Russell Simmons has always helped encourage young people to make their vote heard during election time, but not until recently did he actually endorse a candidate.
That changed Sunday (March 2) when the hip-hop mogul said, via a statement, that he is personally endorsing Senator Barack Obama for president, after being inspired by the diversity among the Illinois senator’s supporters.
“From the sidelines of the primaries and debates, I have been particularly inspired by the fact that Senator Obama has built an unprecedented, national movement comprised of people from all ethnic, racial, political, social and economic backgrounds,” Simmons said.
A little more than a year ago, Simmons seemed to have a hard time deciding. “If you could take Barack Obama’s image, add Hillary Rodham Clinton’s money and John Edwards’ voice, that would be my candidate,” Simmons said in January 2007.
While endorsing Obama, he did, however, note how he respects Clinton from having worked with the New York senator on education, prison reform and anti-poverty programs.
Simmons, who has encouraged influential musicians to become more involved in the political process, said he’s particularly impressed, however, by Obama’s support among young people.
“In particular, the response to Obama by young voters across America continues to be monumental. Obama’s leadership, passion and demand for a change resonates effectively with the aspirations of millions of people who want a better quality of life. This is truly a transcendent and historic moment in American politics and I am obligated not to remain on the sidelines,” Simmons explained.