Obama Turns to Black Leaders for Support

Obama Turns to Black Leaders for Support

Only hours after Barack Obama watched his party go down in flames Tuesday night, he turned to the constituency that most strongly supports him, meeting with black political leaders, including Al Sharpton.

Sharpton is a frequent visitor to the White House; Obama often consults with black political figures there, as opposed to the infrequent meetings he has with GOP leaders. In fact, CBS described last February’s meeting between Obama and Speaker of the House John Boehner this way: “President Obama had a rare, hour-long private meeting with House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, Tuesday in the Oval Office.”

But black leaders have easy access. At about the same time Boehner was meeting with Obama, TheBlaze reported:

The White House press schedule Tuesday indicated that President Obama would be meeting around 3 p.m. ET with black civil rights groups to discuss criminal justice reform and ‘Obamacare.’ MSNBC’s Al Sharpton will attend the meeting… Sharpton is a regular at the White House. Most recently he attended the state dinner held last week to celebrate French President François Hollande.

In July 2013, Sharpton and black leaders met with Obama in the White House to discuss the Voting Rights Act.

Some of the black leaders present at the meeting Wednesday included NAACP President Cornell Brooks, National Urban League President Marc Morial, National Coalition on Black Civic Participation President Melanie Campbell, Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights President Wade Henderson, and NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund President Sherrilyn Ifill.

A White House official described the meeting as a discussion that focused on Obamacare, education, and criminal justice issues, adding, “The president also highlighted how we are looking forward to working with the leaders over the next two years to advance these and other critical issues facing the country.” The official would not comment on whether a replacement for Attorney General Eric Holder was discussed.


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