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Obama and The Power of Pride

In the run-up to Tuesday's Potomac Primary, Hillary Clinton's press operation is working in overdrive to draw attention to their candidate's prominent black supporters. In a region in which blacks will be a large and possibly determining portion of the Democratic primary vote, the Clinton campaign hopes to dull the impact of Barack Obama's popularity among black voters, which has propelled him to victory in states that demographically look more like Maryland and Virginia than like states where Clinton has done well.

So here's former Prince George's county executive Wayne Curry talking about Clinton's "commitment to ensure that young males of color have the opportunity to succeed," and here's Clinton's news release noting that Curry and his brother integrated their elementary school and that Curry was the first African-American to serve as county executive. There've been announcements about Maryland Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown and about Curry's successor, county executive Jack Johnson, throwing their lot in with Clinton, all designed to say to black voters that they ought not automatically choose Obama.

But both campaigns expect that most blacks will indeed cast ballots for the junior senator from Illinois. And most black elected officials--from former Gov. Doug Wilder to Alexandria Mayor William Euille to congressman Bobby Scott in Virginia, to Mayor Adrian Fenty and ex-mayor Marion Barry in the District, to Prince George's state's attorney Glenn Ivey and Reps. Al Wynn and Elijah Cummings in Maryland--are jumping aboard Obama's bandwagon.

"What's kicked in is this sense of pride," says Michael Steele, the Prince George's Republican who lost a race for U.S. Senate two years ago. "Initially, all the talk was 'we don't know him or what he stands for,' but after the Clintons did their show in South Carolina, it kind of moved black people beyond any sense of allegiance to the Clintons. Now you have a Shakespearean melodrama being played out between Lady Macbeth and Hamlet."

Steele, who grew up a Democrat in Washington, says he has watched his friends in politics--many of whom are black Democrats--fall for Obama in a big way. "This whole Camelot thing, falling in love with the idea of a black president--putting him in this bubble does all of us a disservice. In fact, he's extremely talented. But you need to apply the same standards you would to anyone else."

Steele says race is helping Obama at least as much as any racism among white voters might be holding him back. "He's getting an easy ride from the news media and from white pundits and voters," says Steele, who has long bristled over what he sees as unusually harsh treatment he's received for being a black Republican. "Just because he's African-American doesn't mean he should get a pass. The fact is now, you can attack the heck out of Hillary all day long, but you don't do that with Barack for fear of being perceived as racist."

But Marion Barry, the D.C. council member from Ward 8 in Southeast, argues that while "race is a factor in everybody's mind in America, it is not why I or others are endorsing Obama. I was close to endorsing HIllary, and she has made it very clear that she is the candidate of experience. Blacks are not monolithic about values and views. But whether people want to admit it or not, race is a factor in America. It is always a factor." He cites the 2006 D.C. election in which former Ward 3 council member Kathy Patterson, who is white, lost her bid for the council chairman position in a vote that split along racial lines--Patterson received a large majority of the white vote, while the victor, Vincent Gray, won a big majority of black votes. "That ought to tell you something," Barry says.

In the case of the black officials who are supporting Clinton, Steele and Barry see a mix of motives: A proud belief that American politics has evolved to the point that one need not support a candidate simply out of tribal loyalty, a less lofty calculation that Clinton is likely to win and therefore one ought to be on the victor's good side, and--shocking but true--a conviction that Clinton might just be more worthy of an endorsement.

But for those black officials who are going with Obama, his stirring rhetoric and the clarity of his call for wider participation in the political process are as important as what it means to have the first serious black contender for the presidency. Even those black politicians who are lining up behind Clinton seem almost to melt when asked for their views about Obama. "My head and my work stand with Hillary," said a black elected official who asked not to be named when I inquired about what was going on in his gut. "But my heart has to be with Barack. We are all human."

By Marc Fisher |  February 8, 2008; 9:07 AM ET
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Comments

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Obama-Cult in '08!!

Posted by: Me | February 8, 2008 10:16 AM

My politics don't align with those of Michael Steele, but he hit the nail on the head. As the campaign played out in South Carolina, with comments from Bob Johnson and Bill Clinton, a lot of people (not just black people, either) were alienated.

