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Stanford Community Donates Generously To Obama

Publication Date: 
September 16, 2008
The Stanford Daily
Scott Sayare

Professor Lawrence Marshall is quoted in a Stanford Daily story about the Stanford community's campaign donations for Obama:

“My whole life, I’ve had to vote for candidates by saying, ‘Which is the least of the worst?’” said law professor Larry Marshall. “The first candidate in my life where I’ve ever really felt like I’m in the presence of greatness has been Barack Obama.”

Marshall, an Obama donor and longtime supporter who worked on Obama’s U.S. Senate campaign in Illinois, said a great number of his colleagues share his excitement, calling Obama “a candidate who inspires people, and those people include academics.”


“I don’t think that in any way represents the ideological diversity of the institution,” Marshall said. “If you’re telling me that we think that’s somehow a proxy for identifying political leanings, it isn’t.”

Marshall said Stanford faculty include “a tremendous number of people who traditionally have supported the Republican agenda,” and suggested Republicans on campus may simply donate less to politics than Democrats.

“One of the questions is, ‘Why are those significant number of people on this campus who are supporting the Republican ticket not giving?’” he said.


“The disgrace is why our level of giving generally, to either candidate, is so pathetically low,” Marshall said. “That here we are, people who are deeply educated and deeply follow these issues and have acute senses of how much this matters, and yet it appears that only a tiny fraction of us have actually dipped into our pockets to give.”


Marshall sees academia as a critical force in the democratic process, a group particularly well-equipped to offer reasoned perspectives on politics and political candidates.

“This is a group that is very, very driven by issues, and by vision and by depth,” he said. “The idea that we ought to be silenced in our speaking or our giving, I think, would be a great detriment to the community at large.”