Is the Barack Obama of “There is not a black America and a white America . . . but the United States of America” back? On Wednesday, 10 members of the Black Caucus boycotted a key House committee vote on financial regulations to pressure their fellow members and the White House to focus more attention on targeting assistance to blacks and other minority businesses in the recession. But the president refused to be mau-maued by the caucus. In an interview with USA Today, President Obama said in response to a question about why he is not doing more to help blacks specifically:
The most important thing I can do for the African-American community is the same thing I can do for the American community, period, and that is get the economy going again and get people hiring again.
He may not have much of a clue about how best to do that, but at least he’s not turning the recession into a racial issue. Putting distance between himself and Maxine Waters or Jesse Jackson (whom I recently debated on “The Color of Recession” before a D.C. audience) is not only good politics; it’s also good policy.