The last Saturday night of April 2016 found President Obama delivering his last address, as President, to the White House Correspondence Dinner. This is an annual dinner that allows the President to roast the national media, opponents, and members of the respective political parties. In the broader picture, it was another public address by President Obama which has become a major hallmark of his presidency. On this occasion the President, once again, joked about Donald Trump. His jabs this time around were not as incendiary as they have been in the past.
Moreover, Trump did not attend the event even though two of his sons were in attendance. It was President Obama who first referred to Donald Trump as a “carnival barker.” His remarks concerning Trump over the years have been less than flattering. In the past this writer has stated that what motivates Trump politically is his disdain of seeing President Obama as President. Trump rose to political prominence leading the “Birther” movement against President Obama. The “Birther” movement was nothing less than a racial affront to the first Black President of the United States of America. In President Obama’s Saturday night remarks he chided the press for giving Donald Trump media coverage that is inverse to the seriousness of Trump’s presidential campaign. I am inclined to agree. How is it that the Republican front-runner is this close to clinching the nomination and the media are just getting around to saying that Trump is trying to look presidential. Exactly what does that mean? In essence Trump, as presidential candidate, is nothing more than a hologram.
Last week Donald Trump gave a forty-five minute speech detailing his “America First” vision for American foreign policy. FOX News was simply giddy over the speech. The news network trotted out its usual list of anti-Obama characters to denounce foreign policy under Obama and give some type of legitimacy to Trump’s lunacy. The accusation that Obama foreign policy has been a disaster for the United States is a constant refrain for those on the right of the political spectrum. Yet, this is simply an accusation with nothing to substantiate the premise. Let us be reminded that President Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize during his first year in office. He secured a nuclear deal with Iran. Republican hopefuls such as Ted Cruz and Donald Trump constantly say that they would dismantle the agreement if they were elected President. For the most part, these candidate only talk about what they would undo. This means that they do not have a clue as to what they would do as President.
President Obama has remained relatively silent for the 2016 campaign season. Obviously, he does not want to be seen as getting too involved either on the side of Hillary or Bernie. Moreover, he does not want to give any more legitimacy to the Republican candidates who base their campaigns simply on bashing the President’s record and achievements. I predict, however, that after Hillary Clinton secures the nomination we shall see the President unleashed and unfettered as he campaigns for Democrats all across the country. Democrats would do well not to make the same mistake that Al Gore made in 2000. Gore ran away from President Clinton when he should have been running with Bill Clinton. Hillary would do well to run with the support of President Obama and run away from his support. Moreover, the Obama Administration has a great record on which to base the case for another Democrat to immediately succeed President Obama in the White House. If another Democrat had immediately succeeded Bill Clinton in the White House, the world would look quite different today. George W. Bush truly messed up. It is just that simple.
The 2016 Democratic National Convention will be held at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania from July 25th through July 28th. One must recall that it was at the 2004 Democratic National Convention in Boston where Barack Obama gave one of the greatest keynote speeches in convention history. The speech elevated Obama to national prominence and eventually to the presidency of the United States. I expect no less from the President when he addresses the DNC in July of 2016. Not only will the President give Hillary a phenomenal send off, but he will also be speaking to secure his legacy. Once the convention is over, Obama will campaign across the nation in order to remind America what he inherited as President and what needs to be passed on to a Hillary Clinton Administration. Some have been saying that Trump will try to win over Sanders supporters. What Sanders supporter could be insane enough to vote for Donald Trump or simply sit home on November 8, 2016? President Obama will remind them that the stakes are too high. I believe that from the microphone along, Obama shall will the Trump candidacy to fail. Between Obama and Trump, it is personal. Last Saturday night, after Obama finished his remarks, in the tradition of a true spoken word artist, he dropped the mic. Once Obama leaves office I plan to take a photo of that mic lying on the floor.
Anthony Neal earned his Ph.D. in political science at Atlanta University (now Clark Atlanta University). Dr. Neal is an associate professor at State University College, Buffalo. The author of numerous book reviews and journal articles, he has had his work published in the Western Journal of Black Studies, the Journal of Black Studies, and Black Issues in Higher Education. In 2014 Dr. Neal received the university’s Faculty Appreciation Award, was named Instructor of the Year by the university’s United Student Government, and Professor of the Year by the Student Political Society in the Department of Political Science. In 2015, he published The American Political Narrative which is a succinct yet poignant narrative about the development of the American political system and what is needed to maintain it. In 2016, he will publish a book of poetry entitled “Love Agnostic | from 9/11 to Charleston”