President Obama has enlisted a growing army of celebrity supporters from the film, television and music arenas this election season, so it was only a matter of time before he commanded a squad of sports stars to help with his campaign efforts.
Enter a lineup of basketball luminaries – Michael Jordan, Patrick Ewing, Alonzo Mourning, Kyrie Irving, Carmelo Anthony and Sheryl Swoopes – who have thrown in to shoot hoops with a pair of lucky civilians at an upcoming “Obama Classic” event.
The price of entry to the sporty affair -- date and other special guests TBA -- is, like other celebrity-oriented events Obama's team has organized in recent months, a donation of $3 or more to the campaign.
The sweepstakes winner and guest will also have the chance to hobnob with Obama and Jordan “over dinner,” according to a promotional email circulated Tuesday by campaign aide Marlon Marshall, who opened his message by saying he’s “so jealous” of the lucky winner, “I can barely write the rest of this email.”
But Marshall managed to collect himself enough to entice would-be donors: “Hit the court with Patrick Ewing and Melo?” Trade stories with the president? This is the kind of stuff your kids will tell their kids, and no one will believe it until you show them a photo,” he wrote.
The president’s strategists are pulling out all the stops in the final three months before the election, and their unabashed use of the celebrity angle stems in part, no doubt, from practical considerations. Stars are magnets for money and attention, and presumptive Republican candidate Mitt Romney is doing quite well on the fund-raising front.
According to reports released Monday, Romney and his allies at the Republican National Committee raised more than $101 million in the month of July, while Obama and the Democratic National Committee pulled in $75 million.