Colorlines: “The Real Invisible Obama Shows Up on Jobs and the Economy”
Communities of color are mired in an economic depression. Yet the president struggles to publicly acknowledge it. The choice not to do so presents Obama with a political problem when he can least afford it.
The worry is that Obama has an “enthusiasim gap” amongst key elements of his 2008 electoral base. As D.C. political guru Charlie Cook notes, it’s especially large among Latinos. The bottom line is that in order to remain in the White House, the president needs to give this community a reason to show up at the polls. The number one issue for Latinos, like all Americans, is jobs and the economy.
In essence, President Obama’s decision not to specifically address black and brown unemployment, a strategy implemented to insulate Obama from charges of preferential treatment by right wing, may backfire if blacks and Latinos aren’t motivated to go to the polls on election day.
A large segment of black and brown voters are dispirited by how the President has ignored the economic impact of the economic downturn on them. Instead of stepping up to the plate, Obama chastised African-Americans when he told them, at a Congressional Black Caucus dinner, to “stop complaining.”
Who knows how it will play out, but some observers believe that Obama will live to regret those words, especially considering that he’s lagging behind Mitt Romney by double digits among white voters. If Obama is to win reelection, he’ll need blacks and Latinos to come out in force for him. No one’s certain that that will happen this time around.
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