President Barak Obama delivered an impassioned plea to African-American voters at the Congressional Black Caucus Saturday night, rallying them to stand behind Hillary Clinton and calling it a “personal insult” to his legacy if the black community “fails to activate itself in this election.”
Obama came on strong, hoping to get people fired up and into voting booths on November 8, pointing out that although his name isn’t on the ballot, the progress made in his eight-year term certainly is.
“If you care about our legacy, realize that everything that we stand for is at stake, all the progress we’ve made is at stake in this election,” he told the crowd. “Tolerance is on the ballot. Democracy is on the ballot. Justice is on the ballot. Good schools are on the ballot. Ending mass incarceration, that’ on the ballot right now. And there is one candidate who will advance those things, and there’s another candidate whose defining principle, the central theme of his candidacy is opposition to all that we’ve done.”
Obama — whose approval rating is at 51 percent — drove home the point that 2016 is not the year to be apathetic about voting. “If I hear anybody saying their vote does not matter, that it doesn’t matter who we elect, read up on your history. It matters,” he said fervently. “If you want to give Michelle and me a good send off — and that was a beautiful video — but don’t just watch us walk off into the sunset now, get people registered to vote.”
Democrats achieved historic turnout in the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections, especially in the African-American community, and Obama is pushing hard to match that achievement in November. “Go vote!” he said. “And I’m going to be working as hard as I can these next seven weeks to make sure folks do.”