Underscoring the importance of the North Carolina primary, the Barack Obama 2008 Presidential Campaign brought out its star power for a rally at The University of North Carolina at Pembroke on April 11.
Actress and recording artist Tatyana Marisol Ali gave her personal endorsement, led cheers, signed autographs and posed for pictures for an audience of approximately 250 on Friday morning.
Dressed in an Obama t-shirt and jeans, Ali encouraged students to vote and join the campaign as she did.
“In the past few months, I decided to try something new and work for Senator Barack Obama,” Ali said. “Knocking on doors in the early going, we were truly, truly underdogs; six months later, so much has happened.”
In part with strong support from young voters, Obama appears to be the leading Democratic candidate.
“This has been a grass roots campaign,” Ali said. “If you want change, it must come from the bottom up.”
Ali played Ashley Banks in the popular television situation comedy Fresh Prince of Bel Air. Today, she is a political science and Afro-American studies major at Harvard University. She said she has studied the1960s in American and finds similarities.
“So much change happened in such a short time in the 60s,” she said. “The big difference is there were leaders then who cared and who cared about more than their political careers.
“I think a leader has emerged,” Ali continued. “Now is our time.”
Ali said Obama’s early record of voting against the war in Iraq demonstrates his commitment to principal, even when unpopular.
“This makes him the perfect candidate to debate (Republican candidate Senator John) McCain, who wants to be in Iraq for 100 years,” Ali said.
She concluded her talk with a get-out-the-vote plea.
“North Carolina is so important,” Ali said. “You have to vote and bring 2 – 3 friends with you.”
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This event was sponsored by UNCP's Student Government Association. A campaign visit to UNCP does not imply the University's support of any particular candidate or political party. The University hosts any political candidate who expresses interest in visiting our campus to further educate and inform our on and off-campus communities about our nation's electoral process.