On the CBS series The Unit, he leads an elite military team on secret covert missions for the United States government. But before Dennis Haysbert went in the field, he was in office — the Oval Office — on the Emmy-winning FOX series 24. “I still, even after three seasons into ‘The Unit’ playing Sgt. Jonas Blaine”, he said, “I’m still asked by people on the street to run [for office].”
Haysbert’s character, David Palmer, wasn’t the first African-American ever onscreen to become President of the United States. Morgan Freeman also portrayed the President in the 1998 film Deep Impact. Still, the 54-year-old actor believes that Palmer is the reason for Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, as he recently contributed $2,300 to Obama’s campaign.
“If anything”, the 54-year-old actor said, “my portrayal of David Palmer, I think, may have helped open the eyes of the American people. And I mean the American people from across the board — from the poorest to the richest, every color and creed, every religious base — to prove the possibility there could be an African-American president, a female president, any type of president that puts the people first.”
Source: Associated Press (AP)