Some of my Democratic friends now say that if Clinton is the Democratic nominee they'll stay home or vote for McCain. For some, it's a matter of race, and for others it's wondering whether a Hillary Clinton presidency would be hers alone. Would she be able to make decisions without being undermined by her husband? With his history of personal peccadilloes and transgressions, could she run the country if she had to "keep an eye" on him? How would she handle policy decisions that went against Clinton policies of 1993-2001 (such as re-reviewing NAFTA, which he campaigned for heavily in '93?)

That's all anecdotal, and no way scientific, and it's not intended to say Hillary isn't her own person. But the questions ARE there. Likewise, it's fascinating to watch these factors cut so many ways across questions of race, gender and allegiance in the Democratic primaries. I only hope that we, as Americans, don't blow it and make a well-reasoned and educated decision.

Posted by: dirrtysw | February 8, 2008 10:19 AM

And you don't think Hillary is getting the same "pride" vote from women.

Posted by: duguyisheng | February 8, 2008 10:19 AM

Whereas the BLACK VOTE for Obama is 99%, is it permissible for me to say...ASIANS, HISPANICS and WHITES vote for Hillary RODMAN CLINTON as we must show the Blacks that we have to live by MARTIN LUTHER KINGS PREACHING when he said..We have to live in a colorless world where we will be judged by our CHARACTER and NOT THE COLOR OF OUR SKIN!!

Posted by: yojoe | February 8, 2008 10:22 AM

Yes, people go on about race and gender, but the real question is the independent vote. That will decide a general election and who gets it? Obama. You can't win a battleground state in the general election without the independent vote. Obama pulls more of the independent vote than McCain. Clinton loses the independent vote to McCain. So since it is a tie between Obama and Clinton, forget about race and gender and vote for the one who can beat McCain. The Republicans swallowed their pride and picked the candidate who had the most chance to win. Please, Democrats don't be foolish. Obama wins the independent demographic. Independents in most of the country despise the Clintons. So if you want to win the White House, go Obama.

Posted by: Goldie | February 8, 2008 10:26 AM

A friend of mine found a stack of print-outs of that "Truth about Obama's Past" e-mail on the Metro yesterday. (He threw them in the trash.) Funny how they keep turning up a few days before a primary.

Reminds me of the tactics "somebody" used against McCain back in 2000.

Posted by: Pompous Magnus | February 8, 2008 10:27 AM

Here's something interesting that came out today...

Obama Proves America Is Still Racist
By Ben Shapiro
CNSNews.com Commentary
February 08, 2008

Super Tuesday was certainly super for Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama. The less-than-one-term senator proved he was more than a flash in the pan with wins in Alabama, Connecticut, Colorado, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota and Utah. Obama is a serious challenger for the Democratic nomination.

The media - and Obama's supporters - would have us believe that Super Tuesday was super for America. Obama's big showing, we are told, demonstrates that Americans have finally moved beyond the racial divisions of the past.

This is exactly wrong. Obama's big showing demonstrates how far Americans still have to go when it comes to race.

Barack Obama is the Halle Berry of American politics - he's a pretty, non-threatening face who happens to be the right color and, therefore, demands our plaudits. Never mind that he was brought up by his white mother, went to a private high school and has spent about as much time facing down serious racism as Mitt Romney. He's got African genes, and we're all supposed to pull the lever for him to prove to ourselves that we're not racists.

Let's not kid ourselves: Obama's candidacy is strictly about his skin color. If Americans were truly ready to move beyond race, they'd take a look at Obama the Candidate rather than Obama the Friendly Black Guy.

And here's what they'd see:

Obama is a candidate whose empty bombast could float a fleet of hot air balloons. "We are more than a collection of Red States and Blue States," Obama spouted on Super Tuesday during his victory speech. "We are, and always will be, the United States of America." This prompted my 14-year-old sister to exclaim, facetiously, "So that's why they call it the United States."

