Wednesday, March 01, 2017

W.Va.'s Jennifer Garner bucks Hollywood trend, trying to ally with Trump to promote rural causes

Jennifer Garner at the National Governors Association
winter meeting in Washington on Saturday. (AP photo)
While many Hollywood liberals have shunned President Trump, actress Jennifer Garner, a West Virginia native who often visits Appalachia to promote causes such as early education for the rural poor, has not given up on the Trump administration, Paul Kane reports for The Washington Post. "Garner, a true-blue Democrat who campaigned for Hillary Clinton last year and held a fundraiser for Barack Obama in 2008, is taking a unique approach: pushing a cause that would benefit the new administration’s political base," rural Americans.

Garner "spent the weekend lobbying the town’s pillars of power to support early education for poor rural children," Kane writes. "She spent Friday on Capitol Hill meeting dozens of top staff members. On Saturday, she delivered the keynote address before the annual National Governors Association winter meeting here. A potential sit-down with Ivanka Trump, who is advocating for more funding for child care, fell apart because of scheduling conflicts, but Garner remained optimistic about a face-to-face discussion soon."

Garner "sees an opportunity to hold the president accountable for the pledges he made to the country’s rural working class," Kane writes. She told the Post, “I’m looking forward to helping him make good on what they saw as promises, a mandate from him, that he was going to make their lives better." Garner said some of her friends “want to turn their back to this administration," but she told him, “If he’s willing to help the poor kids who got him elected, then let’s do it. They certainly think he’s going to."

For the past nine years Garner "has been on the board of Save the Children, a nonprofit organization. Mark Shriver is president of its political advocacy arm, Save the Children Action Network," Kane writes. "Save the Children is known primarily for its international projects, but it has also built out a niche focus on U.S. education programs, particularly in poor rural communities." Garner and Shriver have pushed for Congress to fund literacy programs that include all-day kindergarten and last year Garner was in West Virginia to help raise money after devastating floods.

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