Chicago Bears' Lovie Smith Calls on Blacks to Back Obama
Chicago Bears head coach Lovie Smith wants African-Americans to "be patient and look into the future," setting aside any disappointment in President Obama to actively support his campaign for a second term.
"Our future's looking bright, because I trust the man who's leading us. And that man is Barack Obama," Smith, 53, says in a new Obama campaign Web video to promote the group African-Americans for Obama.
"I have the president's back, and it's up to us as African-Americans to show that we have his back also."
Ninety-six percent of black voters in the latest ABC News-Washington Post poll say they approve of the way Obama has handled his job, while just 3 percent do not.
But lingering economic frustration in the black community, where unemployment was 14.1 percent in February, has highlighted the issue of whether blacks will turn out in record force for Obama in November as they did four years ago.
Smith and former Obama personal aide Reggie Love, who also appeared in an African-Americans for Obama Web video, are among a group of high-profile figures leading outreach to the black community. R&B singer Janelle Monae and author and Baptist minister Michael Eric Dyson also appear in online appeals.
Smith and Love hit the campaign trail together last month, joining Obama campaign manager Jim Messina in Indianapolis for a Super Bowl Sunday campaign fundraiser.