In the eleventh hour, that critical moment when it is still possible to avoid the irreversible, Barack Obama has decided to launch an unheard-of offensive of radio interviews with the objective of mobilizing young, black and Hispanic voters.
The American president has wanted to make the most of the final opportunities provided by the permissive American election laws, where a “day of reflection” doesn’t exist, and where campaigning can continue up to the last moment in the proximity of the polling places. “Loitering is prohibited within 100 feet of the ballot boxes,” read the bilingual signs that have flooded New York today.
“My name is not on the ballots, but my agenda is,” Obama declared on the California radio station KPWR. The root question is: “Are things going better than they were two years ago?” Followed by this one: “Can we continue moving forward?”
The unequivocal message, directed at the masses of voters that gave him the win in 2008, was heard this morning on urban radio stations in Los Angeles, Chicago, Milwaukee, Cincinnati, Philadelphia, Miami and Honolulu. In his effort to reach the youngest voters, Obama let himself be interviewed by America Idol host Ryan Seacrest.
Michelle Obama has joined the radio frenzy with her own battery of interviews directed at the black community, beginning with hip-hop and gospel icons Harvey and Yolanda Adams. Support of the president among African-Americans holds at 90 percent.
In the final hours, Obama has also pitched his message on the radio program most popular with Hispanic minorities, “Piolín in the Morning.” It was during statements to Eddie “Piolín” Sotelo that the president let it slip and called the Republicans “enemies.”
When asked about the growing skepticism of the Hispanics about the unfulfilled promise of immigration reform, Obama said, “If Latinos sit out the election instead of, ‘we’re going to punish our enemies and reward our friends […]’.”
John Boehner, a rising Republican leader in the House of Representatives, criticized the belligerent tone used by the president. Obama has rectified this and said that he meant to say “opponents” or “rivals” instead of “enemies.”