When Maxine Waters, who I have enormous respect for, says to members of the black community (inaudible) she's not saying, I want to attack the president. She's saying, look, we want a strategy. We don't want another plan. We know that the Republicans want to prove the president's plan. We want a strategy, a long-term strategy to bring jobs back to the inner cities, black wealth, just -- not because I'm black, but because I'm an American.
But over the last four years, 53 percent of black wealth has just disappeared. The average -- for white families, the median income is $113,000. For black families, $5,000, $5,000. It has dropped.
So these families are hurting. They want help. They want relief. They don't want to hear about Congress. They don't want to hear about the Tea Party. They don't want to hear another plan. They want jobs.
CLAMAN: But, Jake, what does it say to you that Maxine Waters is the one who is now being critical of the president who was supposed to be the uniter? And last week, you saw he united people. He united the Tea Partiers, the far-left, and certainly people in the middle, the centrists, by saying, where's your leadership on jobs? And to make people wait for that speech is questionable.
But on the same side, you can say, this is -- this is the president who, since he has taken over -- and a lot of people have looked at their 401(k)s and been worried lately -- since he's taken over, almost every sector in the S&P is up double-digit percentages. Things have recovered. And this is also the president under whom we got Osama bin Laden. And those two things not getting him any gravitas at the moment.
And whoever's running P.R. for him needs to work on that part of it, and then add to it and say, here's what we're going to do. Do the contracts. Do the government things that George just talked about and talk about making sure -- and Donna's idea is to say, how about getting those permits in the gulf for drilling natural gas, which is clean-burning and we have a lot of it? Why not get those back up to speed?
I mean, they did do a lease sale last week. That's important. But to get the government to start allowing that to happen, those are real jobs, Jake.
ZELENY: I mean, I think that the P.R. thing is one thing that even is breaking through to voters. I was talking to a man outside the president's town hall in Atkinson, Illinois. He was pounding in flags a couple hours before the president's visit.
TAPPER: Oh, yeah, the whole road was lined with flags.
ZELENY: It really was. It was this extraordinary sight. And he -- he voted for Obama. He said he still believes in this president, but he said he must have the worst P.R. machine in history.
So this is from a -- a man pounding in flags in Atkinson, Illinois. I said, what do you mean by that? He said, look at all the good things he's done, we haven't heard about it.
So I think that is one sort of quiet hope for these people who still feel supportive of the president, that at the end of the day, when you match up his accomplishments with whoever his opponent is going to be, that he will, you know, come out looking stronger.