MARYLAND

Likes His Views, And Can't Forget That Name

Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot, left, and Jamile O. Bama canvassed Saturday in Prince George's County for presidential candidate Barack Obama.
Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot, left, and Jamile O. Bama canvassed Saturday in Prince George's County for presidential candidate Barack Obama. (By Christy Goodman -- The Washington Post)
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By Christy Goodman
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, February 11, 2008

Is name destiny? Perhaps. If not, Jamile O. Bama might have been playing basketball with his friends Saturday.

Instead, the 17-year-old from Cheverly donned a Barack Obama T-shirt and knocked on nearly 80 doors with Del. Jolene Ivey (D-Prince George's) and state Comptroller Peter Franchot (D).

Because of his golden name, the Paint Branch High School senior has become quite popular.

"I love my name. I wouldn't change it for the world. I mean, I lived with it for 17 years," Bama said during a break in canvassing in the Rolling Crest polling precinct in Prince George's County.

Bama said he has to tell people these days that he is not related to the Democratic candidate for the presidency. But Bama added: "He is going to be the president. So, if you want to call me by the president's name, that is fine by me."

Bama will vote for the first time in the primary, and Obama will get that vote. Bama said he agrees with the Illinois senator's policies on affordable higher education, health care and the recent mortgage crisis.

"I've been waiting to be able to vote for a long time. . . . I'm of age. I work. I get taxes taken out. I know what it feels like to put money in the government's pockets," he said. "Young people should be getting into politics and things of this sort because whether or not [they realize it], it will affect them in the future."

Bama helped campaign for Ivey, whom he has known since she drove a carpool to Gladys Noon Spellman Elementary School. He has spent two summers interning for Ivey's husband, Prince George's State's Attorney Glenn F. Ivey (D).

He has been accepted to four universities, including the University of Maryland Eastern Shore and Morgan State, and is interested in pre-law and business management.


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