January 18th, 2008
06:26 PM ET
15 years ago

Clinton puts Magic Johnson front and center

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.l.cnn.net/cnn/2008/images/01/18/art.magic.gi.jpg caption=" Bill Clinton and Magic Johnson have hit the campaign trail together."]WASHINGTON (CNN) - Basketball legend Earvin "Magic" Johnson suggests Barack Obama is a "rookie" in a new Hillary Clinton campaign ad launched in South Carolina Friday, one week before the southern state holds its Democratic primary.

"We won our first game on a last-second shot," the former Los Angeles Lakers point guard says in the ad. "I was so hyped. But the captain of my team said, 'Take it easy rookie, it's a long season, it's a long road to the championship.' He was right."

(According to NBA.com, that sage veteran mentioned in the ad who offers advice to a young Johnson is none other than Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who happens to be publicly supporting Obama.)

"Whether it's winning championships or a president who can lead us back to greatness, I'll always want the most prepared and experienced person leading my team," Johnson also says. "That's why I'm asking you to join me in voting for Hillary Clinton for President.

The basketball great fails to point out the Lakers won the NBA championship his rookie season and he was named Finals MVP.

Johnson endorsed Clinton earlier in the year and campaigned at her side in the days leading up to the Iowa caucuses. He has also been campaigning with Bill Clinton in Nevada this week, and taking subtle digs at the Illinois senator.

"We need somebody who's not preaching hope," he said at one stop on Thursday. "We need somebody who understands that there's a problem, and they're preaching solutions."

- CNN's Peter Hamby and Alex Mooney

soundoff (230 Responses)
  1. Theo

    What next, is Hillary going to get Larry Bird to endorse her??

    January 19, 2008 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  2. Truth Hurts


    January 19, 2008 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  3. Truth Hurts


    January 19, 2008 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  4. Walt, Belton, TX

    Such a good ole boy, Bill's just what Bugs Bunny characterized when he said "What a Maroon!"

    January 19, 2008 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  5. Schroeder

    Interesting the comments of nonrelevancy below; however, when Obama paraded in Opray Winfrey, there was NO objection to a women who became rich off a half rate show that panders to a nonintellectual audience. Nor were there comments that her less than thought out school in Africa resulted in harm to child(ren). I imagine that the Obama audience/supporters, with their collective historic guilt and blind star struck notions, thought Obama's move to include Winfrey was a brilliant stroke of political manuevering. Enlighten yourself America and pull out of the cathode teat to educate yourself. As for Johnson, he was very couragous at the time of his disclosure and has continued to support Aids Awareness. The Clintons have been very supportive and outspoken of Aids awareness and assistance but hey, as several comments have said, that topic is yesterday's news. Hmmm, a man who has spent the last decade and half consistently supporting awareness of an illness he and millions of others have versus a woman who supports and "reveals" on whatever the news tells her is the topic of the day – wow, tough call.

    January 19, 2008 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  6. man

    this network has been showing bias to obama... I cannot believe it... Where are your journalistic ethics?!

    January 19, 2008 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  7. Mike T

    How interesting that CNN now is putting stories on the board and not allowing any comments. I count 8 stories on the ticker this morning with no link for comments.

    January 19, 2008 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  8. Ed Stack

    It is my opinion that ANYONE who votes for Barack Obama is UNAMERICAN!...The man was not born here....his name has islamic third world country flair......his experience on an international level is nil.......his speech is poorly spoken....he claims he is disoriented and messy with paper......he repudiates the bible.......he is throwing out smoke screens and the minorties are buying it.......he is carrying votes PURELY based on RACE.......he attacks other candidates because he is unsure of himself.......in general.....he is WEAK and a POOR choice for President of MY country....the United States of America.......perhaps he should go to Indonesia or some other country relative to his personality and ability........above all......he is racist and seems nobody else can see that.......a vote for Obama is a vote for Bin Laden..............if you want terrorism to expand to our country....by all means....vote for Obama.........Mickey Mouse would be a better choice................

    January 19, 2008 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  9. Michelle

    Hey Manuel, I have children that are mixed. They are BOTH Black & White. Since when did mixed mean you were neither?

    January 19, 2008 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  10. Bob

    Two DAWGS. They say birds of a feather....

    I think that an endorsement from Magic Johnson doesn't mean much to anybody. Probably more harm than good in that...

    January 19, 2008 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  11. james C (South Carolina)

    Regardless what the Clinton's do, I hope the Obama's realize that the wife royally screwed up by insulting the entire state he hopes to do well in next week. To claim she mispronounced Nevada because she had been in South Carolina too long, what a buffoon. Yep, she really knows how to recover from her mistakes.

    Please folks, do not elect these clowns.

    January 19, 2008 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  12. Bill W - PA

    Everything JohnS says near the top of this blog is correct, plus a whole lot more:

    – Her list of "contributors" will be published. It is loaded with questionable sources, criminals and convicted felons.