Obama is a modern day Warren G. Harding, of whom William McAdoo once said, "His speeches leave the impression of an army of pompous phrases moving over the landscape in search of an idea. Sometimes these meandering words would actually capture a struggling thought and bear it triumphantly a prisoner in their midst until it died of servitude and overwork."

The only difference between Harding and Obama is that Obama's speeches never actually capture a struggling thought - and if they did, they'd have to waterboard it for information. Obama's speechmaking isn't deep. It is profundity for dunces.

Obama is a candidate who knows less about foreign policy than Rick Salomon, who at least knows about Paris. He has suggested unilaterally invading Pakistan while inviting Muslim dictators to a sit-down, no questions asked. He points to the gap between "worlds of plenty and worlds of want" as the source of Islamic terrorism. He states that the real threat to peace in the Middle East isn't Islamic extremism, it's "cynicism." He's Pollyanna on steroids.

Obama is a candidate with the same amount of federal experience as Ken Salazar. Salazar is a Democratic senator from Colorado, elected in 2004. He has actually been involved in major legislation. He won his seat in a heated race - unlike Obama, who inherited his seat when Republican opponent Jack Ryan imploded due to a sex scandal.

You probably haven't heard of Ken Salazar. But you've heard of Barack Obama. That's for one reason and one reason only: Obama's race.

So before Americans punch the ballot for Obama and pat themselves on the back for their racial awareness, let's get one thing straight: It's the soft bigotry of low expectations that's lifting Obama to unprecedented heights.

If voters looked realistically at Obama, unblinded by the desperate desire to elect a nonmilitant African-American to the presidency, they'd scoff. And they'd have every right to do so. Obama is utterly unqualified to be president of the United States.

If we elect him to the White House based on the misguided desire to feel good about our own broadmindedness - if we ignore his emptiness in favor of his melanin - we deserve what we get.

Posted by: Tusc | February 8, 2008 10:31 AM

Uh, Goldie, you're wrong. Look at the results from states that will actually matter in November.

Hillary won moderates in Missouri and New Mexico while Obama won far-lefties.

Hillary won or will win key swing states like Florida and Ohio.

Obama's caucus victories and red state wins are meaningless. There aren't any caucuses in November and the red states are not in play for the Dems.

Obama, listed as the most liberal current US Senator, is far left on several key issues in the election: Iraq, Social Security, Immigration.

Hillary, who is more moderate stands a much better chance of actually winning the election against McCain.

Posted by: ghokee | February 8, 2008 10:35 AM

I'm Black but I don't see Obama as a Black Candidate. I'm voting for him though.

I'm voting for him because he has a plan to override the systems in place that affects the mentality of all people, but especially cynical Blacks. His message of hope could have been promoted by a White Candidate and I would as well have supported that person. I'm an independent and those are the characteristics of being able to have thoses chooses instead of dogmatic limitations to whom I can choose from.

My generation has been stunted. We have been sandwiched in between Boomers and Millenials. I have hope that the Millenials would not be cursed like we Gen Xers to be held hostage under the Boomer regime.

We need a break. So Obama could have been a Republican with the same mesage. I would still have supported the person conveying this message the country needs.

Posted by: Andrea | February 8, 2008 10:36 AM

I am amazed (or maybe not) at the lack of focus on white women who disproportionately support Clinton. Their support is roughly at the same level as black support for Obama, yet the media do not give as much attention to this. Meanwhile Clinton periodically inserts the gender card ("Having a woman president would be a HUGE change"---as if being a woman inherently means a change in approach from male presidents, and ignoring the obvious that having a black president would ALSO be a huge change, following the same logic. She is disingenuous at best.) Just as Obama's "race" explains some of his support among blacks, Clinton's race and gender explain some of her support among white women. On the other hand, the female vote is far more numerically important for Clinton than the black vote is for Obama, giving his sweep of the overwhelmingly white Plains and Rocky Mountain states where the level of black support, however high, was overwhelmed by white support.

Posted by: Quino | February 8, 2008 10:40 AM

What's better than Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama in the White House for 8 years?

Hillary Clinton AND Barack Obama in the White House for 16 years!

Let's harness the excitement we're seeing among Democrats for both amazing candidates.

