By Kathy Wray Coleman, Editor
CLEVELAND, Ohio-President Barack Obama (pictured first) gave Cleveland its proper respect and met briefly with about 10 grassroots volunteers and area movers and shakers on Thurs afternoon, moments before his 53 minute speech at the Cuyahoga Community College campus in Cleveland that drew over 1500 people.
Among the special guests that the president courted before his address to a capacity crowd at Tri-C were Congresswomen Marcia Fudge of Warrensville Hts. (D-11), Betty Sutton (D-13) of Copley Township, and Toledo's Marcy Kaptor (D-9), ( all three pictured second, third and fourth respectively), and Blaine Griffin (pictured fifth), the director of the community relations board for the City of Cleveland and the highest ranking Black in the Cuyahoga County Democratic Party as its vice chairperson.
With his always appealing style and finesse, Obama reminded the audience of why voters catapulted him to president of the United States of America, and he stayed on task with highlights on key issues such as the economy, foreign policy, jobs, and research development.
The president took on Mitt Romney, a millionaire and the presidential nominee for the Republican Party, saying that Romney has not one substantive plan for reducing the country's financial deficit and creating more jobs for the American people, and that his economic recovery proposal would, in reality, create more debt.
"I haven't seen a single independent analysis that my opponent's economic plan would actually reduce the deficit, not one," said Obama. "Even analysts that might agree with parts of his economic theory don't believe that his plan would create more jobs in the short term."
The president said in almost an emergent tone that he and Romney have distinctively different political philosophies and suggested that Romney might even be irrational and possibly dangerous in how he views public policy matters.
"At stake is not simply a choice between two candidates or two political parties," the president said. "But between two paths for our country."
Under the George W. Bush presidential regime the rich got richer and the poor got poorer, and it was the failed economic policies of the Bush administration that drew the current recession, preached Obama.
"Over the last few decades the income of the top one percent grew by more that 275 percent to an average of 1.3 million a year and big financial institutions saw their profits soar, " said Obama. "But prosperity never trickled down to the middle class. From 2001 to 2008 we had the slowest job growth in half a century. The typical family saw their incomes halt."
He emphasized a campaign platform centered on core issues such as "education, energy, innovation, infrastructure, and a tax code focused on American job creation and balanced deficit reduction."
And those that Obama gave special attention by gathering for a meet and greet session before his speech praised him, including Griffin and Fudge, Ohio's only Black congressperson.
"I enjoyed meeting with the president and his speech, to me, was one of his best," said Griffin, 42, a rising star in the county's Democratic Party who caught the president's attention after inviting Black leaders to a meeting earlier last week to strengthen strategies to help the Obama campaign while a few members of Cleveland's Old Black Political Guard, like former Cleveland NAACP President George Forbes, were spearheading a meeting at the Cleveland Clinic as Democrats with Republican Ohio Gov John Kasich, a staunch Romney supporter.
Forbes, 81, and now a part time Cleveland attorney who resides much of the time with his wife in Florida, was not invited to the Obama meet session and is a longtime opportunist and insignificant old man, an Obama campaign official has said on condition of anonymity.
Fudge, whose 11th congressional district includes Cleveland's majority Black east side and its eastern suburbs, and beginning next year will also include a predominantly Black pocket of Akron and staggering parts of its Summit County suburbs, said that Obama hit the necessary points and that the president is moving the country in the right direction.
"Congresswoman Fudge believes that the president is on the right path to investing in education, rebuilding our infrastructure, and not causing the poor and middle class to suffer to pay for more tax cuts for the wealthy," said Fudge spokesperson Belinda Prinz.