    – The Peter Paul lawsuit has to come to trial. There is enough evidence in that case to put in jail for at least 5 years – if the case can get in front of a judge who was not appointed by the Clintons.

    – People need to be reminded again and again, frequently, about NAFTA, H-1, L-1, and TATA Consulting.

    – Her own actions, words, and video clips, as well as those of her husband, are going to be used against her.

    Go ahead, vote for Clinton. And you are guaranteeing another Republican president if you do.

    January 19, 2008 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  13. From The North

    Not hard to tell it's the week-end on the Political Ticker Blog Site. NOTHING NEW
    Same ole Same ole every week-end. Are all Blog Staffers and Reporters Off on
    Week-ends? I'd sure like to be.

    January 19, 2008 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  14. Tom, Boston MA

    H Dannon of Lancaster, SC, writes:

    "how "successful blacks" such as Magic and Bob Johnson don't see that the better Barack Obama does the better the black race does."

    simplistic statements like yours are only detrimental to the cause you think you work for. you don't see how "the better Colin Powell, Cearance Thomas, and Condi Rice do the worse the black race does"???????

    sincere progressives are holding back their support for Obama, and for good reasons. he's an agent of the mainstream America that voted for Reagan, Bushes, and Cheney oger and over and over again. United, i'm sure, but change? i doubt.

    however, Obama hasn't flipfopped like Hillary has, for better or worse. I guess my choice is, KUCINICH ALL THE WAY!!!!!!!

    January 19, 2008 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  15. domenic

    Obama is the next john f. kennedy ...

    When i hear obama speak i see a new future for america ... i think americans need real change and keep away from the whole bush and clinton clan .. ITS ENOUGH !

    If hillary is elected it'll just be more of the same political garbage.

    A canadian who cares,

    January 19, 2008 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  16. Tom, Boston MA

    Magic has shown much sharper intelligence and has achieved extraordinary things, despite all the huddles the racists have thrown up I must add, than the bigoted sore losers on this blog. I would take his opinion any day more seriously than all of you losers'.

    January 19, 2008 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  17. Frank D

    CNN are you trying to make this a race game? Through out this week what I keep on seeing on your headline is 'Majority of Blacks support Obama' Is this your new strategy to breakdown the election into racial lines.

    January 19, 2008 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  18. Linda

    I guess Bill and Magic can sit around the old boys club and exchange notes on infidelity. If Bill had been faithful to his wife he wouldn't have been impeached and if Magic had been faithful to his wife he wouldn't have AIDS.

    January 19, 2008 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  19. PJ, New York

    Leah DiMarco, TX – GET YOUR FACTS STRAIGHT!! Hillary Clinton was elected to the Senate in 2000, that gives her 7+ years, not 4. Stop being a moron and realize, even if Barack Obama some how manages to win the Democratic nomination, he will NEVER win the general election!! Unless you want to see another Republican in the White House in November, start supporting Hillary Clinton. She's the only one who can beat the Republican!

    January 19, 2008 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  20. Truth Hurts

    (some brothas suject to card approval, member FDIC, not avalible in KT, TN,GA , AL, MS, LA, OK, TX, AK, VA, WV, MI, IN and any white surburb in America. Race Card is not to be used in debates, foreign countries, and large groups of white people when running for president.)

    January 19, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  21. Robert

    I have not decided who to vote for yet but one thing is for sure. You Clinton AND Obama people are what is tearing this country apart with your petty little jabs at each other on CNN. It's pathetic. Way to be united. I might just NOT vote because of all of YOU!

    January 19, 2008 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  22. Linoq

    Please notice that Magic Johnson was a Rookie when he was elected MVP!!!!!!!!

    January 19, 2008 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  23. Darron

    Obama will win in Maryland on Feb 12!

    January 19, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  24. T, Iowa

    Wow, I am still in utter amazement, at how some people can still be so un-informed. Citizens in this country continue to fall for all the PR spin tactics that certain campaigns will use to win votes..... There never was a race card issue, UNTIL Hillary created and responded to it........ Hillary never was a CHANGE candidate, until she saw her lead slipping away to Obama and Edwards. America was not intended to be lead by a country of first families, Bush's and Clinton's... And the DEMS will NEVER win the white house if HILLARY is the nominee..... Iowa presented you with the right choice, more united citizens turned out than ever before... Take it or leave it....

    Obama 08

    January 19, 2008 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  25. Hispanic Point of view

    How quickly we forget... During the Clintons era, there was a surplus, gas was $ 1 and change, median houses were $100,000 or less depending on where you lived. I don't know how old you are, but I was in my late teens, I and many others got the opportunity for a higher education. The world look up to the leadership of the United States. People today keep saying, "we need to erase the last eight years." so really we all want to go back to the Clinton years...

    Black America, vote for the best candidate, not because of race.. WOMEN, vote for the best candidate, not because of gender...

    January 19, 2008 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10