Sign the petition to Howard Dean and the DNC at http://www.16yearplan.com

Posted by: steven | February 8, 2008 10:40 AM


Here's a good article from ABC

And Obama Wept
February 07, 2008 9:43 AM
Inspiration is nice. But some folks seem to be getting out of hand.
It's as if Tom Daschle descended from on high saying, "Be not afraid; for behold I bring you good tidings of great joy which shall be to all the people: for there is born to you this day in the city of Chicago a Savior, who is Barack the Democrat."
Obama supporter Kathleen Geier writes that she's "getting increasingly weirded out by some of Obama's supporters. On listservs I'm on, some people who should know better - hard-bitten, not-so-young cynics, even - are gushing about Barack...
Describing various encounters with Obama supporters, she writes, "Excuse me, but this sounds more like a cult than a political campaign. The language used here is the language of evangelical Christianity - the Obama volunteers speak of 'coming to Obama' in the same way born-again Christians talk about 'coming to Jesus.'...So I say, we should all get a grip, stop all this unseemly mooning over Barack, see him and the political landscape he is a part of in a cooler, clearer, and more realistic light, and get to work."
Joe Klein, writing at Time, notes "something just a wee bit creepy about the mass messianism" he sees in Obama's Super Tuesday speech.
"We are the ones we've been waiting for," Obama said. "This time can be different because this campaign for the presidency of the United States of America is different. It's different not because of me. It's different because of you."
Says Klein: "That is not just maddeningly vague but also disingenuous: the campaign is entirely about Obama and his ability to inspire. Rather than focusing on any specific issue or cause -- other than an amorphous desire for change -- the message is becoming dangerously self-referential. The Obama campaign all too often is about how wonderful the Obama campaign is. "
The always interesting James Wolcott writes that "(p)erhaps it's my atheism at work but I found myself increasingly wary of and resistant to the salvational fervor of the Obama campaign, the idealistic zeal divorced from any particular policy or cause and chariot-driven by pure euphoria. I can picture President Hillary in the White House dealing with a recalcitrant Republican faction; I can't picture President Obama in the same role because his summons to history and call to hope seems to transcend legislative maneuvers and horse-trading; his charisma is on a more ethereal plane, and I don't look to politics for transcendence and self-certification."
Then there's MSNBC's Chris Matthews who tells Felix Gillette in the New York Observer, "I've been following politics since I was about 5. I've never seen anything like this. This is bigger than Kennedy. [Obama] comes along, and he seems to have the answers. This is the New Testament."
And behold, Obama met them and greeted them. And they came up and took hold of His feet and worshiped Him.
The Holy Season of Lent is upon us. Can Obama worshippers try to give up their Helter-Skelter cult-ish qualities for a few weeks?
At least until Easter, or the Pennsylvania primary, whichever comes first...
- jpt
UPDATE: Let me be clear: I'm not saying there shouldn't be enthusiasm in politics. I'm merely touching on the fact that some Obama supporters' exhuberance seems to be getting a little out of hand. Obama himself joked about this at a Hollywood fundraiser, as noted in Men's Vogue:
"When Morgan Freeman comes over to greet Obama, the senator begins bowing down both hands in worship. 'This guy was president before I was,' says Obama, referring to Freeman's turn in Deep Impact and, clearly, getting a little ahead of his own bio. Next, a nod to Bruce Almighty: 'This guy was God before I was.'"

Posted by: Oh no Obama | February 8, 2008 10:44 AM

Sorry, but Hillary should not be on any Democratic ticket. I just don't think she can do well in a general election. There are so many great female politicians out there to share a ticket with Obama. Clinton is not one of them though.

Posted by: Brendan Connell | February 8, 2008 10:45 AM

what pray tell are the proper qualifications for the presidency? "citizen of the United States, 35 years old, & 14 years a resident within the United States." Art. II s. 5. Which of those qualifications does he not have?

