Actress and singer Mandy Moore opened up about her past relationship with politics while helping her choice for president, Pete Buttigieg, campaign at a town hall Monday night in Ames, Iowa.
Moore, who has often kept to herself when it comes to politics, told the Des Moines Register, part of the USA TODAY Network, that it was "really exciting” interacting with people who are so committed to supporting Buttigieg.
“Politics is something that I’ve always been fascinated by, and sort of, not sort of publicly vocal about,” she told the Register. “So to actually be here, for a candidate … and a campaign I’m so passionate about, to be on the ground and ... get the behind-the-scenes glimpse of sort of the inner workings of a campaign, is so interesting.”
Moore said she has been supporting Buttigieg since she first heard about him. She has participated in other campaign efforts on his behalf in recent months.
"I just believe in him so much," Moore said of Buttigieg. "I’m so inspired by him. I feel like he is such a hopeful candidate. What he represents ... I felt like him, in particular, there was no way I could sort of sit on the sidelines anymore. This is such a consequential election, period.”
Buttigieg gave Moore a hug from the town hall debate stage Monday night, where he admitted to being a fan of the show “This is Us,” which Moore stars in. Buttigieg said: “In the first 20 seconds, I'm bawling.”
Moore said she and the cast of "This is Us" do talk politics. She expressed clear giddiness about telling her colleagues at the Critics' Choice Awards on Sunday: "Guess where I'm going tomorrow? … I'm on a 6 a.m. flight to Iowa to campaign for Pete!"
Moore is expected to participate in a virtual fundraiser Tuesday from Iowa with Buttigieg’s husband, Chasten Buttigieg. She plans to attend the Democratic debate Tuesday night at Drake University, where she also plans to meet with college students.
At the event, Moore also said she is in awe of the access that locals have to presidential candidates, telling the Register that the scope of that access dawned on her after she introduced the former South Bend, Indiana, mayor.
“I was watching the event tonight … oh my goodness,” Moore said of watching the town hall. “… to have this sort of access and to be able to ask questions.”
She continued, “That sort of access is so specific and special ... I can understand, I guess, a little bit more why people would be undecided, because you do have access to everybody.”
Moore said she has no specific goals while she's in Iowa, except to be “as helpful to the campaign as possible.” She said she's ready for some "Midwestern hospitality."
“Selfishly, I’m just excited about like taking in the entire experience … being a true sponge here for the next 36 hours.”
Moore's visit to Iowa on Monday marked her first to the state. The Los Angeles resident said her initial impression was that it was “cold” and “snowy,” after a large part of the state had been blanketed by snow in recent days.
This article originally appeared on Des Moines Register: Mandy Moore campaigns for presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg