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March 03, 2008

With Barack ...


I've been all over cyberspace as one of the participants in will.i.am's music video (Yes We Can)  supporting Barack Obama. I'm very pleased to be one of those who feel that he has what it takes to be president. I first met Senator Obama in the summer of '06 at the Senate building in DC. I was immediately taken with his intelligence and ability to connect with people.

Since that time, his political vision has impressed me as being able to reunite our country along the fault lines caused by the policies of the current administration. Someone who can lead all of us would be the the ideal candidate, and I feel that Barack is that someone. I am looking forward to having the chance to vote for a candidate with his gifts.

I've been amused to see how Mr. Obama's critics have tried to pull him down by criticizing his "lack of foreign relations experience." I'm not aware that either Hillary Clinton or John McCain has any huge advantage in the awareness necessary to deal with the foreign relations aspect of the presidency. Only people with a Cabinet or State Department background can immediately state their readiness in that area. Mr. Obama has the intelligence and leadership qualities that will serve him well should he win the nomination and election.

Advisors play a central role in foreign policy areas and all of our presidents have relied on the help of those advisors to form their foreign policy agenda. As president, Mr. Obama will do the same. I'm sure his ability as an inspirational leader will help to attract the best advice.


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Speak on it Kareem!

Obama must win.

What do you think about how the Republicans are trying to paint Obama as a Muslim and do you think it will have any effect on the race?

Once again, great blog.


I admire this post because you explain why you are for Obama without putting down anyone else (of either party), and without any name-calling, finger-pointing or other lowbrow methods of journalism nowadays.

Mark Baker

As a McCain and fomer 76er fan I must disagree. John McCain has vision and a vast amount of experience in foreign policy. However, you are correct in that a clear vision (read Reagan & McCain) is more important than experience.

Thank youfor all you do


Mark Baker

Bob S.

I find your reasons for supporting Obama well thought out and I agree with Junebee's point about the lack of negatives. Most major Republican's, including many conservative talk show hosts, have denounced those that are trying to link Obama to radical ideas because of his middle name and his father's religion. My issue with Obama is his promised tax increase which I view as a penalty for success while he views it as a fairness matter. I'm also concerned and believe that the quality of health care and drug research will decline under either an Obama or Clinton universal health care. Thanks for your blog.

Abogada Adelante

Barack Obama has inspired young people, including my sons aged 25 and 28 to believe in hope for their future. These same sons insisted I obtain tickets to watch the Lakers sweep the Suns in your last season just so they could watch you play, when we lived in Phx. It was our first NBA game and we were thrilled to be there, even if in the nosebleed section. We were not prepared for the brooms brought by LA fans, though it was fun to watch! Needless to say, we are delighted by your support for Obama. Myself, having intregrated the public schools of Modesto, California following Brown v. Board of education, I am deeply moved by Obama's success. My son's issues regarding the continuing environmental degradation, lack of adequate health care and education, excessive incarceration, uderemployment and the trillions of their future spent on Iraq are just some of the reasons they support change. PS Michelle Obama rocks!


Barack Obama is the only candidate to have lived and received part of his education in a foreign country. In today's world, there is no more valuable experience than that. Knowledge of the issues is important and, you're right to point out that that's what advisers are for, but vision isn't built out of detailed knowledge alone. It grows out of a wealth of understanding acquired through experience of a variety of points of view and ways of looking at the world.

I work in the field of intercultural communication (i.e. getting people to be effective in their business and social relations with other cultures). I can tell you that almost everyone in the field is aware of the hope Obama brings to the future foreign policy of the US precisely because his background provides him with a depth few politicians share. Add to that his intelligence and eloquence and you have the definition of a leader.

Here's a simple rule: If you don't want to have tunnel vision, don't live in tunnels. Unfortunately, that's what most politicians choose to do.

I can also say one thing for sure, I would feel my kids were safer in their beds if the person answering the phone in the White House had enough judgement not to blindly follow George Bush into an endless war where our kids get killed, maimed and psychologically traumatized for a lifetime.


Obama is a feel good candidate. I like his positive attitude and appreciate his optimism. However it is easy to make promises and I don't see much in the way of details of how he intends to effect change.

He won't receive my vote this year.

Al Wms Jr.

Kareem, Speak The Truth. I am proud of you & your position as I am also a supporter of Sen. Barrack Obama. My wife & I are not only lifelong Laker fans in Santa Barbara but also we are now ardent Obama supporters and precinct captains who worked on the Obama campaign. I was initially reserved on his campaign but attended an Obama rally and was enlightened and inspired so much so to step out for the first time in 58 yrs to actively campaign on behalf of a politician. Not just because of his ethnicity but because of the inspiration & trust factor which has never been presented to me as a voter in the past. Which my votes were always placed on the "Lesser of 2 Evils". Thanks for your courage, insight & vision for addressing this topic in your blog. "OBAMA IN 08...WE CAN'T WAIT"..."LAKERS NBA CHAMPIONSHIP '08" OUR TIME IS NOW!
By the way this is the first time I have ever responded to a BLOG as well....


Kareem you might not be aware of John McCain background and abililty to handle foreign relations but hands down McCain resume dwarfs Obama's in foreign matters.

Great Speakers don't Make great Presidents. During this time, we need someone who has both experience and cache... McCain has both... Obama has only one..


McCain is very familiar with foreign policy matters, Obama has no experience.


I believe that all three of the current front-runners (Obama, Clinton, McCain) appear to satisfy the criterion for effective leadership in their own ways. Regarding foreign relations, I'm not so certain that experience is the essential element. Realistically, the president is the face of the country, and an effective president surrounds himself/herself with advisors to weigh both domestic and international decisions. The priority with foreign relations is the ability to execute decisions in a credible and effective manner. I do think Mr. Obama's charisma would compensate for any lack of experience.

As far as campaign promises are concerned, I think they always have been and always will be harder to execute than laid out. People do seek change though, and Obama's message of changing the 'go to market plan in Washington' has clearly struck a chord with a large portion of the country.

I'm just happy with the intelligence level of all three candidates. I think that's another thing that foreign countries look at.


Thanks for your comments, Kareem. I am pulling for Obama simply because I think he is the best person running. It's not about specific experience-- we have a massive government apparatus that, if anything, has too much experience. We need someone new who can shake things up and bring America through this rough patch. Thanks for being out front.


One worrisome thing about an Obama presidency is not "a lack of foreign relations experience" per se, but the risk that the rest of the world will view Obama as militarily timid (which he is, to his credit).

Unfortunately, this view would be provocative to countries otherwise held in check by U.S. military commitments.

Most glaring example: North Korea will again ramp up their nuclear weapons programs. Talks? They will laugh them off, or just use talks to demand gobs of economic aid in return for broken promises. Then our allies Japan and South Korea, doubting our commitment to their defense, will hasten to go nuclear as well.

Ditto in varying ways for the Middle East, South Asia, Taiwan, etc. Hello arms races, opportunistic wars, bloody land grabs, ethnic cleansings, etc.

Remember what happened after JFK's 1961 inauguration: provocation by the Soviet Union, because they viewed JFK as a softie. Within months the world was a breath away from a nuclear holocaust.

Sucks being the world cop. Hopefully Obama if elected can find a way, while maintaining geopolitical security, to allow us to effectively step back from the massive, unwieldy and barely sustainable security commitments we've assembled since 1945.


it's a great honour to have the opportunity to write on your blog: I'm a lifelong Lakers fan and admirer of yours.
I am Italian and have been living in the UK for the past 8 years. In Europe, Barack Obama is seen as the best thing that happened to US politics for the last 40 years: Kareem, I'm so proud of your choice.
Should he become the next president of the United States, your foreign relations and image will improve enormously.

Flynn 21, I don't share the opinion that Obama would be military timid or a softie in foreign policy. Perhaps he would be a softie compared to GWB who, in the past 8 years, has managed to destabilise the entire Middle East region as well as other parts of the world. You don't keep geopolitical security by being such an hardliner: do you think the world is more secure now than it was 8 years ago? I really doubt it.
Leave alone how much the foreign policy of both Bush administrations have stirred-up anti-American sentiments all over the world.

If Obama becomes the president, I hope he will keep the promise and challenge the enormous power of US corporations , which has been the driving force behind your foreign (and domestic) policy for decades.

Finally Kareem, please keep up the excellent work you have done so far with Andrew Bynum! He must be the luckiest big man in the NBA to have you as his mentor. Let's hope he comes back soon and lead the Lakers to another NBA title.

Jon K.

Barak Obama is the (better) future of America.

He IS the man America needs right now.

If Clinton is nominated, it will be a statement to how far we have fallen in this society into cynicism and hopelessness.

