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Obama Talks Black Voter Turnout

By Krissah Williams Thompson
During the presidential primary, Sen. Barack Obama's campaign made a point of targeting African American media and showed big gains in black voter turnout. With the general election contest winding down, Obama's campaign is now focused on reaching historic levels of voter turnout among blacks.

Black voters, Obama said in an interview with Black America Web, can be the "difference makers" in many states. The BAW site is affiliated with radio host's Tom Joyner's nationally syndicated radio show.

In the interview with BAW's Michael H. Cottman, Obama said, "I think that if you look at what is happening with the economy, everybody is being hit hard, and the African American and Latino voters are likely to be hit the hardest, in terms of layoffs, in terms of foreclosures, lack of health care."

"The decline of wages and incomes for African American families during the Bush era has been significant," he said. "So I think nobody has more of a stake in the reversal in these policies than the African American community does. And they can be the difference makers in a lot of these states."

"We can really make a big difference if everybody turns out," Obama said. "It's not just African Americans, though; we want a high Latino vote. We want a historic turnout for young voters who are looking at their jobs prospects and their ability to finance college. They understand that we have to move in a new direction as well."

By Web Politics Editor  |  October 20, 2008; 2:48 PM ET
Categories:  Barack Obama  
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LOL-Guess you better start calling Gen. Powell an "elitist". Guess you better call me one, too.
Obama/Biden 2008

Posted by: SYWanda | October 20, 2008 6:41 PM | Report abuse

My concerns,

Republicans are stupid, and they have led this country in the wrong direction for way too long.


As for blacks being 'racist' because they are voting 95% for Obama, blacks voted 90% for Gore and Kerry too. It has to do with the fact that it was the democratic party that fought so that blacks could have the right to vote, get jobs, eat at any dinner counter, drink out of any water fountain etc.

If you people weren't so ignorant you'd know that.

Read a book, will ya?

Posted by: jrob822 | October 20, 2008 6:21 PM | Report abuse

My concerns:

No one is critical of black people if 95% of them vote for Obama but white people's motives can be questioned if they vote for Obama.

Prominent Democratic politicians, such as John Lewis, Howard Dean, Acee Hastings and Jack Murtha, can make racially divisive remarks and the media ignore same but if a Republican, who no one ever heard of previously, says something divisive the media immediately picks it up and attacks.

John McCain refuses to exploit the Reverend Jeremiah Wright's statements and he is called out for running a racist campaign.

It appears to me that the Democrats are exploiting race and the media is allowing it.


Posted by: mwhoke | October 20, 2008 5:31 PM | Report abuse

Pro-life Reagan appointee Doug Kmiec endorsed Obama because he's black.

Conservative Andrew Sullivan endorsed Obama because he's black.

Regan appointee Paul Volker endorsed Obama because he's black.

Republican Susan Eisenhower endorsed Obama because he's black.

IA Republian Jim Leach endorsed Obama because he's black.

Conservative Chris Buckley endorsed Obama because he's black.

Conservative talk show host Michael Smerconish endorsed Obama because he's black.

Funny. No one ever said that these white conservatives endorsed Obama because of his race. But because Colin Powell is black, he did it because Obama is black.

Posted by: carolinagirl2 | October 20, 2008 5:00 PM | Report abuse

I have to agree with JakeD (and I've voted for other black candidates before).

Posted by: MarkInAustin | October 20, 2008 4:40 PM | Report abuse

I have looked at the 300 military Generals/Admirals who have endorsed McCain. The list is impressive. How many are people of color? How about 2, yes two and 1 female. Interestingly, one of the two people of color gave $1000 to the Obama campaign in the early summer.

Obama does not make a claim to number but it is clearly over 100 and they are ex-generals/admirals who are White, Black, Hispanic, and at least 2 females. BTW, he is leading McCain in donations from military personal.

So white old male military = McCain
White, Black, Hispanic, & female military = Obama

I am USNA 1977 and a proud Obama supporter

Posted by: mccain_not | October 20, 2008 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Many Republicans are voting for a Democrat for the first time in their lives. Many young voters are voting for the first time in their lives. Their vote for Obama is a vote to end the 'Culture Wars'. It has more to do with the failure of Republican policies and ideology than race.

Posted by: thebobbob | October 20, 2008 4:26 PM | Report abuse

jakeD esq. spewed "Race was the primary reason Powell endorsed Obama"

Spoken like a true racist.

Don't think so? Let's try...

[White Guy's Name Here] voted for McCain because he's white.

[Woman's Name Here] voted for Palin because she's a woman.

Not nice, is it?

Posted by: thenotoriousflavio | October 20, 2008 4:03 PM | Report abuse

Jake, no one's talking about Powell in this thread but you.

Posted by: rovner | October 20, 2008 3:49 PM | Report abuse

No, I meant the BLACK race.

Posted by: JakeD | October 20, 2008 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Anyhow, I think the main reason that Powell endorsed Obama is because they both believe in a more nuanced foreign policy, one that is based on, perish the thought, actually maintaining our alliances and actually acting in the best long-term interests of our nation.

The days of American arrogance and comboy diplomacy are gone. We live in a new world.

And to have a friend, you have to be a friend. Not a self-centered, ignorant jerk. Like Bush and McCain.

Posted by: jrob822 | October 20, 2008 3:40 PM | Report abuse

That's true Jake the Human "Race" was his motivator

Don't worry...Rumsfeld will endorse McCain soon, or maybe Wolfowitz will.

Posted by: McShameFalin | October 20, 2008 3:38 PM | Report abuse

I know it is hard for some people to see a black man like Powell and not see him as a Patriot who puts his country first.

Fortunately, those (you?) people are dying. And the world will be better off without them.

Posted by: jrob822 | October 20, 2008 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Race was the primary reason Powell endorsed Obama.

Posted by: JakeD | October 20, 2008 3:00 PM | Report abuse

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