His theory is that when racially charged issues like welfare and crime dominated the political rhetoric, racial factors affected voting behavior and the Wilder effect asserted itself. But once welfare disappeared as a salient issue in 1996, political discourse was deracialized and race was less of a factor in voters' mind.
Such a deracializing effect was not unanticipated (if, for example, you read Thomas and Mary Edsall's Chain Reaction.) ... All the more reason for Obama to present himself as a strong welfare reform supporter, whether or not he actually was one in 1996. ... 3:11 P.M. link
McCain Finds His Voice! Or Paul Wellstone's Voice!
"[F]orcing mortgages on people who couldn't afford them"
That's how McCain's now talking in his desperate lunge to the demagogic left. Can you imagine Reagan saying such a thing? I can't. No wonder the Heritage types are on lockdown. ... P.S.: I'd say McCain's new rhetoric was Shrumian, except that would libel Shrum, who's either not that demagogic or knows he could never get away with it. ... Update: David Corn thinks McCain's new mad-as-hell populist act might work. ... More: Alert reader R.A., and also my mother, say it's time to bring up the Keating Five. Let McCain explain that scandal away. Even assuming he did nothing illegal, he certainly wasn't "changing the way Washington does business" when he met with banking regulators on behalf of a rich buddy He was playing the "old Washington game" as it's always been played: Businessmen befriend you and give you contributions while you either intervene or pretend to intervene on their behalf. ... 2:32 P.M. link
Hack Blowback: Obama so deserves to, finally, take this hit for choosing Fannie Mae macher Jim Johnson to vet his VP prospects. (See earlier.)... Did Obama tap Johnson because after two years in the Senate Obama had become part of the "Washington culture of lobbying and influence peddling" as McCain charges--or because as a newcomer he was naive about that Washington culture and quickly got co-opted? Either way, it was an obvious, conventional, atrocious choice. ... P.S.: The Obama campaign has countered by releasing a list of McCain aides who lobbied for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. What the release demonstrates is that while Fannie Mae was a peculiarly Democratic scam--habitually justified as a way to bring home-ownership to the less advantaged--its leaders successfully tried to buy both parties. Still, lobbying for Fannie Mae's disastrous operation (McCain campaign manager Rick Davis) isn't the same thing as running Fannie Mae's disastrous operation (Johnson). ... Update: Even TPM's Greg Sargent concedes, "The hit on Johnson is a rough one for Obama." ... More: "Give it back! Give it back!" ... Raines and Johnson should have taken that sound advice in 2004. They'd be heroes, not radioactive losers. ... 12:02 P.M. link
St. Elizabeth, Mythmaker: Even when she by all rights should be reassuming her position a highly sympathetic figure--maybe she really believed her husband's line about how he couldn't be the father of Rielle Hunter's child--Elizabeth Edwards finds a way to be annoying! From the Detroit Free Press: