Michelle Obama--The Natural

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Michelle was fabulous on hormonal-intense THE VIEW. She was pure magic! Hardly a day goes by when Obama is not being polled vis-à-vis McCain by some media partnership; and his numbers are positive, placing him ahead of McCain with most of the major demographics: women, moderates, independents, and, of course African Americans and young voters.

[What’s Going On]





OBAMA WEEK IN REVIEW:  The new presumptive Democratic Party Presidential nominee, Barack Obama, is asserting his leadership with aplomb and dispatch. 

On 6/16 former US VP Al Gore gave O his endorsement, saying “He is a solver of problems.”  

Obama ordered the relocation of the Democratic National Committee DNC to his hometown, Chicago, which makes sense.  Patti Solis Doyle, a Latino, former Hillary Clinton campaign manager, will join Obama’s campaign as the chief of staff to his VP choice.  Obama campaign also hired Stephanie Cutter, who was Senator Kerry’s communications director, during his 2004 Presidential bid, who will be Michelle Obama’s chief of staff.  Michelle was fabulous on hormonal-intense THE VIEW.  She was pure magic!  

Hardly a day goes by when Obama is not being polled vis-à-vis McCain by some media partnership; and his numbers are positive, placing him ahead of McCain with most of the major demographics:  women, moderates, independents, and, of course African Americans and young voters.

The biggest surprise has been the show of support and commentary for him, expressed by Black conservatives like Armstrong Williams, who says that Black conservatives tell him privately it would be very hard to vote against him –Barack-- in November.  Manhattan Institute’s John McWhorter, said, “Obama is probably more to the left than I would prefer on a lot of issues--He is so intelligent and I think he would be a perfectly competent president--that I’m for him. This is a watershed moment.”

Other Black Republicans like former Congressman J.C. Watts say that he is thinking about voting for Obama. Retired general and former Secretary of State Colin Powell acknowledges that while both candidates look good, he will have to vote for the individual whom he thinks that brings the best set of tools to the problems of 21st Century America. 

Moderate Republican octogenarian Ed Brooke, former US Senator from Massachusetts, elected in 1966 - the first Black elected to the Upper House since Reconstruction, admits that he is extremely proud and confident and joyful to see Obama ascend. By the way, Brooke and Obama are in a mutual admiration society. White conservatives are crossing the political aisle to support Obama like the two economists, who co-authored, the “Contract With America” with Newt Gingrich

We are all eager to hear who Obama’s running mate will be. Hopefully, it will be someone who complements him and who has credibility among the great sea of undecided and independent voters, and the Appalachians!  What is a little troubling is the frequency with which Senator Clinton’s name keeps surfacing as an Obama running mate and the people advocating same like  Congressman Charles Rangel in a 6/12 AmNews Q&A cover story; like  Mr. Billion-Dollar BET Bob Johnson working the Black Caucus, and like Reverend Jesse Jackson on NY1 TV on 6/17.  The choice is really Obama’s! And after the contentious Democratic primary season, an Obama/Clinton ticket does not compute.


COVER GIRLS:  This is better than any Harvard B-School courses. Oprah and Tyra are June magazine cover girls who have something to say about Business 101! Oprah Winfrey, 54, dons the cover of the Black Enterprise June issue, BE100, the Nation’s Largest Black Businesses, with Oprah! Means Business; An Inside Look at Her Empire. The story is a model for building a business, when you are motivated by vision and diligence.  Oprah also tops Forbes Magazine’s The Celebrity 100 List, which reports that she earned $275 million last year from entertainment revenues.  

Oprah’s net worth is estimated at $2.5 billion. Her business, like her life philosophy is “Live your best life.” In addition to her daily syndicated talk show, likened by some to a ministry, Oprah’s empire under the Harpo umbrella includes “O” Magazine, “Phil McGraw” and “Rachel Ray” TV shows; made for TV movies;” a reality show, “The Big Give;” feature films “Beloved” and “The Great Debaters” and the successful Broadway musical “The Color Purple,” and a $55 million XM Satellite Radio Inc deal. Next year, Winfrey unveils OWN, the Oprah Winfrey Network, a health-oriented TV network, in which she owns 50% equity. The article covers the waterfront, from the creation of HARPO to Oprah’s philanthropic works.  Harpo Inc. ranks #14 in the BE 100s Industrial/Service Companies.

Glamorous Tyra Banks, 34, was the 6/1 NYT Sunday magazine cover personality. The story “Bankable: How Tyra Banks Turned Herself Fiercely Into a Brand” documents her business acumen, her rise from mannequin to TV super star with an estimated net worth of $75 million. A few years ago, I read that Tyra’s “America’s Next Top Model” changed the entire culture of CW-TV by delivering the female age demographics 18-35 that most TV advertisers covet.  She stars in and produces two TV shows, “America’s Next Top Model” and “The Tyra Banks Show,” both of which attracts more than 13 million viewers weekly.  Next fall, “Stylista,”  a Bankable Productions TV show, hits the airwaves, sans Tyra. 

The big difference between Tyra and Oprah is their women’s audiences’ age demographics. More than 50% of Oprah’s audience is  50+ and  65% of Tyra’s audience is under 50, ranging from millennials to the fortysomethings!  Yes, the piece referencing racism in modeling and her notorious “you can kiss my fat ass” response to media about her zaftig figure. And she is still seeing John Utendahl, 51, African American investment banker.

African-American women workaholics are having their say and  generating profitable outcomes. Both articles are required reading for all serious students of American business enterprise.

SUPPORT NETWORK’S YACHT PARTY: The Support Network  SNI  will host its annual Gala on the Hudson on Tuesday, July 8.   The SNI 18th Annual Tribute to Excellence in Education Awards Ceremony will benefit its Scholarship Fund, which provides tuition assistance  for Black and Latino students, K-12, attending  NYC private schools.  Rodney Reynolds, American Legacy Magazine publisher and Actress Lynn Whitfield are the 2008 SNI Awardees.

The SNI evening cruise sets sail aboard the Princess Yacht, a part of the World Yacht fleet.   Event includes open bar, dinner and dancing. Entertainment will be provided by DJ Carl Robinson and Winston Irie/Selective Band.  Tickets are $190. The SNI, is a 501 ©3 nonprofit, founded in 1982, by African American professional women who organize fundraisers which benefit the Black community. NY businesswoman Ruth Clark is the SNI president For reservations and more information, call 212.685.8503


FISK FUNDRAISER: Tonight’s the night, June 19, for the Fisk University fundraiser gala. Fisk President, The Honorable Hazel O’Leary, Esquire, former US Secretary of Energy, will attend and deliver welcome remarks.  Chaired by Bill Freeman, Class of ’74, the gala will be held, from 7-9 pm,  at the home of Attorney Gail Sirmans and Dr. Meredith Sirmans in Mt. Vernon, NY, and will offer jazz music, a silent auction, and an A-List education-oriented crowd, all for $150.  Fundraiser is in support of Fisk Mellon Foundation Challenge Grant.  For reservations, call  Karen Maynard at 917.446.4023 or email kmaynardjv@aol.com.




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