President Barack Obama will be visiting the Crescent City today. The president has a couple of fund raising events to attend before he addresses the National Urban League meeting this evening.
"Anytime you get that kind of attention and presence from a president and his administration, I think that it should be valued and embraced," said State Sen. Karen Carter Peterson (D-New Orleans), Mr. Obama's campaign leader in Louisiana four years ago.
University of New Orleans political science professor Ed Chervenak says the president's speech to the Urban League is significant, because the enthusiasm in urban areas for Barack Obama seems to be lacking this election year, compared to 2008.
"They seem to be a bit disappointed in the president," said Chervenak. "They're still emotionally invested in his presidency and would like to see him succeed, so he's here trying to reach this national audience, to boost that enthusiasm that he's going to need to win."
Even though Louisiana has been solidly a Republican-voting state in recent elections, it would be a mistake to assume the president is wasting his time by coming here, says political analyst Silas Lee. He points out that by addressing the Urban League, he's tapping into grass roots organizations from around the country.
"You have more than 3,000 people attending this convention who can go back home and articulate the vision of the president," Lee explained. "He recognizes the power of the Urban League movement."