Look at the exit polls out of Nevada (the only state so far that has a significant minority pop.) and the problem Obama has is with white women, not whites in general. White women were the largest segment of the voters (38%) and Hillary won them by 24 points, compared to just 6 points among white men.
white men 46% 40%
white women 55% 31%
non-white men 39% 55%
non-white women 43% 51%
I don't think that those women are voting for Hillary because he's black or they really like her. Just judging from the conversations I've had with women (who are mostly white) who are torn between Obama and Hillary, the "experience" question begins to take on gender and age aspects... Hillary is the better qualified woman who would be "passed over" for a younger, less experienced man. Race doesn't enter the equation.
How can Obama peel off some of those white women voters? I don't think repudiating race-based affirmative action does it. I think the only way he can do it is break the strong sense of identification that allows the above narrative to work, i.e. the strong link between how women perceive their own careers and how they perceive Hillary's candidacy. Right now they're one and the same.
The answer is one word: Oprah ...
Hmm. I'm not even sure Oprah is up to that task. Meanwhile it would be nice, if you were Obama, to win a majority of white men, no? A bold anti-race-preference move--assuming the hints he's dropped reflect his actual beliefs--might help him do that. Even a statement that this is the direction he thinks the nation should be moving would make a big difference, you'd expect. ... P.S.: John Rosenberg argues I'm thinking wishfully. Follow his links for what Obama has said on the topic--it seems ambiguous and suggestive to me. ... Class-preference advocate Richard Kahlenberg also has high hopes for Obama. ... 5:50 P.M. link
Snakes on a Plane, II: WSJ on Bill Clinton and Ron Burkle. Bill is "negotiating" to wind down his interest in Burkle's investment firm. Does that mean Burkle has discretion to give up or not give up a few extra million? Remember that Burkle has large and varied holdings and is likely to have some regulatory business with the federal government over the next four years. ... On the other hand, focusing on economic conflicts--as if the Burkle-Clinton partnership were all about making millions--might be a distraction. With Clinton the general rule is not "follow the money."but "follow the nookie."**
**--Philip Weiss' formulation. 4:33 P.M.
One for the Price of Two: Bill Clinton isn't a candidate for federal office. Does that mean rich people can spend unlimited amounts of money attacking him and his record (and spelling his last name in large capital letters) in the months before the election without running afoul of the campaign finance laws? RedState asks. ... 4:23 P.M.
Gran Salida? Since the fall, L.A.'s Unified School District has cancelled plans to build 19 new schools and additions because the projected students haven't materialized. Enrollment is down 7 percent from 2003. The L.A. Times doesn't even mention a decline or reversal of immigrant flows as a possible cause, blaming only