BET Honors Attendees Rate Obama's First Year
||Sunday, January 17, 2010
A host of celebrities hit the red carpet Saturday night at D.C.'s Warner Theater for the third annual BET Honors. As the nation prepares to mark President Obama's first year in office, R&B stars, actors, singer-songwriters and hip-hop moguls took a moment to assess Obama's performance with POLITICO.
"I think he's doing what he can do and what he said he will do," said Mary J. Blige, who performed at We Are One, Obama's inaugural celebration concert at the Lincoln Memorial. "I don't think he's a magician, but I absolutely think based on the damage that has been done in the past eight years, he's doing exactly what he can do. And I'm proud of him, and I'm happy that he's in office."
"I think it's a slow start, but that's what I expected," said R&B singer-songwriter Ne-Yo. "I think it was a little unrealistic to think he was going to change four years of damage in one. So give him a minute; he'll get it right."
Kevin Liles, a media mogul, gave the president an A-, a raise from the B+ Obama gave himself.
"I give him a 90 percent approval rating just based on him not sitting back waiting for things to happen to him. He's out there trying to make things happen himself," Liles said.
Asked if he was angered by any of the president's actions this year, Liles responded: "I don't think it angers me because I understand what it is to be a first-year CEO of a company. He's the first-year CEO of the world, so I understand his trials and tribulations. I wish him the best."
Anything Obama could have done better? "No," said D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty. "Let's just keep supporting him; that's what we need to do."
Fenty offered an early endorsement to then-candidate Obama in 2007, citing Obama's pledged support for D.C. voting rights. On Saturday night, Fenty was optimistic about the role the president would play in getting D.C. the vote.
"He's been a great supporter of the bill that's in front of Congress. I hope it moves fast. I think once it gets to a critical point, he's gonna take it over the top."
Click the video above for more of the attendees' reactions.