With fewer than a dozen words Monday, President Barack Obama made his most definitive statement to date in favor of District statehood, delighting both loyal supporters and longtime advocates who have questioned his commitment to D.C. voting rights. During a town hall-style event at a public school in Northwest Washington, Obama was asked about his opinion on statehood — something that has been the ultimate but elusive goal of voting-rights activists for four decades. “I’m in D.C., so I’m for it,” Obama said to laughter and applause, according to a White House transcript. “Folks in D.C. pay taxes like everybody else,” he continued. “They contribute to the overall well-being of the country like everybody else. They should be represented like everybody else. And it’s not as if Washington, D.C., is not big enough compared to other states. There has been a long movement to get D.C. statehood and I’ve been for it for quite some time. The politics of it end up being difficult to get it through Congress, but I think it’s absolutely the right thing to do.”
… Anise Jenkins, a longtime statehood activist, said Monday that stalwart Republican opposition to statehood — a measure that could guarantee one additional Democratic representative and two additional Democratic senators for the foreseeable future — remains a daunting obstacle.
But Jenkins said she was still overjoyed by Obama’s remarks and said they have the potential to “energize the movement.”
“We have been critical of him,” Jenkins said of Obama. “We have to be honest about that. But it’s always the right time to do the right thing.”
Full Article: Obama on D.C. statehood: ‘I’m for it’ – The Washington Post.