Russell Simmons Joins the Obama Campaign

Russell Simmons Joins the Obama Campaign

Media mogul, Russell Simmons, is adding “Barack Obama campaign surrogate” to his impressive list of titles. Simmons, the founder of Def Jam Records, Phat Farm clothing apparel, Def Jam Comedy and much more is known for introducing Hip Hop culture to the world.

This weekend, he has been introducing Sen. Barack Obama to Ohio, where polls have Obama and Sen. John McCain going neck and neck for the presidency. This weekend he will be extremely crucial to the Obama campaign since Ohio was the battleground state that lost the election for Sen. John Kerry in 2004.

Michelle Obama sent emails out this week encouraging everyone to call their acquaintances living in Ohio and implore them to register to vote early. Ohio voters have until this Monday, October 6th, to register and vote early.

NBA star LeBron James will join Simmons in Cleveland where they will meet with community leaders, the black press and visit two voter registration rallies in Columbus Park.


Recently Simmons, founded, a news and blog hotspot for and by the Hip Hop community. Simmons says that educating people about the election is a central piece to the site’s purpose.  Countdown to Change is a section of the site specifically dedicated to news about the election.

In an interview on Saturday Simmons explained why he has gotten so involved in the presidential campaign this year.

Black Enterprise: Why is it important for you and other celebrities to get involved in campaigning?

Russell Simmons: All of my companies have something that speaks to something more than fashion or popular culture. My business investment has something called Countdown for Change. It is an investment that is focused on the election. It will tell you what Lil Bow Wow, Jay Z, Puffy, Snoop, and Queen Latifah are doing for the election.  Global Grind is a business but its really working hard on this election. All of my companies have some element of empowerment.

BE: From what I read earlier you originally did not throw your support behind Sen. Obama. Can you explain why you feel it is now important to get involved with his campaign?

RS: I went on the road as a surrogate for Sen. Obama since midway through the primaries. This is not my first trip. I was in Mississippi working for Senator Obama for the campaign.

I originally supported Sen. Hillary Clinton because I have a long time experience with the Clintons. Hillary Clinton and I fought drug laws. We fought education cuts.