News24

Obama serenades New York crowd

2012-01-20 09:35

New York - After taking some brickbats from liberals over a tough three years, President Barack Obama burst into song to woo supporters before pleading with them to boost his re-election bid.

"I'm ..... so in love with you," Obama crooned in melodic falsetto tones at the famed Apollo Theatre in Harlem late on Thursday, in homage to soul legend Al Green who was in the audience for a fundraising event.

"Those guys didn't think I would do it," a beaming Obama told the crowd after his impromptu serenade, apparently referring to aides offstage.

"I told you I was going to do it."

Further lyrics of Green's 1971 hit Let's Stay Together - which Obama did not sing - could serve as a metaphor for his ties to grassroots Democrats: "loving you forever is what I need/Oh let me be the one you come running to".

Obama needs a strong turnout from the Democratic Party base if he is to win re-election in November at a time of high unemployment and economic pain.

Extreme politics

Marking three years since his inauguration on January 20 2009, Obama called on supporters in the New York event to stand by him - and told them he had delivered on his promise of change, but that more remained to be done.

"Real and lasting change is hard," he said.

"It's hard. It takes time. It takes more than a single term. It takes more than a single president. But change comes. I've lived it. I've seen it."

Obama criticized his Republican rivals as extreme and painted them as determined to enrich the wealthy at the expense of ordinary Americans.

As the four remaining main candidates for the Republican presidential nomination duelled in a debate in South Carolina, Obama campaigned until his voice was hoarse in a string of star-studded fundraising events in New York.

He compared the current Republican field unfavourably to Senator John McCain, who he beat in the 2008 election, saying McCain was not "a climate change denier. He was in favour of immigration reform. He was opposed to torture".

Tax wars

"The contrast this year could not be sharper," the president said.

Obama also warned that his Republican foes wanted to cut taxes for the rich at the expense of spending on education, research and development in new industries, and other job-creating measures.

"I should pay more taxes and folks in my income bracket should pay more in taxes," Obama said.

"All of us have to do our part. That should not be a Democratic idea or a Republican idea - that should be an American idea. It is about taking responsibility for the country."

Comments
  • Peter - 2012-01-20 10:05

    Yeah. I'm afraid it takes more than singing to bring in the votes. Action is was it takes...

      Juan - 2012-01-20 10:23

      Perhaps dancing? Zille pulled in a couple votes that way

      Toohotdurban - 2012-01-20 10:53

      daar kom die ali bama, die ali bama

      Barry - 2012-01-20 21:25

      I am sure its like watching The Days of our Lives soapie.

  • Squeegee - 2012-01-20 10:15

    Desperate times. Desperate action.

  • Treacle - 2012-01-20 10:15

    now, where have I seen this before?....oh, zuma's 'revolutionary' song outbreaks at rallies...next, obamanation will be buying votes with cellphones...silly me, he's already doing it

  • cosmos.ndebele - 2012-01-20 10:16

    Its tough being American president, but this is guy is very impressive, if not the best ever US president.

      Squeegee - 2012-01-20 10:36

      Its obvious you stopped reading the news during his election campaign.

      cosmos.ndebele - 2012-01-20 10:51

      Whatever!!

      Linda - 2012-01-20 13:08

      Or he would be if he was given half a chance.

      Sterling - 2012-01-21 00:30

      Obama creates enemies when he got congress to pass banking regulations to control the bankers and investment funds. The country made a bad mistake when congress repealed the Glass-Seagall act that controlled banking. This country had a twenty five trillion dollars meltdown and the US economy almost went under. The problem with Obama he will not tell the public what happened during the meltdown. The impact of this meltdown will be around for the next ten years. There are many people that brought home for $500 hundred thousandths and they are now worth one third of that amount today. Many countries around the world have been impacted by this meltdown in the US.

  • OhbiZz - 2012-01-20 10:23

    Lmao Obama has now resorted to singing to woo votes!!! He must have picked that habit up from South African politics #MshiniWam'

      Syd - 2012-01-20 11:00

      Mr. Obamazuma

      David - 2012-01-20 14:31

      American Idol..haha

  • allcoveredinNinjas - 2012-01-20 10:30

    OBAMA! Everything is going to change .

  • Sharmay - 2012-01-20 10:45

    I guess I would vote for Obama if I lived in the USA.. he's better then the previous idiot Bush..

      Treacle - 2012-01-20 10:57

      ignorance is bliss

      Syd - 2012-01-20 11:01

      So true!

