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Thrush writes: "Freeman, it turns out, was as free with advice for Obama as he was for Tim Robbins in 'The Shawshank Redemption.'"

39th Life Achievement Award recipient Morgan Freeman speaks onstage at the 39th AFI Life Achievement Award ceremony in his honor, 06/09/11. (photo: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images/AFI)
39th Life Achievement Award recipient Morgan Freeman speaks onstage at the 39th AFI Life Achievement Award ceremony in his honor, 06/09/11. (photo: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images/AFI)

Freeman Tells Obama: "Get Pissed Off"

By Glenn Thrush, Politico

23 August 11


One of America's favorite on-screen Presidents offers sage advice to the current Commander-in-Chief. -- JPS/RSN


hen President Obama jumped on the back nine of the celebrity-clogged Vineyard Golf Club course on Sunday, he ran into none other than Morgan Freeman, Oscar winner and Obama backer.

Freeman, it turns out, was as free with advice for Obama as he was for Tim Robbins in "The Shawshank Redemption." (POLITICO was holding outside the course in the pool van, told only that Obama was playing with his usual island foursome.)

But the deeply wired Boston Globe, invaluable for Vineyard gossip, caught up with Freeman at an event later in the day.

"What I wanted to tell him is to get pissed off, get fighting mad," the actor told the paper. "But I know he won't because he doesn't think it's politically smart."

On Obama's chances for reelection, Freeman added, "If I could vote for him 1,000 times, I would."

"I think he's been horribly sandbagged, and it makes me so angry," he said. your social media marketing partner


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+107 # CL38 2011-08-23 20:22
If Morgan Freeman told Obama to get pissed, he gave Obama golden advice.

Obama may think he's serving a higher purpose by NOT showing anger, but sometimes being real--genuine-- truthful, even when it isn't politic, is for the best.

If Obama got pissed, I doubt he'd have trouble getting re-elected. If he continues to dampen down an honest reaction to the tyranny of the right, he may lose.

Americans are pissed--and for good reason--they need to see the President back them up.
+9 # tonenotvolume 2011-08-24 03:50
"What I wanted to tell him is to get pissed off, get fighting mad," the actor told the paper. This seems to indicate he did not actually give Obama advice. Hope they can clear this up.
+44 # pgobrien 2011-08-23 22:39
Morgan Freeman seems to be a decent person. Wish Obama had more sense.
+61 # brianf 2011-08-23 23:17
There is a reason the human species developed the ability to get pissed off, just as there is a reason we developed the ability to contain or deflect our anger. Obama seems to think that it is always a bad idea to be in any way confrontational , but that is wrong. It depends on the circumstances and who you are dealing with. When you are dealing with an adversary who absolutely refuses to meet you half way or even a hundredth of the way, and when what they are pushing for will damage the country and the world, then it is obvious the ONLY sane path is to say enough is enough.

Obama tried way more than any normal human being to accommodate the other side, way more than long enough to know that the last thing they want is for government to work, and that this tactic has no chance of working. The fact that he keeps trying makes me doubt his intelligence. I'm even beginning to doubt his mental stability. Really, he's got something like a really bad case of battered wife syndrome.
+38 # maheanuu 2011-08-23 23:35
I am totally on Mr. Freeman's side. At one time I believed in Obama, but after all the
waffling, and hesitation and backdowns, I do not feel that he is or ever was the right man for the Job... I would have much rather seen Van Jones in his stead. At least we would have a brave man and a Fighter. Not a continuation of Bush Lite.
+15 # Ryguy913 2011-08-24 11:13
Quoting maheanuu:
I am totally on Mr. Freeman's side. At one time I believed in Obama, but after all the
waffling, and hesitation and backdowns, I do not feel that he is or ever was the right man for the Job.

