President Obama Learns Perils Of Roiling Maxine Waters

Source: Joseph Williams / Politico

Racial equality warrior, advocate for the poor and a no-holds-barred antagonist to her fourth president, California Rep. Maxine Waters wears controversy like a badge of honor.

“I believe in empowerment. I have a great sense of what’s unfair,” Waters told POLITICO in a recent interview. “This is what I do.”

Her first year in office, she told George H.W. Bush he was “through” as commander in chief. She declared she was “not afraid” to take on his son, George W. Bush, over the Iraq invasion. She fought so hard with Bill Clinton, a fellow Democrat, over welfare reform, AIDS research and a tough-on-crime bill that he made peace by visiting her Los Angeles district — and offered her husband an ambassadorship to the Bahamas.

But the blunt, tell-it-like-it-is criticism she has aimed at President Barack Obama may have taken Waters’s reputation —loudmouth bomb-thrower or fearless truth-teller, depending on your viewpoint — to a new level. By blasting the president for failing to do enough to ease black economic suffering during the recession, she has surfaced some slowly building grievances among African-Americans and confronted the White House with racial issues it has worked assiduously to avoid.

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