As President Obama toured the Midwest in his shiny new $1.1 million bus this week, Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) was moving around the country in a “For the People” Jobs Initiative tour. Her most recent stop was in Detroit at Wayne County Community College where attendees expressed their displeasure with the administration.
Waters reminded the audience that they were very proud to have a black man as President for the first time in history, but “If we go after the President too hard, you’re going after us,” so they shouldn’t put pressure on Obama.
Then Waters explained that she wasn’t even sure what the President was doing.
Waters: I’m in Detroit, I’ve been in Cleveland, I’m on my way to Atlanta, I’m going to Miami, I’ll be in Los Angeles. And aside from that, I travel to a lot of other cities—I’ve been in Chicago. And I’ll tell you this: the Congressional Black Caucus loves the President too. We’re supportive of the President but we’re getting tired, ya’ll. We’re getting tired. And so what we want to do is we want to give the President every opportunity to show— To show what he can do and what he’s prepared to lead on. We want to give him every opportunity. But our people are hurting. Their unemployment is unconscionable. We don’t know what this strategy is. We don’t know why on this trip that he is in the United States now he’s not in any black communities, we don’t know that. But all I’m saying to you is: we’re politicians. We’re elected officials. We’re trying to do the right thing and the best thing. When you let us know, it is time to let go, we’ll let go.
Obama wasn’t in the black communities because he knows that he has no plan to solve the sky-high unemployment rate among blacks, and that even if he doesn’t, he knows he is likely to get their vote anyway. On the other hand Obama needs to shore up his support among the working and middle class whites, who have become disillusioned with the President and his handling of the economy and whose votes are crucial to his reelection strategy.
As Waters has shown, though, she can only carry Obama’s water for so long before the black community loses all hope that he will bring change.