49ers Blog and Q&A

News, notes and reader questions about the San Francisco 49ers

February 17, 2012
Obama to Vernon Davis: You'd make a great Chicago Bear


Vernon Davis on Thursday introduced, chatted with and was recruited by the President of the United States.

Ho hum.

It was just another day in the life of the 49ers' tight end, who paints, who dabbles in interior design, who toured Africa last year, who's buddies with Serena Williams and who served as a honorary captain of the U.S. Curling team during the last Winter Olympics.

His latest adventure came about last week when he got a call from his publicist: Would you like to meet Barack Obama? His role grew from there. On Thursday Davis, who grew up 20 or so blocks from the White House, found himself on a podium at the Nob Hill Masonic Center in San Francisco introducing Obama, who was in town raising campaign funds.

"Never, ever," Davis said when asked Friday if, as a child growing up in a rough section if Washington, D.C., he ever thought he'd meet the President. "I thought the closest I'd get to the President was a dollar bill."

Davis said he began his speech by talking about his grandmother, Adaline, who raised Davis, younger brother Vontae, a cornerback for the Dolphins, and four other siblings. Davis said his grandmother taught him that anything is possible through hard work and that he and Vontae are proof of that.

The tight end, who crafted the speech with tips from the Obama campaign, told the crowd that the President had a similar message. "If you love your country, you can change it," Davis said. "But you have to fight for that change."

Davis said he and Obama took a photograph together after the President spoke and chatted for about two minutes. Before his own speech began, Obama noted Davis' playoffs heroics and quipped that he should play in Chicago.

"If you want to come and play for the Bears, you are welcome to do it," Obama said, a comment that drew good-natured boos from the 49ers-laced crowd. (Davis said that he had hardly begun his speech when someone from the audience shouted: Who's got it better than us?)

Obama is not the only politician Davis chatted with this month. Last week, he drove to Sacramento and met with Mayor Kevin Johnson and Governor Jerry Brown in an effort to raise funds for his Davis Family Foundation.

And he's not finished rubbing elbows with political figures. Obama invited Davis to attend the White House Correspondents' Dinner on April 28, and Davis said he plans to bring Adaline as his date.

For those keeping score, the Giants' trip to the White House has not been scheduled.

-- Matt Barrows


Matt was born in Blacksburg, Va., and attended the University of Virginia. He graduated in 1995, went to Northwestern for a journalism degree a year later, and got his first job at a South Carolina daily in 1997. He joined The Bee as a Metro reporter in 1999 and started covering the 49ers in 2003. His favorite player of all time is Darrell Green.


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