Umm. You're not on Freeman's side at all; far from it. He said, ""If I could vote for him 1,000 times, I would." Morgan doesn't blame Obama, he blames other people who've "horribly sandbagged" him, in his words.
+29 # White_Sage 2011-08-24 00:00
I simply want to add my voice to Morgan's. Mr. President, Get Pissed Off. Set some boundaries we can see and support!
+13 # MIKE K 2011-08-24 00:38
Part of Obama's problem (i think) is that he think that to show anger he'll have to be a "angry black man". This isn;t exactly true since he could show his anger by nameing names and calling calling people out for there misdeed while talking about how angry/frustrate d he is.
+27 # angelfish 2011-08-24 00:50
While I admire President Obama's ability to remain cool under fire, I DON'T admire his Neville Chamberlain approach to dealing with HARD Right-Wing Ideologues and BULLIES! "Peace at ANY Price" is NOT an option with this crowd of Fundamentalist Fanatics! There is NO Compromise in their Vocabulary. I don't believe they EVER heard or understood the word! They are America's version of the Taliban and Al Queda, trying to "Force feed" THEIR religious viewpoints and THEIR Political dogma down the throats of American citizens. Any one who has a different opinion or point of view is IMMEDIATELY labeled "Infidel" and/or "Traitor"! BULL-PUCKEY! Diversity is what has made this Country GREAT and envied in the World. Even now, after Bush's Torture Policy has dishonored us, tarnished as we are, we are STILL the greatest Country that ever was, but we won't be for much longer if these Lunatics regain the White House! They CANNOT continue to favor and coddle the Mega-Wealthy and Corporations over the working poor! I can't believe that they can't or WON'T see the folly of destroying the Citizens for the "Four Hundred" who are already richer than Croesus! They want a Revolution? They should be careful of what they wish for!
+42 # jrichard 2011-08-24 02:23
Franklin D. Roosevelt, October, 1936, on Wall Street bankers: "They are unanimous in their hate for me, and I welcome their hatred!"

Would that Obama could welcome their hatred!

Instead, he curries their favor and regards the demands of his electoral base as so much bothersome noise....
+14 # gwayne56 2011-08-24 03:49
Mr. Obama conducted a marvelous election campaign.
Right out of the gate, Obama was strong and for the next few months he sounded great.
Then something happened
It was like he had run out of steam.

The truth of the matter is that people want JOBS and they want them NOW. To get re-elected Mr. Obama must get some real jobs that have real work and real wages and a real future. If he can do this, he has a great chance to be a two term President, not a one term-er some people will be sorely disappointed because they have nothing to counter President Obama's proposals.

+4 # rf 2011-08-24 06:09
Freeman thinks Obama was "sandbagged"? How can that be when HE appointed all of these right wing economist, etc. No one forced him to do that and he is getting the best advise for it that any Republican president would get.
+3 # Richard Bluhm 2011-08-24 06:26
According to a recent article, we are playing the "plutocrats'" game here. Mr. Obama works for someone else. You'd be more affective if you'd send a letter to the board members of multi-national corporations and plead with them to be nice. "Play the Plutocrats" Game and You Lose." Mr. Freeman is a great actor. He looks and plays the sage, but he loses too.
+4 # Capn Canard 2011-08-24 07:15
Morgan Freeman, thank you. I believe that Obama has been hamstrung by powerful and wealthy forces who have always controlled the politics. Our nation is on the brink and are too busy collecting bonuses to be bothered with democratically pragmatic solutions.
+7 # JayMagoo 2011-08-24 08:58
President Obama's apparent belief that gentlemanly behavior will trump the obdurate stance of his opponents is mistaken. The best example is FDR and his fighting stance against a similar, probably the same, opponents. FDR came out fighting, naming names, and shaming his opponents. FDR by background and training would have been expected to be a gentleman, like Obama tries to be. Rather than try something new, Obama should take a leaf from FDR's book and to after "those Republicans" like FDR did. We are in a fighting mood, we need a leader who is also in a fighting mood.
+6 # stonecutter 2011-08-24 09:58
Why do we persist in believing that Obama's lack of public "anger" is the result of his sublime equanimity in the face of rabid far right Tea Party "assassins" out to destroy him? As Freeman sees it, the president is being "sandbagged", and if only he wasn't, we'd see more strength and resolve from him.

It's been amply written about in recent months, especially in the recent NY Times piece by professor Drew Westen, that the president is both temperamentally unsuited to publicly express the kind of confrontational anger and policy resolve many on the left want to see, and he is, at the same time, in fact in the pocket of Wall Street financial backers who have given him millions of dollars in campaign funds. How else can any reasonable person explain his consistent avoidance of any legal or political confrontation of Wall Street actors since the 2008 meltdown? How else to explain his current pressure on the NY State Attorney General to accept a quiet financial state settlement with the banks on all the sleazy, likely criminal activities of these banks relating to mortgage foreclosures all over the country, rather than prosecuting these bad actors? Where the hell is the Obama Justice Department on all this criminality? Invisible! Is this due to "sandbagging" of the poor, defenseless president? Whatrusmoking?
-1 # paulrevere 2011-08-24 16:49
Hear here!!
+3 # ez4u 2011-08-24 12:19
Obama and the spineless democrats have right from the beginning, turned their backs on the poor, the disadvantaged, the unemployed and the seniors of America by not pursuing the issues that the last administration visited on America.

