Boxing promotor Bob Arum looks on at a press conference to promote the Manny Pacquiao v Shane Mosley fight at The Lighthouse at Chelsea Piers on February 14 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Did Manny Pacquiao - superstar boxer, Filipino Congrressman - help Senator Harry Reid get elected? That's what Top Rank promoter Bob Arum thinks.
As I detailed yesterday, boxing sensation Manny Pacquiao appeared alongside Senator Harry Reid of Nevada in a press conference decidedly not about Shane Mosley, but about Pacquiao more generally.
I and other reporters spoke to Pacquiao's promoter, Top Rank CEO Bob Arum, about Pacquiao's appearance on Capitol Hill and the conversation quickly turned into whether or not the Filipino boxer actually helped Sen. Reid defeat challenger Sharron Angle in last November's hotly contested elections.
Arum had this to say: "I think he certainly helped. You can believe or disbelieve polls, but on the Friday before election day Harry was four points behind. On election day the Senator won by five points. Now, a lot of that was the enthusiasm that Manny created. No question about it."
"Sharron Angle," Arum continued, "who was running against Senator Reid, elected to have at her final rally John McCain. I don't know what you think of John McCain, but he's no contest for Manny Pacquiao."
Recall Sen. Reid also had UFC President Dana White and former light heavyweight champions Randy Couture and Chuck Liddell stump for him as well.
It's hard to measure any impact Pacquiao may have had on the Reid as I'm sure McCain provided a decent lift to the Angle rally, if not the campaign. Perhaps the Pacquiao phenomenon is more about popularity and less about vote conversion. Still, I don't care what party it is: would you rather go to a rally with Pacquiao or McCain?