POLITICS

CBC chair: Black voters aren’t yet ‘energized’ enough for Obama to win

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Joel Gehrke

Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, D-Mo., said that President Obama needs black voters to be more enthusiastic about voting for him this fall than they are at the moment, adding that the Democratic National Convention must revive their interest in this election.

“[T]o some degree we’ve got to go out and secure the enthusiastic support of African-Americans,” Cleaver said in Charlotte, N.C., according to Politic365. “We’ve got to have an energized Black vote. When I say energized, we’ve got to get African-Americans to the point where they’re willing to stand in line for two hours to vote . . . We’ve got to create an atmosphere of inevitability. We don’t have it yet so we’re working on it.”

Obama enjoys the support of 94 percent of black Americans, according to a new Wall Street Journal/ NBC News poll, but he has to worry that some of

The high unemployment rate among African-Americans, coupled with President Obama’s neglect of black communities, has created some irritation towards the president among some of his most solid supporters (as demonstrated at the CBC’s town hall meeting in Detroit last year).

Obama’s support for gay marriage also threatens to depress black turnout this year. In North Carolina, for instance, a prominent black pastor who helped lead the push in that state to ban gay marriage has recorded a radio ad telling black voters to stay home.

Dr. Patrick Wooden accuses Obama of ‘turning his back’ on the black community in the ad. “With the strong support of the African American community, the amendment protecting marriage as the union of one man and one woman passed overwhelmingly,” Wooden says in the radio ad.  “The very next day, President Obama came out for homosexual marriage. Now his campaign leaders are working to deny North Carolina’s ability to define marriage, and they want to overturn our state marriage amendment altogether. Join me in saying ‘no more’ to President Obama.”

Cleaver said that Obama must remind black voters of the government programs that he wants to provide them, but not do so explicitly.

“[I]f people are disappointed with what they think the President did not do because Mitt Romney will not in any way even consider programs that I think many African-Americans will want and need,” Cleaver told Politic365. “It’s going to be difficult for him to say I’m going to be more forceful for African-Americans. However, some programs that the president will push will indisputably be put in place to help folk who are the urban poor.”

He also said that “the president needs to say that this second term will be infinitely more significant because incumbents are freer to implement their [ideas].”

 

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