Josh Gerstein, reporting on immigration-related tension at Mrs. Clinton's United Farm Workers rally:
Even at Mrs. Clinton's rally, there were signs of how volatile the immigration issue can be. Some of the farm workers, who toted signs saying, "America con Hillary," wore cowboy hats or baseball caps. Not all removed them during the pledge of allegiance.
"In this country, we take our hats off!" one woman sitting across the gym shouted loudly as the patriotic exercises concluded, well before the New York senator arrived.
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
How Obama Can Escape from the Ghetto: I thought Margaret Carlson was out on a very shaky limb a few years ago last Thursday when she wrote that Obama had
lost the essence of his candidacy as the first black man to run as himself. Once the race card is on the table, no matter who puts it there, it's impossible to put it back up anyone's sleeve. Obama may look back on the first two weeks of 2008 as the time when he lost the nomination to Clinton.
Now the idea that Obama has been "ghettoized" as the "black" candidate has become the accepted template for the campaign--even the point that a win in hotly contested South Carolina on Saturday is seen as actually hurting Obama because (in Dick Morris' analysis)
[w]atching blacks block vote for Obama will trigger a white backlash that will help Hillary win Florida and to prevail the week after.
Here we thought we were getting the Mondale/Hart campaign of 1984--without Mondale's pleasantness or Hart's weirdness--and instead we get the Dukakis campaign of 1988, in which a slightly tedious, marginally likeable elite liberal established his mainstream (white) bona fides by running around the country thumping Jesse Jackson.
Worse, it's hard to see an easy way out of it for Obama, at least before the wave of primaries and caucuses on Feb. 5. He could try to make Hillary the pet candidate of Latinos the way he's being cast as the pet candidate of blacks--but that would require a shift to the right on immigrant legalization that he doesn't seem willing to make. (I hope I'm wrong about that.**)