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LeBron James holds rally for Obama in Ohio today

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jackson Donating Member (139 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-29-08 10:19 PM
Original message
LeBron James holds rally for Obama in Ohio today
Edited on Wed Oct-29-08 10:44 PM by jackson
By Jackson Thoreau

NBA superstar LeBron James and Grammy-winning rapper Jay-Z held a get-out-and-vote rally in Cleveland today before some 20,000 potential Obama voters. This is a key development in this swing state.

Before this election, James had not supported any presidential candidate, and as one attendee said, the rally will energize the youth vote in this all-important state.

Thats why I dont belittle what NBA superstar LeBron James and some other high-profile athletes are doing in their public support of Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama. I realize that such support by James, whose marketing appeal is close to that of Tiger Woods and Michael Jordan, is really jeopardizing what he once said was his dream to become a worldwide brand.

At a Democratic rally in early October in Ohio, LeBron said, I think we all want a change. At the rally for Obama on Oct. 29 in Cleveland, Jay-Z summed up Obamas candidacy succinctly: Rosa Parks sat so Martin Luther King could walk, and Martin walked so Obama could run. Obama is running so we all can fly, so lets fly.

In addition, LeBron has put his money where his mouth is, giving $20,000 to the Democratic White House Victory Fund, a joint committee supporting Obama and the Democratic Party. That was the first-time James has made a donation to a political campaign or committee, according to federal election records.

You may say that is small change to an athlete making millions each year, but relatively few athletes give a dime to political campaigns. Other first-time celebrity athletic donors in a presidential race who were inspired to give to Obama this time include Grant Hill of the Phoenix Suns, Baron Davis of the Los Angeles Clippers, Shane Battier of the Houston Rockets, Shawn Marion of the Miami Heat, and Stephon Marbury and Chris Duhon of the New York Knicks.

Former NFL running back Emmitt Smith and former NBA All-Stars Magic Johnson and Kevin Johnson also contributed to Obama, the first time they have done so to a presidential candidate.

Just to show that not all pro athletes giving to Obama are black, other first-time presidential donors include Luke Walton of the Los Angeles Lakers. His father, former NBA great Bill Walton, also gave to Obama this year, following donations to other Democratic presidential candidates in previous years.

Etan Thomas of the Washington Wizards, Chris Paul of New Orleans, Greg Oden of Portland, Chauncey Billups of Detroit, Adonal Foyle of Orlando and Derek Fisher of the Lakers are other public supporters of Obama, who have participated in Democratic events this year. Michael Jordan, who supported Bill Bradley in the 2000 primary, also gave money to Obama.

I couldnt find many Obama supporters among former or present elite athletes who play, or have played, football, baseball and hockey, save for Emmitt Smith and Chris Zorich. More of those gravitate towards Republicans, although the bulk dont give to anyone.

McCain donors include Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling, Yankees owner George Steinbrenner, former NFL quarterbacks Roger Staubach, John Elway and Troy Aikman. Cleveland Browns QB Brady Quinn has campaigned for McLame. Colts QB Peyton Manning gave to Republican Fred Thompson in the primary and Bush in 2004, while Yankees infielder Alex Rodriguez gave to Giuliani in the primary and Bush in 2004.

Incidentally, Bushs former Secretary of State Colin Powell gave $2,300 to McCain in the primary last year, but then endorsed Obama this year. Whats up with that? Obama must have really made an impression on Powell for that sudden switch.

A lot of athletes dont want to risk alienating fans and marketing opportunities by contributing to a candidate. Among high-profile athletes who havent given any money to any political campaign are Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps, football players Tom Brady, Eli Manning, Tony Romo and Brett Favre, hoopsters Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett, Steve Nash, Shaq, Jason Kidd and Dirk Nowitzki, and baseball stars Derek Jeter and Manny Ramirez.

Some take stands in other ways. Nash, for instance, took a public stand against the Iraq war in 2003.

The inaction by the bulk of pro athletes makes the action by the few like LeBron James seem that much more impressive. In our sports-crazy society, such action by James could make a big difference in convincing people to register and vote, especially when James campaigns in a key swing state like Ohio.
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Uzybone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-29-08 10:24 PM
Response to Original message
1. K&R
Edited on Wed Oct-29-08 10:24 PM by Uzybone
Please use more paragraphs though. It makes it easier to read.
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jackson Donating Member (139 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-29-08 10:45 PM
Response to Reply #1
4. Gotcha
I put some spaces between paragraphs.....
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BlooInBloo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-29-08 10:25 PM
Response to Original message
2. Wall of words.
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Lakerstan Donating Member (599 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-29-08 10:27 PM
Response to Original message
3. Best. Line. Ever.
Rosa Parks sat so Martin Luther King could walk, and Martin walked so Obama could run. Obama is running so we all can fly, so lets fly.
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jackson Donating Member (139 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-29-08 10:46 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. Spoken like a true rapper
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mikiturner Donating Member (581 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-29-08 10:57 PM
Response to Original message
6. Photo
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RollWithIt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-29-08 11:03 PM
Response to Reply #6
8. The King and his Cleveland Court....
The Chosen One. I'm gonna laugh when the New York ESPN talking heads find out Lebron has resigned with the Cavaliers.
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ej510 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-30-08 12:16 AM
Response to Reply #6
9. I remember when Lebron James used to ball for the aau team the Oakland Soldiers when he was in high
school.
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jonestonesusa Donating Member (630 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-29-08 11:00 PM
Response to Original message
7. K & R!
A big one...props to all the athletes and musicians who stepped up for Obama in the swing state of Ohio and all across the country.

And what's the deal with Curt Schilling, A-Rod, former Cowboy quarterbacks voting Republican? Big fat salaries and taxpayer funded stadiums aren't enough?
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Jennicut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-30-08 12:21 AM
Response to Reply #7
10. A-Rod is an A-hole. I wish he never came to New York.
Here in CT you are either a Yankees fan or a Red Sox fan because we border NY and Mass. I grew up a Yankees fan but after they let Torre go and then A-Rod being on team...yuck. Plus the Patriots have no Tom Brady this year. I give up on sports this year and so has my husband. Thats okay, more time for politics. Thank you Lebron, you are a classy dude.
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abumbyanyothername Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-30-08 12:50 AM
Response to Original message
11. Some of these athletes cannot donate FWIW
Nowitzki (Germany), for example, is not a US citizen.

Not sure about Nash (Canada) and Duncan (Virgin Islands).
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Omnibus Donating Member (676 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-30-08 01:05 AM
Response to Reply #11
12. Tim Duncan can donate.
He was born in the US Virgin Islands; they are a commonwealth, so he is a US citizen.

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jackson Donating Member (139 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-30-08 01:47 AM
Response to Reply #12
14. And they could
publicly campaign for Obama like James, even if they can't donate.
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Frank Booth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-30-08 01:08 AM
Response to Original message
13. K&R. Thanks for this.
Very interesting. I couldn't stand Schilling, Steinbrenner, Elway, Aikman, Manning, and Rodriguez even before I knew they were Republicans .... good instincts, I guess.
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