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Atty. general nominee jams with local bands
By mara gordon
September 24, 2004

Democratic nominee for Pennsylvania Attorney General Jim Eisenhower paid a visit to Penn's campus yesterday to rally student voters, shake hands and play a guitar solo with Philadelphia indie rock band Cecil B.

Eisenhower, an attorney from Philadelphia and a distant relative of former President Dwight Eisenhower, spoke in front of Van Pelt Library yesterday afternoon between performances by several local musicians.

The concert, "Jammin' for Jim," was organized by the Penn College Democrats to increase awareness of the Eisenhower campaign. The club also set up tables with materials to make signs for today's rally with Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry.

Eisenhower spoke about the importance of young voters in this election and his plans as attorney general to battle high insurance rates, pollution and hate crime.

He also expressed his optimism for Democrats' success in November.

"We Eisenhowers know a little bit about a fight, a little bit about a battle," he said. "I smell victory."

After his speech, Eisenhower played a guest guitar solo for local band Cecil B. Josh Olmstead, the band's lead singer and a Temple University alumnus, teaches Eisenhower's son the guitar.

Olmstead said political concerts encourage young voters to get involved in elections.

"They show people the election process can be fun and exciting," he said. "Music and politics -- they go hand in hand."

And students agreed that the concert was a good tactic to attract youth voters.

"He's awesome," College sophomore Jennifer Ebling said. "He seems really in tune with the college demographic."

Jennifer Bunn, Penn Democrats events chairwoman and a Wharton and College junior, said the club worked directly with the Eisenhower campaign to bring the event to campus yesterday.

"They contacted us and wanted to do something here at Penn, because we're such a strong campus, and we have a good location," she said. "It's a good event to get his name out there, especially since a lot of people [at Penn] aren't from Philly."

However, several club members were disappointed with the low turnout at the concert. College senior Dan Treglia attributed the small number of students to a campus-wide focus-- on Kerry's campaign stop at Penn today.

"The event was going to be big, but instead of a week-long buildup to Jim Eisenhower, Jim Eisenhower is part of a week-long buildup to John Kerry," he said. Volunteer training for today's rally, run by Kerry campaign staff members, took place on Hill Field during the concert.

In addition to Cecil B., jazz singer Monika Ryan, hip hop group Tangled Thoughts and rock band The Tappas also performed during the afternoon on College Green.

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