Supporters To Host Campaign Tailgates At Penn State Spring Football Game

This story was written by Jessica Turnbull, Daily Collegian
Former Nittany Lion Michael Robinson will return to Beaver Stadium Saturday, but not to play football.

He will be stumping for presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., along with other supporters at a tailgate before Saturday's Blue-White game held by the senator's campaign, he said.

Supporters of Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., also plan to hold a tailgate before the game to raise support before the crucial Pennsylvania primary Tuesday.

Robinson, who led the Nittany Lions to a FedEx Orange Bowl victory in January 2006, said he wanted to support Obama because he believes in what Obama stands for.

"I think the nation is ready for change," he said. "And I'm all about change."

He said foreign relations are important for the United States right now, especially after the current administration.

Robinson said Obama is a "great man of character and a great guy on charisma."

He said he wasn't able to hear Obama speak when he visited University Park last month but heard he opened his speech with a "We are ..."

Robinson, now a running back for the San Francisco 49ers, was asked to participate in the tailgate by Penn State quarterbacks coach Jay Paterno, a supporter of Obama.

Mike Stewart, Students for Barack Obama president, said Robinson would be joined by former defensive end Tamba Hali, former wide receiver Bryant Johnson and former wide receivers coach Kenny Jackson at Saturday's tailgate.

Stewart said the goal of the tailgate is to relax and give supporters "some well-deserved food" before heading toward Tuesday's primary.

The tailgate will be held at the corner of Fox Hollow Road and Park Avenue starting at 10 a.m. Free hot dogs, hamburgers and limited edition T-shirts will be available, he said.

"We're all from Penn State here and we understand the importance of the Blue and White," Stewart said.

Steve Lucas, of Penn State Students for Hillary, said the group will tailgate and do some canvassing before the game but said he did not know details.

Penn State Students for Hillary President Sean Leonard could not be reached by press time last night.

Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., will not be visiting Penn State before Tuesday's primary, said Jeff Sadosky, spokesman for McCain's campaign.

He said McCain has a different approach than the Democratic candidates and will be in Washington, D.C., for Senate business before starting a nationwide tour next week.
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