Obama Seeks To Energize Blacks Voters

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama implored black voters on Saturday to rekindle the passion they felt for his groundbreaking campaign and turn out in force this fall to repel Republicans who are ready to "turn back the clock." In a fiery speech to the Congressional Black Caucus, Obama warned that Republicans hoping to seize control of Congress want "to do what's right politically, instead of what's right — period." "I need everybody here to go back to your neighborhoods, to go back to your workplaces, to go to the churches, and go to the barbershops and go to the beauty shops. And tell them we've got more work to do," Obama said to cheers from a black-tie audience at the Washington Convention Center. "Tell them we can't wait to organize. Tell them that the time for action is now." His speech acknowledged what pollsters have been warning Democrats for months — that blacks are among the key Democratic groups who right now seem unlikely to turn out in large numbers in November. But he said he's just begun rolling back a devastating recession that's come down "with a vengeance" on African-American neighborhoods that were already suffering. "We have to finish the plan you elected me to put in place," Obama said. Summoning the joy many blacks felt at the election of the first African-American president and recalling the words of the late actor and activist Ossie Davis, he declared, "It's not the man, it's the plan." Obama was treated to several standing ovations in the darkened cavernous center. But the hall grew quiet as Obama warned, "Remember, the other side has a plan too. It's a plan to turn back the clock on every bit of progress we've made." Obama never spoke the name of the Republican Party, but repeatedly invoked its policies — and did name its House leader, Rep. John Boehner of Ohio, a favorite Obama target in recent days. Members of "the other side," Obama said, "want to take us backward. We want to move America forward."