Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Actor and St. Petersburg native Angela Bassett stumps for Obama in her hometown

With her arm around Amari Nash, 9, of St. Petersburg on Thursday, Angela Bassett touted President Barack Obama’s record and stressed the importance of keeping him in office among volunteers working on his re-election campaign.

MELISSA LYTTLE | Times

With her arm around Amari Nash, 9, of St. Petersburg on Thursday, Angela Bassett touted President Barack Obama’s record and stressed the importance of keeping him in office among volunteers working on his re-election campaign.

ST. PETERSBURG — You would think the president had walked into the St. Petersburg office of the Barack Obama re-election campaign Wednesday night.

As Obama campaign volunteers crammed the small office on Central Avenue, they moved across the room to crowd around another familiar face.

She wasn't the president, but as Angela Bassett leaned against a stairway railing and addressed the volunteers, she might as well have been a politician.

"This election is not one where we can sit on the sidelines," she said. "The president has made a lot of gains in the last three years. … And we have to keep our president in office because in the blink of an eye, it can go back to the way it was before."

The Hollywood actor and St. Petersburg native, 53, returned to her hometown as a surrogate campaigner for Obama. She spoke of her upbringing in the Jordan Park neighborhood and school days at Boca Ciega High School.

Her task Wednesday was to tout the president's accomplishments and fire up volunteers. Her visit came on the heels of the Supreme Court's decision affirming the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act.

"We can't do it without you and we're going to do it because of you," she said to cheers.

The star of Hollywood films like What's Love Got to Do With It?, Malcolm X and Notorious said her success shows what's possible in America when you're given a fair shot.

"That's what our president wants for everyone," she said.

The legions swarmed the star as she made her way among the phone bankers who busily dialed numbers. She smiled and posed for photos with anyone who could get close enough.

"My niece was a friend of hers growing up," said volunteer Ada Davis, 71. "When she was growing up she always said 'I'm going to Hollywood,' and everyone said 'No, you're not.'

"If you have a destiny and a dream, America is a place where your dream can be fulfilled regardless of color or socioeconomic background," Davis said.

Actor and St. Petersburg native Angela Bassett stumps for Obama in her hometown 06/28/12 [Last modified: Thursday, June 28, 2012 10:34pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Justin Timberlake in Super Bowl halftime show for first time since 'wardrobe malfunction'

    Celebrities

    Justin Timberlake has finally been invited back to the Super Bowl halftime show, 14 years after the "wardrobe malfunction" with Janet Jackson caused a national controversy.

    Singer Janet Jackson covers her breast as Justin Timberlake holds part of her costume after her outfit came undone during the halftime show of Super Bowl XXXVIII in Houston in 2004. The NFL announced Sunday, Oct. 22, 2017, that Timberlake will headline the Super Bowl halftime show Feb. 4 in Minnesota, 14 years after the "wardrobe malfunction" with Janet Jackson cause a national controversy. [Associated Press]
  2. Here's what happened when 30 high school sophomores gave up their phones for a day

    K12

    LUTZ — They were everywhere at Steinbrenner High School. Teens with panic-stricken faces, furiously slapping one thigh, then the other.

    Grace Hayes, 15, left, and Kai'Rey Lewis, 15, talk and text friends after having a discussion about smartphone technology in Tiffany Southwell's English Literature class at Steinbrenner High last week. Southwell asked theme to give up their phones for a day and write about it. For Lewis, the ride home that day "was the longest bus ride in my life." [OCTAVIO JONES   |   Times]
  3. Cuban media treats visit by Tampa City Council as historic event

    Politics

    TAMPA — Delegations of one kind or another have been traveling from Tampa to Cuba for years, even before President Barack Obama took steps to normalize relations between the two countries in December 2014.

    A Tampa delegation to Cuba this week was featured prominently in reports by the state-run media in Cuba, including Granma. From left are Tampa City Council vice chair Harry Cohen, St. Petersburg City Council Chair Darden Rice, Tampa philanthropist David Straz and Tampa City Council Chair Yolie Capin.
  4. As the curtain rises on the Straz Center's biggest shows, the spotlight is on parking

    Transportation

    TAMPA — The Broadway Series, the most lucrative shows of the year for the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts, start this week, and this year the center wants all the drama to take place on stage, not during the drive to the theater.

    With downtown Tampa getting busier at night and on weekends, city officials and administrators from the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts have been working on ways to unsnarl traffic and help visitors find parking when there are lots of events at the same time. CHRIS ZUPPA   |   Times (2009)

  5. OCTAVIO JONES   |   Times 
Casimar Naiboa pleads for help to capture the killer of his son, Anthony Naiboa. Naiboa, 20, was shot and killed near 15th Street N. and E. Frierson Avenue after getting off the wrong bus in Seminole Heights. A peaceful march that began on east New Orleans Avenue was held during the candlelight vigil for the three victims who were killed in the recent shootings in the Seminole Heights neighborhood in Tampa on Sunday, October 22, 2017.