They chose instead to "go forward", which simply meant they were not interested in living up to their campaign promises. Of course, the sidetracking by the GOPers contributed to this stalemate, but that was to be expected. What was not expected was that they would roll over and play dead.

They will not achieve what the vast majority of us want by continuing to kowtowing to the right. How is it that the GOP, only controls one segment of the government, yet they are able to control the activity of the majority?

The likelihood of the left achieving the progress we all know that is needed, dims by the hour. Only wholesale civil disobedience will now move the beast of greed that has encased the people's government.
+3 # boudreaux 2011-08-24 12:46
He's not getting pissed off, he's getting pissed on....I for one would love to see him pissed off...He is no preacher and if you notice most of our past presidents were...Perry not only thinks he is a preacher, he think he is the prophet....
+2 # foxtrottango 2011-08-24 12:54
President Obama's mistake was he thought the right wing was going to be like those who voted him in. He was dead wrong. The right wing conservatives, GOP, Republicans (white and black), the rich, the corporations didn't want a black president and it didn't matter how popular he could get.

The truth is, President Obama let those of us down who worked so hard to have him elected and bring hope to the American people. He failed.

It was the Republicans dream come true. A nice mr. person in the White House who was raised in a decent home, decent environment, beliving in fairness among all people.

Those are high qualities for any person in which the GOP have none. But to give in to a "partisanship" that is not respected by the opposition is hardly an answer.

Take off the gloves, Mr. President, and swing it out among those cowards!

They need to be taught a lesson and they need it now. Call them for what are, racists to the core, traitors to the American people and to our democracy.

Even my 10 year old great-grand children knows that! Why don't you?
+1 # humanmancalvin 2011-08-24 14:14
Our president is far from dumb. I believe he knows what he's doing & is awaiting the right opportunity to do it. Do not be surprised to witness a different toned President Obama in the near future. I for one appreciate his calmness while walking through the GOP minefield they have set for him.
-2 # paulrevere 2011-08-24 15:09
Seems to me, my fellow progressives, that no one EVER mentions Barrys' potential acting skills. Does anyone really believe that he is allowing himself to be seen as the rube so often? If he is so brilliant, as the 'bots continue to chortle, why is he so often seen as showing his poker hand before the damned bets are made?
Personally, I believe that he is a consummate political shill and has been shown the true insights of 'to cooperate and not to cooperate' d, hell, eventual hundreds of millions to work with the REAL movers, shapers and shakers of the next freakin' PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES?????!!!! !!
+1 # Lorene Garrett-Browd 2011-08-25 06:31
You know we are always talking about how our president has let us down. My question is, have we let him down? Wanting him to fix every problem we experience as a country and as a people. I think that it is time for us to start using our voices and bodies in protest, and become the change we want to see rather than wanting the president to be all things to all people. We are letting ourselves down. The president needs us to do more than complain, he gets enough of that already, where is our action.
0 # Peter J. Nickitas 2011-08-25 10:34
I am betting that, in the manner of his character in "The Shawshank Redemption", who told Tim Robbins' character, "Get busy living, or get busy dying," Mr. Freeman told Pres. Obama, "Get pissed off, or keep getting pissed on."
0 # Pickwicky 2011-08-25 12:51
I've seen President Obama angry--haven't you? He doesn't rage or get vulgar; he doesn't work up a sweat or snarl. There's a steely look in his eyes, and his words bite, but he always acts presidential.

The phrase 'pissed off' conveys an unfortunate image--hardly presidential. Thank you, Mr. President for not taking Freeman's advice. Keep your dignity. If only Republicans acted like adults.
0 # Ozed 2011-08-27 01:39
I think its time the political left started organizing "Obama get pissed off rallies".
0 # amye 2011-08-28 15:56
Well, thats one rich black man to another rich and powerful black man! How about you rich guys giving us little middle class guys a break?? Not my vote again for a corrupt President who protects the banksters and anyone else whose rich and criminal!

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