the right side of history.”

 

Record

It seems like you transition so well from teen role model to mom role model. Was that hard for you?

 

Ringwald

No it felt pretty organic, just because I waited a long time to have kids, so I felt like it was really time. And because those films are so indelible in people’s minds, just from how often they play and how many generations they speak to, I felt like everyone just thought I was a teenager for so long. So I was pretty happy to move on to a different role.

 

Record

You’re still singing and acting too.

 

Ringwald

Yeah I do pretty much all three: acting, singing, and writing. And they all duke it out for time, because there’s not enough time to do everything at once.

 

Record

How did you prioritize this campaign in all of that?

 

Ringwald

I had time in the month of September, basically. And I’m going to try to make time in October.

 

Record

In the midst of all your activities.

 

Ringwald

In the midst of all my activities.

 

Record

You’re a busy person.

 

Ringwald

Yes, but it’s really important. My kids know why I’m out here and what I’m doing, and I think they’re really proud of that. And they can go talk to their friends at school. I feel like activism sort of begins in the home.

 

Record

So what’s the one thing you want people to get from this campaign and all your work?

 

Ringwald

For me the most important thing is that people vote, and that people educate themselves on the issues that they care about. Not by going to Fox News or even MSNBC, I think all of those are just so biased. People really need to get facts, for me factcheck.org is great.

If people care about education, and health, and the environment, and all those issues which are pretty much at the top of my list, then they’ll vote for Hillary. If everyone gets out to vote and is not apathetic, and realizes that this is probably going to be the most important election of their lives, and if we have a really great voter turnout, I think then I’ll feel really great.

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