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Post-Election, Obama Coffee Club Tries to Manage Expectations

The Obama coffee club in Zebulon, N.C. (Krissah Williams Thompson/The Washington Post)

By Krissah Williams Thompson
ZEBULON, N.C. -- In this old tobacco town, Barack Obama has been the subject of coffee conversation for a group of self-proclaimed geezers every morning for two years.

So what are the retired black men talking about now that their guy has won?

Gathered in the back corner of the local Hardee's, they are managing each other's expectations. Hoping that the first black president won't fail and wondering what Obama will do with all his new power.

"He's going to have to do a diverse cabinet. The Latinos supported him too. A lot of people did," said Thomas Mitchell, 74, who wore his Kangol hat flipped to the back, showing off the word Obama on the brim. "He's got to stay down the center right now and not alienate anybody."

Heads nodded. Black folks shouldn't look for him to cater to them.

Still, Val Mangum, 70, a retired correctional officer, wondered if Obama would dole out presidential hook ups.

"I bet his Aunt won't have to wait long now to get her citizenship," said Mangum, referring to one of Obama's Kenyan family members.

"Naaaaw man," Mitchell said. "He can't do that."

"Everything he does will be scrutinized," said Robert Holden, 59.

McChadeus Carpenter, 70, a retired farmer, who never gave up wearing overalls and plaid shirts, walked in late. "Man, we have to pray for him big time," he told the guys. "We need to stay on our knees. He needs our prayers."

"Amen," Mitchell said. "It's going to take at least eight years to get this straight."

They will be watching and waiting at Hardee's.

By Web Politics Editor  |  November 6, 2008; 5:30 PM ET
Categories:  Battlegrounds  
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If these gentlemen want Obama to McGovern, then why don't they try to hold their meetings at McDonalds?

Posted by: DavidinCentralFlorida | November 7, 2008 2:56 PM | Report abuse

"Barack Obama has shown that anything is possible for a man and that women need to be prepared to be good wives, good mothers, and cheerful handmaidens."

I do believe that Hillary is still a Senator. Get over it. She fought hard (I supported her), and Obama won.

If you're including Palin in your thoughts, well, she couldn't compete, and it had nothing to do with her gender. A uterus doesn't trump complete lack of qualifications.

Posted by: hitpoints | November 7, 2008 1:51 PM | Report abuse

2012 election has already begun for some candidates, Seems supporters are not waiting

Posted by: pastor123 | November 7, 2008 11:01 AM | Report abuse

African Americans have their own president.
Even if he screws them over it will be by someone whom they feel is like them.
Crackers and Rednecks had their president
who ignored them but many of them still love him.
The more things change the more they remain the same.

Posted by: seemstome | November 7, 2008 9:54 AM | Report abuse

Silly comment by some right winger or a PUMA...who feels bad because her gal did not win..Hillary has a bigger role to play than the presidency..she has a place in this administration that is going to be quite historic indeed..I can't wait to see what she does but it will be something..

Hillary is smart, but Obama is brilliant. Hillary could not have won the primaries because she did not have a ground game and did not have fact, I believe she is still in debt. Don't worry about a thing..because the next 8 years are going to be productive and memorable.

Let's hope the Republicans run Sarah in 2012.

Posted by: goodcake4u | November 6, 2008 7:00 PM | Report abuse

Barack Obama has shown that anything is possible for a man and that women need to be prepared to be good wives, good mothers, and cheerful handmaidens. If they dare think to compete on a national level with a man they will be smeared, humiliated, laughed at, and harrassed in the most disgraceful manner.

A sad day for all of America's duaghters who were put properly in their place by the Democrats and the new President.

But let the men celebrate their victory of continued control and discrimination of women!

Posted by: mgd1 | November 6, 2008 6:23 PM | Report abuse

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