‘Last King’ campaigns on the Green

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Soldiers returning home without job opportunities, a failing economic situation and people fatally sick without health care or hope – these were a few reasons Academy Award winner Forest Whitaker decided to travel across the country and campaign for the upcoming election.

Whitaker, who won a 2007 Academy Award for best actor in “The Last King of Scotland,” spoke to a crowd of UNF students, faculty and staff Sept. 26 on the Green, supporting Sen. Barack Obama and urging students to vote and grab their friends to join them at the polls.

“So many things are going on in the world right now – the country is at war, the economy is destroyed, there is no health care for people – and I was looking around for someone who could lead us out of this and care about us as individuals,” Whitaker said. “I saw that in Barack Obama.”

He said this was the first time he campaigned for a political candidate.

During his 20-minute stop at UNF, Whitaker told those gathered on the Green they were an important link for the upcoming election.

“When a butterfly flaps his wings, you feel it. When you vote, I’m going to feel it back in L.A.,” Whitaker said. “People will feel your vote all over the world. You have the power to make
the future.”

He also campaigned for voting early, joking about the elections in 2000 and the Florida re-count.

Whitaker traveled to 10 states including Iowa, Texas, Ohio and Colorado before stopping in Florida, he said. He focused on the issue of health care throughout his speech.

“What kind of society are we in that a person sick on the street can’t get help without health care?” Whitaker said. “All of you deserve to have health care. [Obama] will make sure of that.”

Ospreys for Obama founder Noah Kaplan agreed.

“Anyone can accomplish their dreams with hard work and dedication,” Kaplan, a junior international studies major, said. “I believe Sen. Obama possesses these ideals.”

E-mail Holli Welch at [email protected]