Thursday, January 24, 2008
Obama's Ghetto Escape-- Continued: I'm posting the following email from reader M, not to endorse it (or to criticize it) but just in case Obama supporters do not realize what their candidate is now up against:
I was liking Obama quite a bit until the militant black establishment came out for him. Here's the thing... your primary identity is either American or hyphenated-American. In other words, you can be American first, or you can be (example) Gay-American, African-American, WASP-American.
If you vote for someone because they share your hyphenated background, why should I believe that that some candidate will respect my needs on an equal basis with yours? If Obama is the candidate of the Black-America establishment, he can't be the American candidate.
I don't like Hillary. I don't like her medical plans and I don't like her past crime and gun plans. But she is an American candidate. Not a Gyno-American. Just a coldly-effecient, and in my view mis-aimed, American candidate.
So bottom line: Yes, backlash has already happened. By being the Black candidate rather than an American candidate, Obama is no longer in the running to be MY candidate.
Meanwhile, alert emailer L argues--
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."**