President Obama was the main course at the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) 40th annual dinner on Saturday, September 18, 2010. He spoke about what is at stake for the mid term year elections. He reminded us that that the 2008 presidential election was about changing the guard. He stated the midterm election is about guarding the change that has begun. Much is left to be done. He spoke candidly about our economic situation. While some measure of improvement has been made, many are still suffering from the ills of the last 8-10 years. He reminded us that the Republicans dug us in a ditch for the last 10 years. Democrats are trying to dig us out for the last 18 months while the Republicans sit on the side lines sipping Slurpees. He was full of metaphors that voters will remember.
We have a President who has the intellect to come up with a plan to get the country out of the hole the Republicans have created for us. Obama urged us to focus on the plan that he and Democrats have in play. We just need to stick with the plan because “it’s not about the man. It’s about the plan”.
If President Obama was the main course, then Harry Belafonte was the dessert. Harry Belafonte appeared to receive an award from the CBC. He didn’t miss the opportunity to address the crowd on a political level. He said that while President Obama has a plan, he is missing one component. Belafonte said the one thing missing is the voice of militant strong Americans. In every crisis, strong Americans have come forward to help bring about the change. He stressed that we need to now take our piece of responsibility and make the difference for the president. He cautioned the Tea Party is similar in characteristic to a tea bag. If you steep a tea bag long enough, it loses its strength. Belafonte was met with a rousing thunder of applause.
President Obama remarked that we must keep the keys to this country away from the Republicans. They have only used them to drive us in reverse. Democrats are driving us forward. He ended by stating we are working to make the union more perfect and just, one step at a time. There is much more work to do. He stressed the time for action is now.
President Obama was back in the fighting form that brought him to the White House. He energized and mesmerized the crowd. In trial lawyer language, he kept the theme and the story simple. Although, he spoke about his accomplishments, he didn’t get bogged down in language that was too technical. He kept it real. And in the words of Ashford and Simpson, who sang at the conclusion of the program, “Ain’t nothing like the real thing baby”.
Washington DC based Debbie Hines, Esq. blogs on race, law and women from an African American female lawyer’s point of view. She holds a Juris Doctorate from George Washington University Law School and a BA from the University of PA. She is a native of Baltimore, MD.