While I'm prone to take everything that ever comes out of MSNBC's Chuck Todd and Lil' Luke Russert's mouth with a massive grain of salt due to the fact that the two of them love off the record inside the beltway Villager gossip and the narrative that President Obama can never do anything right, I would love to know who Chuck Todd is talking to that he calls "particularly close to the president" in this segment from this Friday's Andrea Mitchell Reports, and maybe I'd take Todd at his word that this reflects what President Obama actually believes.
Until it's more than just some anonymous, off the record "friend" of the administration, I'll continue to take him with a grain of salt, because about the only thing more cynical than Todd and Russert opining about whether the recent protests in Ferguson and across the country might affect President Obama's legacy, is pretending that him being elected cured all of the ills that were affecting that community in the first place.
RUSSERT: And obviously these last two weeks, the conversation about race in America has been one that's at the forefront. President Obama being the first African American president is seen as very much an important voice on these issues. How does this sort of play into his legacy, these last two years here, where you have Michael Brown, you have Eric Garner, and even on the Eric Garner side, a lot of conservatives, who were in the middle one could say on the Ferguson thing, you know what, a choke hold that was outlawed in the '90's used there, no indictment by a grand jury. The president is wading into some difficult waters that he does not necessarily like to be in that he needs to be in.
TODD: It is. I do think the Garner episode is sending the message in that more even on the right are sort of accepting the idea that you know what, they now understand why African Americans just simply have a distrust of law enforcement and that their experience, particularly African American men.
I was talking to somebody particularly close to the president this week who said the legacy he is concerned about is this idea that hopelessness among young African American men is going to return and then the cynicism. One of the best outcomes of his election, that he wanted as his legacy was this idea that it was a message to young African American men that the sky is the limit for you too.
TODD: There isn't a ceiling for African American men that doesn't exist there for white men. He has a concern that everything over the last couple of weeks in Ferguson and in Stanton Island, that cynicism, that hopelessness might return with young African American men and that that's what he wants to deal with and tackle.
I hope President Obama does decide to tackle the issue, but the problem is not the ceiling. It's the basement. The problem is not with how high any one individual in this country can aspire to rise to, but how low we want to allow the status quo to be with how low we can all fall.
When we start to see the media, President Obama, our rotten Congress and all of those who might actually have some influence on what policies get passed in this country that have the actual ability to do something to address these inequities and the fact that we need to start taking care of Americans and putting people back to work, maybe we'll see some positive change in this area.
Until then, electing the first black president was and is never going to cure our ills. You'd think Todd and Russert would know better, but that's also making the huge assumption that either of them actually care about doing their jobs.