Continued from page 1

Mr. Gray said that despite the District’s objectives, he recognizes the goal of the convention is to promote Mr. Obama for a second term. He hopes another Obama term will prove more fruitful for the city’s self-determination than the first four years because the president will not have to focus on re-election and “the constraints of worrying about how he will be perceived for another term.”

Mr. Zherka said his group takes heart in the support Mr. Obama has shown for the District, such as promoting budget autonomy in his fiscal 2013 budget proposal. If a pro-District bill made it through Congress, Mr. Obama would “sign it and celebrate it,” he added.

But he acknowledged that the District’s plight for statehood is probably not on the top of Mr. Obama’s list when it comes to forging his legacy.

“A lot of people,” he said, “project their own desires on a president’s second term.”