President Obama had a busy schedule yesterday that included campaigning in Philadelphia, managing three wars, and attempting to prevent an inevitable government shutdown. But he managed to pencil in some face time for his good friend the Reverend Al Sharpton and his civil rights group, the National Action Network. Remember when Sharpton was refusing then-Senator Obama's "cajoling" and unironically accusing him of "grandstanding?" Yeah, we don't recall anything pre-bailout/apocalypse either.
In front of an audience in Midtown that included Magic Johnson, Bill Cosby, Spike Lee, Martin Luther King III and Stevie Wonder, Obama sought to assuage black voters that had become disillusioned with his performance over the last two years. According to The Daily News, the President praised the work of Sharpton's group while acknowledging that there was still a lot of work to be done: "I'm not asking you to…be satisfied with our progress—I know this isn't the National Satisfaction Network, it's the National Action Network." Hey-o! He'll be at the Borgata all next week, folks!
The Post notes that while 90% of blacks polled still support Obama, it's important that he ensures their turnout in 2012, and his increasingly cozy relationship with Sharpton, who got a "rousing slap on the back" from the president—they were all but "joined at the hip" yesterday—is evidence that he's taking those skeptical of his "blackness," seriously. Fox News takes the political appeasement metaphor even further, suggesting that Barry is "kissing Rev. Sharpton's ring." Dave Chappelle, who knows a thing or two about pimp jokes, always said that being the nation's first black president was never going to be easy.