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    America Ferrera: An Ugly Side of Politics

    America Ferrera Jonathan Alcorn/ZUMAPress.com

    America Ferrera, who once hit the campaign trail for Hillary Clinton, is now a very public supporter of Barack Obama, and for almost a year she's been urging young people to vote through Declare Yourself.

    However, that doesn't mean the Ugly Betty star is hoping to declare her own candidacy for public office someday.

    "I don't think running for office is anything I'm prepared for or could even prepare myself for," Ferrera, 24, told me earlier today, when we chatted about her work with Declare Yourself during a lunch break from filming her hit ABC series in New York City.

    Why not? Read on to find out...

    Issues like the economy and the war aside, Ferrera doesn't think she has what it takes to keep up with a candidate's 24/7 schedule. She learned firsthand what it was like when she campaigned for Clinton in January with her daughter, Chelsea.

    "It's totally unreal," Ferrera said. "There is nothing I can even compare it to in my own life. I work really long hours and work a lot and have done press tours and junkets, but there is nothing like a presidential campaign that I have experienced before...I think at one point we visited three different cities in one state in 12 hours. It's exhausting."

    But she's never too tired to talk about Declare Yourself. Ferrera joined the nonpartisan young people's voter registration organization after its founder, television legend Norman Lear, personally reached out to her.

    While her celebrity may help get people's attention, Ferrera doesn't assume that her fame alone can convince someone to support one candidate over another—or to even simply vote, for that matter.

    "Most of the college students showed up to get a picture and an autograph," she said about her Clinton campaigning. "But if, in the process, they did hear my argument or did hear something that resonated with them, I don't think it's because I am on Ugly Betty."

    In May, HarperCollins published the book Declare Yourself, a collection of essays about voting and with a forward by Ferrera. Contributors included Maya Angelou and Alice Walker, as well as celebs like Hayden Panettiere, Tyra Banks and Adrian Grenier.

    Ferrera knows she has to be careful about choosing when and where to talk politics. In other words, she will not use platforms like awards shows to sell her message.

    "I'm happy to do it when it's the right time and the right place," she said. "I was young not too long ago, and I know the last thing you want is someone preaching to you."

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