Posted by: Eric | February 8, 2008 10:45 AM

Race is more than black and white. In California, there were more asian voters than blacks. The asians voted 75% for Clinton. Asians are anti-black and voted their racism. If you don't believe asians are anti-black, ask Heinz Ward, half-black, half-Korean, who was rejected by Koreans until after the Steelers won the super bowl, about the Korean attitude toward blacks. Ask the half-black half-vietnamese children in what was Saigon after the war about the Vietnamese attitude toward blacks. And don't forget the people of the country of Memin Peguin (the popular Little Black Sambo of Mexico) and Vicente Fox (illegal immigrants do the work even the blacks won't do). They voted overwhelmingly for Clinton based on anti-black attitudes.

Posted by: sscritic | February 8, 2008 10:58 AM

We should elect Obama because he is the black Jimmie Carter of our generation and this nation desperately needs another Ronald Reagan.

Posted by: Woodbridge VA | February 8, 2008 10:58 AM

Brendan Connell says,

Sorry, but Hillary should not be on any Democratic ticket. I just don't think she can do well in a general election. There are so many great female politicians out there to share a ticket with Obama. Clinton is not one of them though.

-----

Really? Because Gallop's most recent poll shows her 11% up on Obama.

And she is more moderate than Obama.

Maybe it is Obama that shouldn't be on the ticket.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 8, 2008 11:02 AM

People shouldn't forget that there are plenty of white women supporting Obama. Sure, many of the 'old school' feminists are supporting Clinton (in large part because she's female, in my opinion) but I think many younger (under 40) women are concluding that supporting Obama doesn't negate their feminism. I'm all for electing a female president if she's the strongest candidate. Hillary Clinton is, in large part, where she is today politically because of her husband, who continues to take center stage in this election! Sorry, but that's not good enough for this feminist.

Posted by: HM | February 8, 2008 11:03 AM

What concerns me about Hillary is her lack of memory at such a young age.

"I don't recall"
"I can't remember"

Are phrases that were omnipresent 10 years ago. How can we have a president who suffers from such selective amnesia?

Go Barack!

Posted by: A fierce independant | February 8, 2008 11:04 AM

Michael Steele is stupid and needs not open his mouth.

Posted by: SilverSprings | February 8, 2008 11:18 AM

I'd given up reading Marc after his blatant race-baiting over the Pants Judge. And I skipped the Marion Barry post, because I knew it would bring out the race trolls. But I couldn't resist reading this post.

Marc's column is straight down the middle, but the race trolls predictably are out in force. The fact is that Clinton realized that, if she is the issue and the election is a referendum on her, she loses. So she needed to make Obama the issue. The experience line didn't have traction, and she couldn't make overt references to his past, so she cannily (a) tried to turn black support for Obama into marginalizing him as a black candidate ala Jesse Jackson or Rev. Al and (b) used her black surrogates to utter slanders whites could not state without being called racist. The South Carolina tack was so clumsy that it alienated many, many people, particularly many who, while they supported Obama, bore Clinton no ill will.

Bottom line: Clinton's alienated a substantial number of black and progressive voters. Many will stay home, and in such a divided country, that's the kiss of death for the Dems. If the Dems lost 10% of their vote in 2004 -- not shifted, just stayed home -- they lose another 65 electoral votes. Blacks alone are 20% of the Democratic base. Obama wouldn't run as her VP because association with the Clintons tarnishes his clean image, and much of his support is Anybody But Clinton. Another black running mate would be (accurately) seen as racial pandering. Plus, if you review the comments to campaign news articles, you can see that a segment of Clinton's support is overtly racist (or you can just read the other posts here) so some will stay home over THAT. (And a white running mate would be KKT all over again, on a national scale. Especially if McCain names Rice or Powell as HIS running mate.)

I didn't think there was any way that the Dems could lose. Now, I can see clearly how: Bush is off the ballot, the country does not have the same antipathy towards the GOP in general as they have towards Bush, and McCain is not Bush. Throw in a torn Democratic party -- this matter regarding FLA and MI is not going to end well, especially if the party effectively punishes Obama for essentially hewing to rules IT SET -- and support for a Clinton candidacy would approach 1980 Carter levels, right down to Clinton b**ching about how she would have won if Obama had campaigned for her.

