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The formidable GOP strongholds of Georgia and Texas were said to be under threat. He had been light on his feet in these last few weeks, cracking jokes at the expense of Republican opponents and laughing off hecklers. Then he flashed the smile that had launched America’s first black presidency, and started dancing again.
At a rally in Orlando on October 28, he greeted a student who would be introducing him by dancing toward her and then noting that the song playing over the loudspeakers—the Gap Band’s “Outstanding”—was older than she was. Three months still remained before Inauguration Day, but staffers had already begun to count down the days.
He said it did not, and he credited the attitude of his mother and grandparents for this. I told him that I had heard the kind of “straighten up” talk he had been giving to black youth, for instance in his 2013 Morehouse commencement address, all my life.
I told him that I thought it was not sensitive to the inner turmoil that can be obscured by the hardness kids often evince.
The brisker queue was dubbed the “good-hair line” by one guest, and there was laughter at the prospect of the Secret Service subjecting us all to a “brown-paper-bag test.” This did not come to pass, but security was tight.
I told him I thought this because I had once been one of those kids.
He seemed to concede this point, but I couldn’t tell whether it mattered to him.
This speech ran counter to the history of the people it sought to address.
Some of those same immigrants had firebombed the homes of the children of those same slaves.
of President Barack Obama’s administration, he and his wife, Michelle, hosted a farewell party, the full import of which no one could then grasp.