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Oregon State Basketball Coach Exhorts Obama Supporters To Fight To End For His Brother-in-law

This story was written by Carly Dougher, OSU Daily Barometer

The Corvallis Democratic headquarters were overflowing on Saturday morning with anxious volunteers ready to pass on the word to vote in this presidential election.

To pump up the crowd and support the volunteers, Barack Obama's brother-in-law and Oregon Statemen's basketball head coach Craig Robinson spoke at the event.

With only eight days left to vote, Robinson assured the Obama supporters that the campaign path will be unwavering as the election comes to a close.

"The Obama campaign will be sticking with the game plan - reiterating the message," Robinson said.

Robinson used an effective basketball analogy to describe where he sees the Obama campaign's position in the current election.

"[Obama] is up eight with about four minutes to go. We have to hit all of our foul shots. If we do, even if they make all the threes, we will still win the game," Robinson said.

The Beavers' head basketball coach addressed the inevitable question, assessing the probability of Obama making an appearance at an OSU basketball game.

"If he wins, the chances of Barack coming to a game are very low. If he loses, the chances are much higher. So, we don't want him coming to a game," Robinson said.

In his closing statements, Robinson praised Obama as a true people person. "He is as close to all of us as any president has been and probably ever will be," Robinson said.

After thanking the volunteers for their commitment to the campaign, Robinson shared more of his personal experiences of the campaign in an exclusive interview.

When interviewed one-on-one, Robinson described what it was like growing up with his little sister Michelle - now the wife of the democratic nominee for president.

In his eyes and in the eyes of many others who know her, Michelle is, and always was, the complete package.

"She was the kind of kid that was always going to be good at anything she wanted to be good at. She was smart, she worked hard and she was a good athlete," Robinson said.

He laughed when discussing Michelle's jokes about how she measured whether not she could get into Princeton based on his acceptance.

"When she found out that I got into Princeton, she knew that she was going to get in because she is smarter than I am - and she was right," Robinson said.

Robinson highlighted his unique perspective in this campaign, as his first impressions of Obama were not based on whether this man would be a good president, but whether he liked Barack Obama enough to include him in his family.

"I vetted him as a brother-in-law hard, and that's why I can come out on the campaign trail and be such an advocate for him - I think I looked at him left, right, up and down," Robinson said.

He described his first impressions of Obama as a man who was smart, easygoing and fun to be around.

Prior to this campaign, the Princeton graduate had very little interest in politics.

"When I was in college, I was not political; in fact, I was cynical. Growing up on the south side of Chicago, I didn't have a place for politics because politics did not care about me. Barack has changed that image of the political system," Robinson said.

Robinson believes that many people in the United States have noticed Obama's abilities to transform the political system as well.

"I think you see this across the country in the number of young people who have been galvanized by this campaign. It has been remarkable to me, and it has been very refreshing," Robinson said.

Robinson sees Obama's work as a senator as further evidence of his inerest in the people. "When I saw him out there in the community organizing as a state legislator, I saw that there are some people out there who care about the ordinary guy, and I got re-energized," Robinson said.

The Beavers' head coach was excited to see that many students at OSU have taken great interest in the campaign.

"As much as I can't vocalize on campus, the students have been great. They have been the voice for me," Robinson said.

While Robinson is a relative of the presidential candidate, his reasons for his involvement with the campaign are far more extensive. "A lot of people think that I am doing this because they are my sister and brother-in-law - well, that's true. But Barack is the kind of guy that could have gotten me to do it if I wasn't related to him. I would have been on the phones anyway."

A primary reason that Robinson is campaigning is because he believes in Obama's message.

"I could have easily passed on all the campaigning, but I think that it is very important that everyone knows as much as they can possibly know about this family, so that they can have all the information when they go to vote," Robinson said.

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