*In a fiery summons to an important voting bloc, President Barack Obama told blacks on Saturday to quit crying and complaining and “put on your marching shoes” to follow him into battle for jobs and opportunity.
And though he didn’t say it directly, for a second term, too.
Obama’s speech to the annual awards dinner of the Congressional Black Caucus was his answer to increasingly vocal griping from black leaders that he’s been giving away too much in talks with Republicans — and not doing enough to fight black unemployment, which is nearly double the national average at 16.7 percent.
“It gets folks discouraged. I know. I listen to some of y’all,” Obama told an audience of some 3,000 in a darkened Washington convention center.
But he said blacks need to have faith in the future — and understand that the fight won’t be won if they don’t rally to his side.
“I need your help,” Obama said.
The president will need black turnout to match its historic 2008 levels if he’s to have a shot at winning a second term, and Saturday’s speech was a chance to speak directly to inner-city concerns.
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Obama speaks at CBC meeting (via CNN):