The first family
The first family

President Barack Obama, born 49 years ago today in Honolulu, celebrates his second birthday in the White House.

Dear President Obama:

Happy Birthday! And may you live to see many, many more. I have followed your work with pride since you were given this very difficult job by the American people. I know that it has not been easy because, let me put it bluntly, many want you to fail. Yours is a very tough job that requires the patience of the Biblical Job, the intestinal fortitude of Hercules, and the courage of Samson. But no matter what your detractors have said and continue saying you have done a first rate job since you took up residence in the White House.

I know that the nagging distractions can be sometimes overwhelming. But don’t despair when they throw stones at you remember to dig deep into your African past and tap into the strength of a people kidnapped from their homes, separated from family, beaten, brutalized and treated like beasts of burden (today if someone treated an animal the way they treated your African ancestors the law and special interest groups would take to the streets in protest.) and still continue to overcome many obstacles..

In your two plus years as President of the United States you have had to fend off the constant attacks by an organized group of Republicans and their minions who quite frankly hate your guts. You are not going to change this leopard so don’t even try. You know that as you celebrate your 49 years young that Fox 5 and its entire cast of pseudo-journalists will never be in your corner. So do the next best thing: Ignore them. And move on with your progressive domestic agenda for putting Americans back to work, rebuilding and repairing our infrastructure and pioneer legislation to save our planet.

You have passed comprehensive health care reform in the face of the obstructionistic tactics of Republicans. You cannot apologize for people who do not have vision. Remember the wise admonition? “where there is no vision the people perish?” If you put lipstick on a pig it will still be a pig. Wallowing in mud is its natural inclination. Wallowing in negativity, character assassination, smear tactics, and arrogance is the natural DNA signature of a Republican.

If anyone dared to speak truth to power the conclusion would be that half way through your first term as president your accomplishments clearly make you one of the most successful presidents in the United States history. And even if you did only one term any other president will be hard pressed to beat your record to date. Man! Healthcare reform, financial reform, way to go!

But I want to tell you how Democrats can win the mid-term elections this November even as Republicans want to find ways to “tar and feather” you to scare people into voting for them. Really, it’s very, very simple. You are the party’s best salesman, so start selling! And you have a heck of a lot to offer.

Read the polls but don’t define your political strategy and campaign by them. And for Pete’s sake! LEAD the party and whip those errant Democrats in line. See? If you made an example of Republicrat Joe Lieberman of Connecticut people would have gotten the message loud and clear. So learn from that misstep and move on.

  • Reach out and touch female voters. Glad to see you went on “the View” and don’t mind the naysayers, women vote in higher numbers than men. Especially middle class women who want to know that you feel their pain and want you to be their champion. Yep, just ask former President Bill Clinton about the importance of the female vote.
  • Do more to help small and medium sized businesses. They are the entities that can help you drive down high unemployment numbers but they are battered on all sides. Big banks don’t want to lend to them, they are at the mercy of wholesalers who keep jacking up their commodity prices to stay in business, and local taxes are killing them. What you need is a robust, fast-acting job-creation strategy that doesn’t throw fiscal responsibility to the wind. You need to provide entrepreneurs and small businesses with new incentives to create jobs. Heck, do a payroll tax holiday, new lending through the Small Business Administration‘s loan program, an extension of the Small Business Innovation Research program and tax credits for businesses that invest in research and development. Phew! Glad I got all that out!
  • To hell with the Tea Party and Sarah Palin. So far you have been doing an excellent job of ignoring her. Continue to do so. What the Right-wing wants is for you to attack “this sweet white woman” and then Bada Bing! “Obama is a bully.” The Tea Party is the bastard child of an incestuous affair that the Republican Party had with its own kind. They don’t represent anything even close to the majority sentiments of the country. While their strident braying has won them airtime on Fox 5 you only have to ignore them as most Americans.

Mr. President I am satisfied that you have kept more than 80 percent of your campaign promises. This is extraordinary for any American president. I can only imagine what you could have achieved if you had the unconditional support of your own party, no deliberate and manufactured distractions by the Republican Party of “no,” and no other real distractions like the Gulf Oil spill. By the way, that was not your fault but you know the Good Ole white boys on the Hill they wanted to tag you with it but you sure showed them!

But before I finish I want to urge you to get out of Afghanistan. People are hurting because of two wars that you did not start. I know that you have to clean up the 8 years of Republican mess making but please, please don’t let this war define your tenure in office. So have a Happy, Happy Birthday, get your second win and do what you do best work for all of the American people regardless of who likes you or not.


Michael D. Roberts

MICHAEL D. ROBERTS is a top Political Strategist and Business, Management and Communications Specialist in New York City’s Black community. He is an experienced writer whose speciality is socio-political and economic analysis. This text has originally been published on

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