Black Public Scholars

September 8, 2009

Dr Boyce Watkins: How Obama Can Win this Fight

by Dr Boyce Watkins, Syracuse University 

I once saw a documentary by filmmaker Byron Hurt called, "Barack and Curtis," comparing President Obama to the rapper 50 Cent. Such a comparison might seem silly, given that one of these men is the leader of the free world and the other is a wealthy "gangsta" with more business sense than a Harvard Professor. But in this case, Barack might want to learn a bit from Curtis in order to get a little "gangsta" with the Republican Party, because the right wing has already gotten incredibly "thugged out" with him.

Through a web of lies, unfair attacks and orchestrated campaigns to discredit the president, the right wingers have been relatively successful in slowly eroding Obama’s base of support. While President Obama once rode the wave of 60% approval ratings and amazing popularity, the numbers are now hovering around 45% and morale within the Obama camp has been dramatically weakened. Let Obama lose an additional 10% of his supporters, and you’ve got another President Bush.
I’ve been critical of President Obama when he was wrong, and that won’t ever change. But I stand by my assertion that Barack Obama is the most intelligent and capable leader our nation has had in a very long time. He is certainly better than John McCain and Sarah Palin, whose intellectual and professional flaws make a mockery of our political system.

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