I have faith in Obama. He is the first presidential candidate whom I have ever donated money to.

He is an intelligent, decent, spiritual man with a reasonable, moral center which guides his decisions.

He's the man this country needs right now.

I pray for his success.

Jon K.

Mark Baker,

McCain is a good, honorable man.

Obama is a better, honorable man.

If both candidates are on the ballot in 2008, it will be the first time in my life where I will not feel a sense of anxiety over the course of the election.

Overall, I feel Obama is a better candidate because he brings a sense of reason, optimism and humility with his candiacy which is truly unique.

Jon K.


randy r

the central thrust of Obama's campaign is that he will reunify the country and bring about change that the status quo government has not.

his primary image is very much akin to Mr. Smith coming to America and involves that his high integrity and sincerity and basically great emotional intelligence will ensure change will come about.

his primary problem is that his political stances generally fit the sterotype of a progressive liberal, not a moderate liberal, but a progressive. if you want to consider the political spectrum, he is to the mid to far left.

notwithstanding the conservative and Republican reactions to those stances, (leading to screams of partisanship or party above country; interesting that similar attachments to stances by liberal and democrats are considered patriotic and country first. reverse the order on different topic du jour) , my primary question for Obama would be which political stances would you be willing to compromise on in order to move both parties to the center?

For me, that is the crux of his issue. His base will erupt upon any sign of compromise and his image of integrity will dissipate. If not, even more years of partisanship.

Don't believe me. For all the vitriol aimed at President Bush, every attempt he has made to reach across the aisle has resulted initially in intense criticism by conservative critics followed inevitiably by criticism by his erstwhile allies from across the aisle when shockingly a government program ended up in over runs and underperformance. No student left behind, medicare plan D, invasion of aghanistand and iraq, need I go on?

Obama talks about the future, but he should look to the past if he becomes president.

one last note, I won't vote for Obama due to his voting record affirming his liberal stereotype. However, he is certainly the first Democrat to run for president in a number of years that is not tainted by personnal or political issues. And that is a good thing. (of course that may change as the press turns its jaundiced eye upon the man upon the pedestal. true in sports, true in life)



Not sure of Obama's height but read about Michelle's and must say he looks short next to you! You made a good choice. I have no issues with Obama's ability to handle foreign affairs. He has the experience in living in another country as a child and saw a different culture first hand. His step-dad taught him a lot about governments and the US relationship with Indonesia. That kind of experience is priceless. Can not be learned reading a book.

He was smart enough to know Iraq was a mistake. That is he thinks about long term ramifications of our actions, does not react on "faulty intelligence" but uses his own common sense and wisdom.

He is well respected globally, which can not be said for our current administration. The longer we are in Iraq, the more future terrorists we are creating. Going into Iran with either Clinton or McCain would be another mistake with dire consquences. Senator Obama has already written the counter resolution to slow down the rush into Iran, to offset the Iran Resolution already passed and voted yes to by Clinton, among others.

Thank you Mr. Abdul-Jabbar for your vote of confidence.


Reply to comment by Randy: Political double speak or rhetoric whatever you want to call it.

Senator Obama was one of 17 bipartisan co-sponsors who passed the OPEN Government Act of 2007 in conjunction with the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act. This made the US Spending website a reality. Obama does not simply talk, he has a proven track record of actions. I admire his work on behalf of our veterans~especially the homeless Iraqi war ones.

What ever is "progressive" about bringing our government or elected officials to the standards set forth in our Constitution? I think that is rather conservative. I see him as being very middle of the road, myself. He wants to get things done, not talk, talk, talk and perhaps that is why you see him as progressive.

Moving beyond the same issues we had 40 years ago would be a welcome change to me.


Thank you for these fantastic blogs. You are more than all things combined - you are a Master. Thank you for sharing and teaching.

I attended a program that you spoke at this past Saturday. Again, you taught and imparted much wisdom and we all left with more insight than what we came with as individuals and as a group.

But here's my personal agenda: I purchased your latest book and I was hoping to get your autograph. However, that was not meant to be. Do you think that you can help me out with this? Right now, buying your CD's is not within my budget, but you made a great point: I can almost hear the music and speeches right now. So that may be a goal for me, to purchase your CD set, sometime in the future.

Right now - I also have something to offer regarding your dilemma of getting more males to read. I'm not that smart, but I did "raise" three kids (son, daughter and ex-husband) and each of us managed to get a college degree of some sorts.

