I heard through AP Radio News the following message of President Obama in his speech delivered in Connecticut two days before the midterm election, in which Democrats suffered a crashing defeat.

He says Republicans are blocking immigration reform and other big issues:

“The biggest corporation they don’t need another champion. The wealthiest Americans don’t need another champion. You do.”

What does “another champion” mean? Who is it? Why the biggest corporation and wealthiest Americans don’t need “another” champion, and the rest of Americans need “another” champion?

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    Income disparity between the wealthiest Americans and "the average American" is the greatest that it has ever been. American corporations have huge cash reserves. The middle class has not only been stagnating but losing ground. Retirement pensions are a thing of the past and a large percentage of the middle class is unprepared for retirement because their wages have been stagnant for 35 years. Those facts are the backdrop for that remark about who needs a champion. – TRomano Nov 9 '14 at 11:35
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    There are two different meanings for "champion". One, probably more familiar, is the winner of a contest. But the other, which is what was meant here, is a person who will heroically fight for a cause -- a protector or defender. – Hot Licks Nov 9 '14 at 22:20

First of all, let's find the context in order to understand this more.

The biggest corporations don’t need another champion ... you do

Google the first part of that quote (by using quotation marks around it), and you'll get about 208 results. Open a few of them, and you'll see that Obama has reused the same phrase multiple times. After reading the context for each time the phrase was used, it becomes clear what he exactly meant.

Almost every time, Obama said it in a speech to support a Democratic candidate running for the senate. Obama was making those speeches in the "important states" in order to urge people to go out and vote for this candidate, the Democrat, as opposed to the Republican. Generally, it's believed that Republican fight for the big corps (lower taxes for the wealthy, hindering minimum wage raise, etc.), and Democrats fight for the common people (equality in marriage, affordable health care, etc.) Now that the context is clear, let's deliver this four-bagger of an answer.

Basically, Obama is saying

Vote for this Democrat candidate as he'll fight for you [be your champion], as opposed to the Republican who will fight for the wealthy and big corps [be their champion]. The biggest corporations already have a lot of Republicans fighting for them, they don't need another one [the Republican candidate in this race in this state], but you do [you need a champion for you, who is the Democrat in this race in this state]

I hope that made things clear.

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    This is all correct but you should explain how this relates to the meaning of the word. For example, your answer would have worked equally well if Obama had said, "The biggest corporations don't need another bloobledewhoop. You do." – David Richerby Nov 9 '14 at 15:48
  • A chañmpio was historically one who fought for another's rights or honour. – Martin Nov 9 '14 at 17:08
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    @David I inferred that the OP understands what "champion" means, or at least knows how to find it in the dictionary. That's why I didn't quote the definition. However, I did something, in my opinion, better; I implied it not-so-subtly in the last bit of the answer. "fight for you, be your champion". Personally, I prefer this way of delivering information because it pushes the reader to make a small understanding leap, which makes the information stick better. If you disagree, please add the definition you see fit as a comment. – Adi Nov 9 '14 at 21:19
  • @David Richerby. What does 'bloobledewhoop' mean? I don find the word in dictinaries at hand nor on Google Research. – Yoichi Oishi Nov 9 '14 at 22:24
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    @YoichiOishi It's a nonsense word that I made up to illustrate my point. – David Richerby Nov 10 '14 at 0:26

Champion is used with the following meaning, suggesting that ordinary people, not big corps, need more support for their issues: (from TFD)

  • an ardent defender or supporter of a cause or another person: a champion of the homeless.

  • a person who fights for or defends any person or cause: a champion of the oppressed.

  • Possible synonym: "advocate". – keshlam Nov 9 '14 at 14:42

I would suggest the president Obama meant that there were already enough people lobbying on behalf of the biggest corporations, whereas individual Americans have few.

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    That's exactly what he's saying but you should explain how this relates to the word "champion". – David Richerby Nov 9 '14 at 15:46

Obama is using "champion" in the sense of "representative."

I suspected that this was the original meaning of the word, rather than the modern meaning of "winner" This source appears to confirm this: http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=champion

In the old days, sometimes two armies, rather than fight each other to the death, would settle their dispute by selecting one best warrior from each side, and then have just these two men do battle one-on-one. This was obviously a lot less bloody than having two whole armies fight to the death.

The classic example is the biblical story of David and Goliath. From the King James translation, 1 Samuel 17:4 onwards . It's important when reading this to remember that Goliath was the greatest warrior of the Philestines, and did not expect to lose. Israel picked David as their champion and the rest is history. Full text at http://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/1-Samuel-Chapter-17/

4 And there went out a champion out of the camp of the Philistines, named Goliath, of Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span.

8 And he stood and cried unto the armies of Israel, and said unto them, Why are ye come out to set your battle in array? am not I a Philistine, and ye servants to Saul? choose you a man for you, and let him come down to me.

9 If he be able to fight with me, and to kill me, then will we be your servants: but if I prevail against him, and kill him, then shall ye be our servants, and serve us.

So a champion is someone who fights hard for your cause (and if taken literally according to the original meaning, is willing to kill or die for it if necessary.)


A champion is a powerful, successful person. In this regard, there is probably no greater "champion" in the world than the President of the United States.

Obama is referring to himself. He is telling the people, "the biggest corporations don't need another person like me [on their side]... You do.

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