In the midst of a pending government shutdown, President Barack Obama took time Wednesday to honor the 20th anniversary of the Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network.
“It is wonderful to be here to celebrate your 20th anniversary,” said Barack. “Some things haven’t changed since 1991. I told Reverend Al backstage he’s getting skinnier than me, but he hasn’t lost his sense of style,” Obama joked.
“The other thing that hasn’t changed is the National Action Network’s commitment to fight injustice and inequality here in New York City and across America. That’s not only a testament to Reverend Sharpton. It’s a testament to all of you who are here tonight. I want to commend you on the work that you’ve done over the past 20 years, ” Barack said in front of an audience that included Bill Cosby, Spike Lee, Stevie Wonder, Martin Luther King III and Magic Johnson.
The Rev. Al was pleased to have the first Black president recognize his organization and wrote via Twitter, “President Obama’s speech last night was great. I love ALL of you that came and those that are praying.”
Some political pundits feel Barack made the trip during such a politically tumultuous time because he needs Al to support his bid for re-election.
Although it took the two men a moment to warm to one another during Barack’s first campaign, the president does seem to have Al’s support now.
“He took this nation from where most of us have never been in our lifetime and put us back on a solid course,” Al said.
Watch the video of Barack’s speech below.
-Tracy L. Scott