Reuters Kal Penn took the podium at the Democratic National Convention
The Obama campaign released a new campaign advertisement on Monday that appears to show the president imploring a (possibly) stoned Penn to take his job seriously when he hosts coverage of the Democratic National Convention later this week.
"Hey this is Barack," Obama says into a phone, as a formal score plays in the background. "Listen, I need to know if you're on board. Okay, good. Because I'm counting on you. Everybody is. We have to get this right. So there's a lot at stake here. Just remember that I'm trusting you on this and I'll see you then."
As the president hangs up the phone, the video pans to a shot of Penn and his "Harold and Kumar" co-star John Cho slouched on a couch, watching television and eating pizza and Cheetos. The pair then begin laughing hysterically at the cartoons they are watching.
The video is a promotion for "Live From Charlotte," an online DNC program that will be hosted by Penn on Thursday night before the president's speech. The event will feature interviews with Michelle Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, as well as celebrity guests that include Marc Antony, Olivia Wilde and Fran Drescher.
Penn campaigned for Obama's election in 2008 as a member of Obama's National Arts Policy Committee before becoming the Associate Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement in 2009. He left that position for a time in 2010 to film "A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas."
In 2008, Obama won about 66 percent of voters between the ages of 18 and 29. While his support among youth voters has waned since that election, an April Gallup poll found that voters in that age group prefer the president over Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney by 64 to 29 percent.