I guess it’s my turn to weigh on the controversy surrounding Obama’s no-show at the annual State of the Black Union forum hosted by Tavis Smiley in New Orleans last Saturday. As a veteran journalist, I have an opinion on the actions of my fellow journalist and baby boomer.
Tavis apparently asked Barack Obama to be a part of the forum but Obama declined. In a letter to Tavis’ people Obama said, “In the final stretch, I will be on the campaign trail every day in states like Ohio, Texas and Wisconsin talking directly with voters about the causes that are at the heart of my campaign and the State of the Black Union forum. That is why, with regret, I am not able to attend the forum."
Tavis took offense to Obama’s decision not to attend, saying "I think it is a miscalculation on his part not to appear and a missed opportunity."
There were also reports that Michelle Obama offered to go in her husband’s place but she wasn’t apparently good enough. She was good enough for The View but not for Tavis’ fancy soiree---where only the cream of the crop in the African-American community were invited to grace the stage in his presence.
I guess Tavis just figured he was important enough to have Barack Obama drop his campaign tour schedule just for him. I guess he forgot that Obama is trying to win votes from registered voters of ALL races in two of the most important states to date. Sure Hillary showed up but she did so because of her eroding support in the African-American community.
Funny how some people perceive themselves to be larger than life and want you to believe the world must evolve around them. Tavis Smiley shot himself in the foot when he attacked Obama for not coming to his shin-dig.
Listen up Tavis: Obama’s appearance at your forum probably wouldn’t have changed many minds one way or the other. You probably just wanted him there for “show and tell” so you could make your baby boomer buddies think how big and powerful you are.
Honey, you’re not Oprah.