Getting my daughter to read was fun and entertaining. Getting the "guys" to read was excruciating. So I made up games of high intelligence, high goals, fierce competition and worthwhile prizes for the quickest, most comprehensive, most retentive reader(s). Sort of like basketball.

Of course, the guys lied, schemed and cheated - one got his friends to help him, the other got his secretary to come to his aid.

But since they had to write it in their own hand, they did manage to "read" just enough to accomplish the goals. And sometimes they actually did a re-read.

I hope this helps you a little bit in your quest to get young males to read more. When you succeed, I will be the first to nominate you for a Nobel Peace Prize.

Thank you.

H. Clay Myers

As an American living and working overseas (the past 10 years spent in E. Europe & SE Asia), I can say with a fair degree of certainty that Sen. Obama is widely perceived as the best candidate to be president. People of color the world over are eager to see someone with new ideas, especially in foreign policy, lead the US.
As a dark skin man, I have nothing against Sen. Clinton nor Sen. McCain. Were it not for Sen. Obama, I'd have no issues about voting for either of them. However, when I look at the overall impact that Sen. Obama has OUTSIDE THE US, it's blatantly obvious his ability to draw people together gives him the advantage.
To all of my brothers and sisters, be well and God bless.
H. Clay Myers
Jakarta, Indonesia

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Captain Kareem

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is considered by many fans and sportswriters to be the greatest basketball player of all time. The 7-foot-2 Hall of Fame center, famous for his indefensible skyhook, dominated the NBA for 20 years, first with the Milwaukee Bucks then with the Los Angeles Lakers. Before that he was the star of the UCLA Bruins teams that won three consecutive NCAA championships. Kareem was the NBA's MVP six times, a 19-time all-star and set the NBA all-time records in nine categories. He is the NBA's all-time leading scorer with 38,387 points, a record that may never be broken.

Since retiring as a player in 1989, Kareem has balanced his love of basketball with his love of history. In 2002 he led a USBL team, the Oklahoma Storm, to a championship. Since 2005, he has been the special assistant coach for the Lakers, working with Andrew Bynum.

In 2008 he was chosen The Greatest Player in College Basketball History.

Kareem also remains intellectually active, authoring six bestselling history books intended to popularize the contributions of African-Americans to American culture and history. His books include "Black Profiles in Courage: A Legacy of African-American Achievement"; "Brothers in Arms: The Epic Story of the 761st Tank Battalion, WWII's Forgotten Heroes"; "A Season on the Reservation," which chronicles his time teaching basketball and history on an Apache Indian reservation in White River, Ariz.; and the current New York Times and Los Angeles Times bestseller, "On the Shoulders of Giants: My Journey Through the Harlem Renaissance."

His audio adaptation, "On the Shoulders of Giants: My Audio & Musical Journey through the Harlem Renaissance," is a four-volume compilation read by Bob Costas, Avery Brooks, Jesse L. Martin, and Stanley Crouch, and features private and fascinating conversations with dozens of icons, including Coach John Wooden, Julius Erving, Charles Barkley, Samuel L. Jackson, Maya Angelou, Quincy Jones and Billy Crystal. He has also been written to L.A. Times, under the Sports section.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has been appearing on various radio stations and TV shows, as well as the most relevant websites talking about his life and his new audio book, On the Shoulders of Giants.

All images are property of www.iconomy.com unless otherwise stated. All info copyrighted and owned by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is not replicated without permission.

Come meet Kareem at the NBA Store on 5th Avenue: Friday, May 16th, from 3:15pm - 4:15pm.

Kareem_READ The American Library Association (ALA) is pleased to announce that Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has joined the popular Celebrity READ poster series. The Celebrity READ poster campaign is one of the most effective ways to encourage people to get a good education, improve their reading skills, and to read for sheer enjoyment.
Mr. Abdul-Jabbar is the 2008 Honorary Chair Library Card Sign-up Month, which takes place in September. He will also appear at the American Library’s National Convention on June 28th and 29th at the Long Beach Convention Center to sign his poster.

To purchase Mr. Abdul-Jabbar's poster and to view the entire line of Celebrity READ Posters, please click here. now!

Kareem_jersey Join the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's Fan Club
and win a chance to receive a prize from my official store !

Go to KareemAbdulJabbar.com now!

ESPN names Kareem The Greatest Player In College Basketball History

Check the latest about Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: Go to KareemAbdulJabbar.com for more news.
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