Haysbert Says 24 Role Paved The Way For Presidential Hopeful Barack Obama
By Groshan Fabiola
Dennis Haysbert of 24 is convinced that his character on the highly-watched suspense-action series has helped propel African-American presidential candidate Barack Obama's campaign. Haysbert plays President David Palmer on the hit series, and he believes that this role has opened the minds of his fellow American citizens on how the country would be if a black man sat in the presidential seat. In fact, he thinks that the audiences liked what they saw.
"As far as the public is concerned, it did open up their minds and their hearts a little bit to the notion that if the right man came along...that a black man could be president of the United States ," Haysbert said in a conversation with TV Guide, which was on its January 21 issue. "People on the street would ask me to run for office... when I went to promote ."
Moreover, Haysbert's character and Obama have a few similarities, such as their run as senators, and their campaign in their mid-40s.
"I think we both have a similar approach to who and what we believe the president is," Haysbert said in a conversation with the Los Angeles Times. "Barack doesn't
get angry. He's pretty level. That's how I portrayed President Palmer: as a man with control over his emotions and great intelligence."
Haysbert is a strong supporter of Obama, and even once chartered a helicopter to attend a fundraiser for Obama's campaign at Oprah Winfrey's house near Santa Barbara , California right after a shoot for CBS' The Unit. He said that it wasn't any cheap endeavor, as he really spent time, effort and money for that particular event.
Haysbert's 24 character isn't the first black president to appear on television, though, as Oscar winner and Obama supporter Morgan Freeman played black President Tom Beck in the film Deep Impact.