10 Questions for Rep. Emanuel Cleaver
8 months ago
The chairman of Congressional Black Caucus gears up for the election
Since its inception in 1971, the Congressional Black Caucus has been on the front lines of tackling concerns of the African American community and effectively addressing its legislative needs. Chairman Emanuel Cleaver (D - Mo.), who has been leading the caucus since 2010, sat down with Loop 21 to share his thoughts on the upcoming Annual Legislative Conference (which starts today, in Washington, D.C.), Mitt Romney, and why Rahm Emanuel can’t fix Chicago by himself.
Loop 21: What are you looking forward to the most at this year’s Annual Legislative Conference?
Cleaver: The highlight of the ALC for me is the time set aside for brain trusts and workshops. I’m involved in a few, including the Truth About the Green Economy with Green For All and, of course, the prayer breakfast [Cleaver is a United Methodist minister] and the annual meeting with ministers afterwards.
Loop 21: This year’s Phoenix Awards Dinner will be a bit different. Instead of the president doing the keynote speech, the first lady will speak. Does that make you nervous?
Cleaver: I’ve spoken with her staff and I’m excited. We’re open to whatever she says. I’m almost certain it won’t be too political and she’s always a great speaker so it’ll be a lot to look forward too. Besides, like I told them, she’s the best speaker in the White House anyway.
Loop 21: Has working with the first African American president for the last four years changed the Congressional Black Caucus?
Cleaver: We’re still getting work done, and having a great ALC every year. The best part is having someone who used to sit in the audience at the Phoenix Awards Dinner now be the president.
Loop 21: What are your thoughts on President Obama’s current campaign? Do you think he and his team are doing a good job?
Cleaver: Yes I do and I think we’re winning, I’ll tell you that.
Loop 21: This week a secret video was released of Mitt Romney saying he wasn’t worried about 47 percent of Americans. He’s taking a lot of heat in the press. Why do you think he is having so many problems with his campaign?