With President Obama one year away from either being re-elected or voted out of office, he’s decided to appoint one of his star organizers to head up his “Operation Vote” campaign targeted towards rallying minority voting.
Michael Blake, who became a star in Obama’s 2008 campaign, landed a job with the White House as their African American Outreach coordinator. But Blake will now move from the campaign to the streets to help register and reinvigorate voters.
While Democratic officials and strategists acknowledge that the White House has done a poor job of promoting and articulating what they describe as a host of substantive achievements for African Americans, they scoff at the notion that the president might lose his black base or that the administration hasn’t made strides in easing the burdens of the country’s most vulnerable.
“If the question becomes, ‘What have [we] done?’ we can talk that for days,” says Blake. “No one can say that we haven’t done things for the African-American community that haven’t had substantive impact.”
Blake points to increases in funding to historically black colleges and universities. He also said that the $3.6 billion that has gone to about 1,100 black businesses through the Minority Business Development Agency — along with mortgage forbearance programs and the passage of the president’s health care bill — would all disproportionately benefit minorities and the poor.