Go to Admin » Appearance » Widgets » and move Gabfire Widget: Social into that MastheadOverlay zone
While many pundits have focused on President Obama’s gun violence remarks at a gathering for the National Urban League in New Orleans, I largely ignored those comments because, well, they’re pretty meaningless. Obama isn’t going to do anything to limit the sale of 6,000 rounds of ammo, so there’s really no need for me to pay him much attention. But this comment did stand out for me:
“They’re not watching Real Housewives… You gotta earn success… That wasn’t in my prepared remarks… I’m just saying.”
What I can’t, for the life of me, figure out, is what President Obama could possibly know about *earning* anything. I mean, for a man whose resume is only about a half page long, he has an awful lot of advice on earning.
What really qualifies Obama to even be president? His first job as a corporate PR hack (oh, he didn’t tell you about that?) ? His short time as a community organizer in Chicago? His time as Michele Obama’s intern? His short term as a Constitutional law professor?
Is a man who admittedly whittled away too much time as a youth ”puff, puff, passing”, the leader of the Choom Choom gang, really in any position to wag his finger at young people, or black people, for watching Basketball Wives?
One thing to understand is that America took a chance on Obama – he didn’t earn it. Like it or not, earning the grand job of President of the United States of America has evolved to require a series of stepping stones – legislator, governor, and the like. The American electorate usually requires that its candidates demonstrate that they can lead over time before they can ascend to the White House. It may not be fair, but at least in the modern era, that has been the central canon for our assessment of leadership. The 2008 election, with Clinton and Obama, was our first modern experiment with untested candidates.
If President Obama had wanted to earn it, he would’ve ran for Congress, then mayor, then governor – for example. Obama didn’t win because he earned it. He won because he was the right guy, at the right time, and American voters were willing to take a chance on an unknown after everything they’d been through during the disastrous years of “Dubya”. That’s rare. And if I called it anything, I’d call it dumb luck before I called it earning.
Consider this: what would you be saying right now if Mitt Romney was a first term Senator who had as the highlight of career his time as a community organizer? Would you be taking advice from him right now on how to earn your way to the top? Doubt it.
In fact, Romney is mocked now because everyone knows that he didn’t earn his way to the top. He inherited it. But you can’t be hypocrites here and berate Romney for not earning his own stripes, then turn right around and pretend that Obama earned his way to the top.
If the President wants to veer away from his prepared remarks to say a little something extra, it should be about what he’s going to do to help black folk if he’s re-elected. Stay on message. But please, Mr. Obama, spare us the whole “you gotta do better” routine, because many of us look back at you and think the same thing. Obama is, more than anything, a man who could use a mirror.
Yvette Carnell is a former Capitol Hill and campaign staffer turned writer. She is currently an editor and contributor to Yourblackworld.