President Obama visited the Big Apple Wednesday, raising money with some big names from the basketball world. Bobby Cuza reports.
NEW YORK CITY, N.Y. -- It was billed as the Obama classic. And while Obama himself wasn’t there, some of basketball’s biggest stars were. Legends past and present, like Patrick Ewing, Anfernee Hardaway and Chris Bosh. Supporters paid as much as five thousand dollars for a fantasy camp with the stars followed by an autograph session. As for the president’s own skills--
“He’s really good. And he makes, like, he can jump, he can block, he can shoot, he can do it all,” one person said.
“I’ve never seen him play, but I’ve heard good things. I’m not sure if he’s still smoking cigarettes, so that could be a factor in his endurance,” another person said.
The president’s endurance is not in question when it comes to campaigning. Prior to arriving in New York, Obama rounded out a two-day swing through Nevada, where he touted his education policies and took some swings at his opponent.
“Governor Romney says we’ve got enough teachers. We don’t need any more. You know, the way he talks them, it seems as if he thinks these are a bunch of nameless government bureaucrats that we need to cut back on,” said another.
Meanwhile, at a manufacturing plant in Iowa, Republican Mitt Romney talked of unleashing the power of the individual and warned against big European-style government.
Romney said, “President Obama, bless his heart, has tried to substitute government for free people and it has not worked and it’ll never work.”
Here in New York, though, Obama’s basketball connection seemed to be winning him fans.
“Like as a child, I’m not incredibly invested in politics, but I am invested in sports. So it definitely increases his likeability quotient, knowing that he’s a big sports fan,” one person said.
Another person said, “I think it keeps him in contact with people. It gives him more of a personal approach. He’s got to work on his J, though.”
The hoops-themed events, coupled with a $20,000 per-person fundraiser hosted by Michael Jordan and NBA commissioner David Stern, were expected to haul in about $3 million altogether for the Obama campaign.