  • Teri - 2012-01-20 10:57

    Yes we can!

  • John - 2012-01-20 11:03

    Two terms of Bush was enough to cripple such a powerful nation. Two wars and trillions in debt. I do feel a bit sorry for Obama just like I felt sorry for Gordon Brown. They really inherited their respective states from the proverbial dogs. Check out this deficit chart when republicans and democrats lead the US. Unfortunately it doesn't seem like there is a way back from the Bush deficit. http://jimcgreevy.com/gvdc/Natl_Debt_Chart.html

      sandra.j.rennie - 2012-01-20 11:26

      John I must agree with you there ! Obama must be given a second term. The debt crises did not occur on his watch. I like the man !

      Graziella - 2012-01-20 11:59

      It's as if the republicans ate a big meal, left during desert to avoid paying the check and now want to blame the guy who just ordered the salad. But many Americans are finally waking up to the fact that Obama long ago threw them under the bus in order to carry water for his wealthy benefactors.

      Tshepo - 2012-01-21 21:51

      John my man I agree with you...sins of the fathers..or in this case the forebearers. But I like what Obama said about Republicans:"when we took over we found the car, resembling America, in a ditch..we worked hard to pull it out. Now that its out of the ditch & on solid graded ground you want the keys back...you wont have, you cant drive, it was you who put it in a ditch in the first place"

  • Graziella - 2012-01-20 11:09

    Citizens of most warmongering western countries have found themselves in this neo-con reality in very awkward position. They understand that in the most important issues like peace and war they don’t have a voice no matter how they vote in ‘democratic’ elections; on the other hand they do understand barbarity, and complete illegality of their governments actions. Americans used to laugh at the Soviet 'elections' where you could vote for any candidates you like, so long as they were communists. They have sleepwalked themselves into an almost identical situation where you can vote for any candidates you like so long as they're neoliberal capitalists. Voting under such circumstances only legitimises the current situation. It is a corruption of what voting is all about.

      Hotkop - 2012-01-20 11:25

      Oh for heavens sake. There we go again. The evil war mongering, barbaric west and the good, loving, heart warming communists.....

      Graziella - 2012-01-20 11:33

      If you don't like my facts, put up your own. If you don't like my arguments, dazzle us with your counterarguments.

      Hotkop - 2012-01-20 11:38

      Who's "us"? Do you have a little fan club here?

      Gerhard - 2012-01-20 11:46

      The communist ANC is strangling its very own people here in SA with all means at its disposal.

      Gerhard - 2012-01-20 11:49

      The ancestors want it like that. LOL!

      Graziella - 2012-01-20 12:20

      It's going to take some serious effort to beat this for sheer trolling power, pomposity and immateriality. It's a hard act to follow. But I hope that doesn't stop people from trying.

      Sharmay - 2012-01-20 12:46

      http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/middle-east-live/2011/may/16/nakba-syria-libya-middle-east-unrest-live-updates (see comments by WorldLocal)- Graziella, you have just repeated what he said almost word for word but tweaked it to suit yourself. Original much?

      Linda - 2012-01-20 13:15

      Small difference - voters in the US and other western democracies are free to form a new party if they disagree with what's available. Not so in communist coutries.

      Graziella - 2012-01-20 13:48

      @Linda An illussion of choice really, because the friends of both parties control the media and funding which is why someone like Ron Paul is unknown outside the US, never mind in America itself. The ruling elites have created a political system that ensures that ordinary Americans have no chance of power in their system unless you have mega bucks to back you. The US is corporatocracy

      Sterling - 2012-01-20 15:41

      You got that wrong in the US if one wants to form their own party and run for office in the US, one can do so. In SA one can't openly campaign for office in their own party like what one sees going on in the US. In the case with SA this country is not a democracy because nobody is directly elected in that country. This is why widespread graft and corruption is going on in the ruling party because the officials are not accountable to the people.

      Graziella - 2012-01-20 16:27

      Your are merely pointing out the difference between proportional representation and direct representation. America is a "democracy" owned by Wall Street and big lobbiests. There's not even any accountabilty as to how people actually voted.

  • Michael - 2012-01-20 12:48

    He he Awulethu Mushini wami.. worked for Zuma..

  • Tshepo - 2012-01-21 21:47

    Obama, f i were American i would definitely vote for you again!!! You played your part & you played it well.....halala

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