Friday, March 21, 2008

Not So Black and White: Will Racial Politics Foil Obama?

Even Obama Allies Flounder While Talking About the Candidate's Race

Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Barack Obama D-Ill., speaks about Iraq and the economy, March 20, 2008, at the University of Charleston in Charleston, W.Va.

Share In his speech about race Tuesday, Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., challenged the country to have a national conversation about race. He's certainly getting one.

But while Obama suggested the country use the rage behind the incendiary comments made by his former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, to move beyond the racial grievances of the past, Sen. Hillary Clinton's campaign seems to be using the controversy to make the argument to party insiders, or superdelegates, that Obama has too much baggage to win in November.

Asked in Indiana today about these pitches to superdelegates, who will ultimately decide who the Democratic nominee will be, Clinton seemed to acknowledge the arguments being made on her behalf, saying, "My campaign has been making the case that I am the most electable."

Asked if Wright was part of that argument, Clinton only shrugged.

Is that dirty politics?

Larry Sabato, director of the University of Virginia Center for Politics, said, "There is nothing fair about politics. If you want fairness, you should go into another field."

Clinton needed revotes in Michigan and Florida to help her catch up to Obama in delegates, but that's not happening. Her only path to the nomination is convincing superdelegates to overrule the majority of pledged delegates, and Wright appears to be Exhibit A in her case.

Some are more hesitant about making this case. Presumptive GOP nominee Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., today suspended a campaign staffer for sending out a link to a video that attempts to tie Obama not only to Wright but to the black power movement, rappers Public Enemy and Malcolm X.

Former Clinton surrogate Geraldine Ferraro, the 1984 Democratic vice presidential nominee, continued to inject herself into the racial debate, responding to Obama's comments in his speech that it would be easy to dismiss Wright, "just as some have dismissed Geraldine Ferraro in the aftermath of her recent statements as harboring some deep-seated bias."


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1 comment:

BC said...

With Senators Leahy and Dodd requesting and suggesting that Hillary withdraw, you are beginning to hear a chorus of demands that the Democratic primary end now.

Join the chorus. Join the movement. Ask Senator Clinton to drop out of the race.


Forward this link on. Encourage everyone you know to visit and sign the petition.

Visit the NEW Obama Leadership Store!

Visit the NEW Obama Leadership Store!