Our Brand Newz Lead Anchor and Host Christopher “Play” Martin chooses to speak prophetically with statements such as “The President” and “Former Senator” in this introduction because our 5–year-old, Hadassah Jones, Brand Newz’s youngest correspondent in charge and probably the youngest correspondent in history, gets a exclusive interview with Illinois Democratic Senator and presidential hopeful Barack Obama. On November 1st 2007 Obama visited the Bull City, with thousands of supporters on the beautiful campus of North Carolina Central University, on Thursday night for a public fundraiser less than 15 miles from presidential rival John Edwards’s camp. This visit marks Obama’s first public appearance and second visit to North Carolina, following a private Chapel Hill fundraiser in the heart of Edward’s camp.
The fundraiser is titled “Count Down for Change”; the rally will take place in North Carolina Central University (NCCU) O’ Kelly-Riddick Stadium. School officials had to move the event from the school’s gym to its football stadium to accommodate the thousands of supporters who sought tickets.
Obama gave the fans just what they wanted including Durham’s, first-grader Hadassah Jones, which was an interview while he initially denied such requests from other reporters. Obama crouched to the ground briefly after the rally with over 4,000 supporters to discuss politics eye to eye with the first-grader. Obama outlined Hadassah’s question surrounding his proposal to provide health care insurance for everyone and his plan to improve schools. Obama suggested to the first-grader that wealthier people should help those who are less fortunate. “We’ve got to make sure that people who have more money help the people who have less money,” Obama said. “If you had a whole pizza, and your friend had no pizza, would you give him a slice?”
Barack’s “Count Down to Change” was attended by several community leaders and political heads including, Durham’s biggest political figure, Mayor Bill Bell, who introduced the presidential candidate to a warm “Eagle” and Bull City welcome, Thursday night. Mayor Bell told the Associated Press (AP) in an interview that “Obama brings a different dimension to the campaign and the country in terms of his vision, the energy he has and his ideas.”
Durham natives and NCCU students seemed to have enjoyed the rally from begin to end like Eagles senior, Sha’niece Simmons. Simmons said, “I have no clue why he chose us, but I think we are so blessed to have him come here on campus.”
Some might have viewed Bell’ decision as a hometown letdown for Obama’s Democratic rival, former North Carolina Senator John Edwards, who lives in nearby Chapel Hill. In 2004, Bell supported Edwards as a candidate for vice president, hosting an event at his home for Edwards and running mate John Kerry. Bell states “I have a lot for respect for John. I think he’d make a fine president also but, at this point in time, my support is with Barack.” The event also comes at a good time for Mayor Bell, who is currently seeking to maintain his seat for a fourth term as Durham’s mayor in a face off against Republican challenger Thomas Stith III in next Tuesday’s election.
Barack is listed as the fifth African American Senator in U.S. history and the only African American currently serving in the U.S. Senate according to The U.S. Senate Historical Office. Obama is a graduate of Columbia University and Harvard Law School. At Columbia U. he majored in political science with a specialization in international relations and Harvard Law School, Obama worked as a community organizer, university lecturer, and civil rights lawyer before running for public office. He served in the Illinois Senate from 1997 to 2004, launching his campaign for U.S. Senate in 2003 while authoring two bestselling books: a memoir of his youth titled Dreams from My Father, and The Audacity of Hope, a personal commentary on U.S. politics.
For more information on presidential candidate and Democratic Senator, Barack Obama please visit, Obama for America at www.barackobama.com.