The nation has been well served by President Obama’s steady leadership. And Mitt Romney has demonstrated clearly that he’s the wrong choice.
Tracing a line from the first black slave to the first black president.
"Two of the most historically significant African Americans in the history of our country are amazingly directly related," declared genealogist Joseph Shumway. "John Punch was more than likely the genesis of legalized slavery in America. But after centuries of suffering, the Civil War and decades of civil rights efforts, his 11th great-grandson became the leader of the free world and the ultimate realization of the American dream."
Obama has big edge in California, poll shows: Women, independents, moderates and Latinos all favor the president by huge margins over Republican Mitt Romney, whose supporters mostly say they want only to unseat the president.
President Barack Obama is in town for a fundraiser at George Clooney’s home in Studio City, so traffic might get dicey.
Great analysis and overview by Times staffesr Michael A. Memoli and Kathleen Hennessey:
Gay-rights activists have widely believed that the president privately supported same-sex marriages, but withheld a public declaration out of concerns about alienating independent voters in key swing states.
There is a movement among activists in the party to adopt a so-called “marriage equality” plank in the official platform this summer. Such language would mark the continuance of the party’s own evolution. In 2000, the Democratic platform stated simply that the party supported “the full inclusion of gay and lesbian families in the life of the nation,” and “an equitable alignment of benefits.”
In 2004, in the face of an effort supported by the Bush campaign to put gay marriage bans to statewide referendums across the country, the Democratic platform stated that marriage “has been defined at the state level for 200 years, and we believe it should continue to be defined there.”
By 2008, the party vowed to “enact a comprehensive bipartisan employment non-discrimination act,” and opposed the Defense of Marriage Act “and all attempts to use this issue to divide us.”
OBAMA: I’ve just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same sex couples should be able to get married.
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Macon Phillips, of the Executive Office of the President, tweets this striking image of President Obama seated in the bus where Rosa Parks initiated her quest for civil rights.
Amazing pic. (EDIT: It’s worth noting the bus is currently in the Henry Ford Museum in Detroit. Thanks Margarita Noriega!)
Clearly, the photo of the day.
Photo credit: Pete Souza / White House
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Because key provisions of the law have yet to kick in, relatively few people have benefited from it thus far, making Democrats’ defense of it a tough sell.
By now, you may have heard about Andrew Breitbart’s last project involving footage of Barack Obama speaking in support of former Harvard professor Derrick Bell. (If not, read about it here.) A 1990 profile written by Times’ staffer Tammerlin Drummond after Obama’s election as the first black president of the Harvard Law Review touches on the tenor of the race relations at the school a little before the footage was taken. Read it, it’s fascinating.
Yet tensions were building. White students grumbled about the attention paid to Obama’s race. Black students criticized him for not choosing more blacks for other top positions at the review. Caught in the cross-fire, Obama, who has a tendency toward understatement, downplayed his own achievements.
"For every one of me, there are thousands of young black kids with the same energies, enthusiasm and talent that I have who have not gotten the opportunity because of crime, drugs and poverty," he said. "I think my election does symbolize progress but I don’t want people to forget that there is still a lot of work to be done."
… Referring to his fellow students at the review, whom he edits, he said: “These are the people who will be running the country in some form or other when they graduate. If I’m talking to a white conservative who wants to dismantle the welfare state, he has the respect to listen to me and I to him. That’s the biggest value of the Harvard Law Review. Ideas get fleshed out and there is no party line to follow.”
… “While I applaud Obama’s achievement, I guess I am not as hopeful for what this will mean for other blacks at Harvard,” said Derrick Bell, the school’s first black tenured law professor.
"There is a strange character to this black achievement. When you have someone that reaches this high level, you find that he is just deemed exceptional and it does not change society’s view of all of the rest."
Since late February, more than 90% of the postings on the Obama page have been from Chinese users. The enthusiastic participants have given their movement the moniker “Occupy Obama.”
“Everybody comes to talk to Mr. Obama because it is easier to talk to him than to Chairman Hu and Premier Wen,” one Chinese participant wrote, referring to Chinese President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao.
President Obama, speaking at L.A. fundraiser, points to positive changes: The visit follows a stop at Master Lock in Milwaukee, where he promotes the rebound of American manufacturing.
Photo: Supporters greet President Obama as he arrives at LAX for a short visit in Los Angeles. Credit: Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times