By Michael Marley
Controversial fight promoter Don King may be many things but no one can accuse him of being a political fence sitter.
In prior elections, the combative King has described himself as "versatile and flexible, a Republicrat at heart."
But not for the Barack Obama-Mitt Romney presidential slugfest, which entered its final round on Tuesday. Though he was one of the most ardent verbal and financial backers of President George Herbert Walker Bush through two White House terms, King is out on the hustings and switched party preference.
"I was in Cleveland on Monday and I'm in St. Louis right now," the tireless, 80 year old King told me by phone. "I voted early and now I'm encouraging people to come out and vote, to vote for four more years. I'm proudly supporting Obama and supporting six more years in the U.S. Senate for Missouri's Claire McCaskill."
Rock and roll legend Chuck Berry joined DK in rallying McCaskill supporters in the Show Me State.
King opined that people of color, women concerned about their rights and all progressive minded folks should back the Democrats in this epic electoral battle.
"I'm for the president. I'm for four more years for the man who broke the color line at the White House. Now they want to reinstate the color line and we can't go back. History was made in 2008 and we can't give it up.
"They've done one of the best propaganda jobs in history (for Romney and other GOP candidates)," the effusive King said. "There's been a campaign to reinstate the color line at the White House.
"They now want to get the black guy out of the White House. They want Obama out because he has repudiated and rejected every stereotype--they're lazy, shiftless and incapable--they ever had about the black guy. Obama has risen above all that, he has."
But what about King's abandonment of the pachyderm party and his embrace of the donkeys?
"JFK said it and it's true, sometimes party loyalty comes at too high a price. This is that time. What was done in stereotyping the black people continues to be done to women. They say a women can be a mother, a wife, a sister...They say the same negative things about women that they said about the slaves..All women need to step up to the plate to reject these negative stereotypes like Senator McCaskill has in Missouri."