Politics Week in Review

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  • Monday night President Obama was given a do-over.

    He and First Lady Michelle Obama were watching the USA Basketball exhibition game when the Verizon Center's "Kiss Cam” focused on them.

    The president put his arm around the first lady and the couple smiled, but no smooching. The crowd booed.

    The second time the camera focused on the first couple, however, the president planted a big one on his wife’s lips, then kissed her on the forehead as she blushed.

    The crowd roared its approval.

    With polls currently showing Obama in a statistical dead heat with presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney, one wonders if the American public, generally, could be persuaded to give the president a do-over of sorts with a second term.

    Certainly Morgan Freeman understands second chances in politics.

    Earlier this month, Freeman told NPR’s Michel Martin, host of “Tell Me More,” that Obama wasn’t really the first black president, but the first “mixed-race” president.

    The Oscar-winning actor was on Martin’s show to discuss his new movie, “The Magic of Belle Isle.” But the actor,  also known for his work in numerous films, including, “The Shawshank Redemption,” “Million Dollar Baby” and “The Dark Knight,” also wanted to discuss politics and what he considered the inaccuracy of describing Obama as America's first black president.

    "First thing that always pops into my head regarding our president is that all of the people who are setting up this barrier for him … they just conveniently forget that Barack had a mama, and she was white — very white American, Kansas, middle of America," Freeman said. "There was no argument about who he is or what he is. America's first black president hasn't arisen yet. He's not America's first black president — he's America's first mixed-race president."

    Guess Freeman doesn’t buy into that old “one-drop” rule.

    Those remarks went viral and prompted reactions from straight reporting of his remarks to an evaluation of whether Freeman’s views were right or wrong.

    To be fair, Freeman was not critical of Obama. In fact, he took to task critics who have questioned the president’s effectiveness.

    "He is being purposely, purposely thwarted by the Republican Party, who started out at the beginning of his tenure by saying, 'We are going to do whatever is necessary to make sure that he's only going to serve one term,' " Freeman said. "That means they will not cooperate with him on anything. So to say he's ineffective is a misappropriation of the facts."

    And for those who still questioned whether Freeman supports the Obama, the actor put his money where his mouth is on Thursday, announcing he had contributed $1 million to Priorities USA Action, a “super” political action committee to help reelect President Barack Obama.

    In a statement, Freeman said Obama has done a "remarkable job in historically difficult circumstances," including winding down the Iraq war, reforming Wall Street and protecting health care.

    The actor joins several Hollywood high-rollers who have donated to the Super Pac, including director Steven Spielberg and producer Jeffrey Katzenberg.

    Freeman simply questioned whether Obama should be called black, not whether he should get a second chance to meet his goals.
     

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