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Being Kevin Johnson


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being_kevin_johnson.htmlAmerican Thinker:

The stars aligned on November 4, 2008 for two political and social friends. One would live and work on the West Coast and the other on the East Coast and they would both champion the new civil rights movement -- education. Their visions for America's school children converge in a platform of teacher accountability, charter schools and Race To The Top.

Former NBA star Kevin Johnson became the first African-American Mayor of Sacramento on the same night Barack Obama became the first African-American President. Shortly after his election, Johnson told the Sacramento Bee, "Obama and myself, we ran on the promise and the theme of change. No more business as usual."

There were other similarities. Both were raised by their Caucasian maternal grandparents; both were relative political rookies; both were involved early on in the nonprofit education movement and both candidates won their respective races despite problematic pasts.

The two men also knew each other, according to Johnson. In several interviews before and after his 2008 election Johnson bragged about his closeness to Michelle and Barack Obama. The first couple was "folks he knew very well."

Johnson even told Comedy Central's Stephen Colbert in an interview on November 11, 2008 "They call me Little Barack." Colbert responded by calling the mayor "Baby Barack."

Now Mayor "Baby Barack" Johnson is a sought-after player in the education reform movement. Like Obama, Johnson's controversial past has stayed under the radar and out of the headlines. Big media's non-interest coupled with Johnson's image as a Christian social conservative has gained him access to right-wing groups and school choice proponents on both sides of the aisle.

Johnson's affable manner, his pro-business stance and decades-long advocacy for underprivileged children makes him a natural when speaking at forums, conferences, summits and universities across the nation. St HOPE, the nonprofit organization founded in 1989 put Johnson on the map as a serious contender in the burgeoning private-public political climateScissors-32x32.png

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