Barack Obama's speech last night in honor of the 100th anniversary of the founding of the NAACP contained many memorable passages.
But for the largely unnoticed mayoral candidate, Comptroller Bill Thompson, the most significant by far was Obama's halting mention of the comptroller's study on the widening employment gap in the city between blacks and other New Yorkers.
"We know that even as our economic crisis batters Americans of all races, African Americans are out of work more than just about anybody else—a gap that's widening here in New York City, as a detailed report this week by Comptroller Bill Thompson laid out."
Shortly after the speech, Thompson, and hundreds of other VIP's who attended the speech at the Hilton in midtown, poured out of the hotel. He had a very big smile on his face.
"Obviously, I'm very pleased," he said. "Even though the report that he was talking about is something we all should be worried about in New York City—it looks at the incredible rise in unemployment in the African-American community during this crisis—I was really happy the president mentioned my name and the report."
Asked if this brief mention would suffice for Obama's involvement and support in Thompson's race against Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Thompson answered, "Hopefully we'll see a bit more in the future."
To the extent that the mention was thought out, it was arguably something of a make-up: Obama had previously called Bloomberg an "outstanding" mayor.