CNN's T.J. Holmes Celebrates Obama's 'Swagga'

Out: Former President Bush and his cocky, self-assured cowboy-like "swagger," often dismissed as a negative quality for the 43rd president.

In: President Barack Obama's "swagga," which is a sign of how suave and sophisticated the 44rd president is.

At least that's according to CNN, which shortly after 1 p.m. EDT today re-aired an interview that originally aired on April 25 on "Saturday Morning News." In that interview, reporter T.J. Holmes sat down with a panel of African-American gentlemen to praise how they see Obama as another "brotha" who has "swagga" as Holmes put it. [audio available here]

The re-broadcast of the interview gave occasion for anchor Kyra Phillips to gush over the president as well, but unfortunately our DVR system failed to tape the 1 p.m. hour today. Luckily our DVRs did catch the original interview, an excerpt of which you can find embedded above at right:

REGGIE AQUI, CNN anchor: President Obama marks his 100th day in office on Wednesday. So far, supporters are giving him high marks and naturally, his critics aren't. Well, one group that identifies with the president is 100 Black Men of America. That's an organization of African-American business, religious, and political leaders.

Well, our T.J. Holmes sat down with members of the group who say the president, he has "swagga."

T.J. HOLMES: What have you all seen, maybe you haven't said publicly, some interview or something, but you know, hanging out with the boys, having a beer somewhere. Did you see something that the president did and you were like, now that's a brotha right there. Like he just had a bit of a swagga that is familiar to black men. It just is.

BERNARD TAYLOR Sr., attorney: You know, the one aspect of his relationship with his wife that I remember that made me think of being a brother was that there was an interview. And you all may remember this interview. And I can't remember if it was quot;60 Minutesquot; or one of the other shows, it may have been on your folks, CNN. But he said something and she corrected him. And he stopped, and he said okay, and he accepted that and moved on. And we all know what that's about.


JOHN HAMMOND, CEO: You know, there are those things that one might point to that are, you know, more stereotypical of brothers who operate in certain ways, but there is something that he is doing which I think is also stereotypical of our community. And that is being inclusive. And that is not -- I'm not saying that we have cornered the market on communication acumen, but being communicative and creating a community of change is something I would say is very typical of life in our community.

Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd is a writer living in New Carrollton, Md.