Obama and his wife, Michelle, were among thousands attending the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation's annual awards dinner at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. He hailed the caucus, founded nearly 40 years ago, as laying the groundwork for his nomination, and he asked the crowd to join him in his historic run for the presidency.There he was, in the midst of a group of congressmen, one third of whom voted against the bailout. Did he lobby them to support the measure?
Obama was given the foundation's Harold Washington Award, named after the late Chicago mayor and honoring the senator's work in coalition-building. He saluted Washington, who he said had inspired him to move to Chicago and become a community organizer.If he was privately twisting arms, his work was not very effective.
If Barack has any stuff that's effective, he wasn't throwing it Saturday night.
Obama (D) then devoted the rest of his 20-minute speech to economic issues and to emphasizing the differences between his positions and those of his opponent, Sen. John McCain (R).
"Change isn't just a slogan, saying, 'I'm for change, too. I'm a maverick,' " he said, pausing for the crowd's laughter and applause. "He's taking my stuff."