Strident liberal Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Cal., has taken on every president since George H.W. Bush – Republican and Democrat alike. And “Kerosene Maxine,” as opponents call her, is going after President Barack Obama too, causing him discomfort, Politico
Waters complains that Obama hasn’t done enough to help African-Americans and the poor during the recession and tepid economic recovery. That puts Obama, who seeks to avoid racial issues, in a pickle.
Waters headed a series of jobs forums during the summer that criticized the Obama administration’s handling of black unemployment. The president followed with a speech urging African-American leaders to “stop grumbling” and join his effort. Waters’ reply: “I don’t know who he was talking to.”
Some black leaders defended Waters, saying she echoed their disappointment that Obama hasn’t done more to help African-Americans. And debate raged in the black community over whether the president is sufficiently attentive to its concerns.
Obama certainly didn’t benefit from that, with his approval rating among African-American voters falling to the mid-70s from more than 80 percent previously.
“The majority of African-Americans understand what the president is up against,” a senior Democratic operative told Politico. “They know he can’t be doing daily bus tours in predominately black communities for fear of turning off white moderate voters. But they clearly want the president to be more aggressive and stand up and fight against [House Speaker John] Boehner, [House Majority Leader Eric] Cantor and the other Republicans, who are committed to destroying his presidency.”
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