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President Obama, who has been accused of avoiding racial issues, jumped into the lion’s mouth Saturday when he made an unannounced appearance at the Congressional Black Caucus’ annual Washington conference and called on his most loyal constituents to resist plans to change the course his administration has set for the nation.

Without naming the Republican Party, the president warned that his opponents want to “turn back the clock” and reverse many of the changes he has made in the first two years of his administration. “I need everybody here to go back to your neighborhoods, to go back to your workplaces, to go to the churches, and go to the barbershops and go to the beauty shops, and tell them we’ve got more work to do,” Obama said to cheers from a black-tie audience at the Washington Convention Center. “Tell them we can’t wait to organize. Tell them that the time for action is now.”

With many pundits predicting that Democrats will lose control of the House and perhaps even the Senate, Obama needs to fire up black Democrats, who have continued to support him even as white liberals have expressed disappointment, and independents have indicated in polls that they would likely vote for Republicans in the fall election.

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