Posted by: RL | February 8, 2008 11:20 AM

Concerning this quote:
"Really? Because Gallop's most recent poll shows her 11% up on Obama.

And she is more moderate than Obama.

Maybe it is Obama that shouldn't be on the ticket."

As George Will suggested, Democrats will surely lose the election if they do not look beyond the Democratic base (which is demographically split between Clinton and Obama). Presidents who win the election have to win the independent voters, which in this cycle, tend to go for McCain in Clinton/McCain matchups, and for Obama in Obama/McCain matchups. Not to mention the Republicans who will knock each other over in droves to vote against Clinton. Of course, they'll be keen to vote against Obama as well, but frankly, they hate Clinton more. If Democrats nominate Clinton, then she, for all of her "experience" and masterful repetition of policy points, will become the Republican's key to victory. The key voting block in the general election is the independent block, which support Obama over Clinton. Moreover, among Democrats, we have seen substantial white male movement toward Obama. Among Republicans, that movement will be even more pronounced (and their women counterparts will also tend to vote for Obama). With 3 of the 4 Democratic/Republican white gender blocks tending to vote against her, Hillary would not stand a chance, even with strong Asian and Hispanic support.

Posted by: Quino | February 8, 2008 11:25 AM

I am a black immigrant woman who has for decades share the view of a racist America. A place where if you were white you automatically were advantaged. The presidential primary has completely erased this view from my mind.
As I follow the race between Obama and Clinton I see two things emerging. First, despite the fact that Black Americans are always crying wolf about racism the chance comes along and they exercise the same behavior. One sees the massive numbers of black voters for Obama.
Secondly,I keep looking for the qualities that make Obama better qualified to lead and I cannot seem to see them. His speeches are great,not wonderful or inspiring. One only has to spend time in an inner city public schools to realize the vast repository of oratory talent in young black students. His smile is indeed engaging, He is well educated and highly intelligent but so are the other candidates.
What makes Barack Obama so popular...his color.

Posted by: Erika Ellis | February 8, 2008 11:31 AM

As to the likelihood of beating McCain, there are two very important things to remember when choosing a candidate this Tuesday.

First, the GOP is pretty demoralized right now. A lot of them are not huge McCain fans, and some may even be Obama fans this November. More likely than not, though, those Republicans who dislike McCain will stay at home if Obama is the Democratic candidate.

Second, Republicans, as a whole, hate Hillary Clinton. This hatred is not necessarily rationale, but it's very real, and must be accounted for. More importantly, these anti-Hillary people are also some of the same people who are anti-McCain. However, if Clinton is our candidate, the anti-Clinton people will come out in droves to vote against her, rather than for McCain, because they hate her that much. If we forget how powerful the hatred for the Clintons is among many in the GOP, and many independents, we will end up losing the election. These folks will see their vote as not so much for McCain, but rather against Hillary.

With Obama, however, there are simply fewer people who will come out to vote against him. Sure, there are people who will vote against him because of his race. But realistically, those folks are in states that the Democrats will likely lose anyway. The anti-Clinton forces are EVERYWHERE.

I know that we Democrats seem to revel in losing elections, but this one's important. Politics is about winning, more than anything. If I am right about the anti-Clinton people, it means that people who would otherwise stay home rather than vote for McCain will come out to vote against Hillary, who will also lose the independent vote for similar reasons, and we have a Republican administration in '08.

Convince me that I'm wrong.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 8, 2008 11:32 AM

Quino - No offense, but George Will? I love how Dems think that normally George Will is a deceitful idiot but somehow believe what he says about Obama being the stronger candidate.

Since when do Dems start buying this GOP garbage that the Clinton's are so unpopular? Bill WON two terms and his approval rating was at 70% when he left office.

The fact is, that on THE wedge issues in this campaign, Iraq, immigration, economy, Hillary is significantly more moderate than Obama.

Obama is the only candidate to support driver's licenses for illegals.

He is the only candidate to support an arbitrary timetable for withdrawal from Iraq.

He is the only candidate to support increasing payroll taxes.

For all of the "hatred" towards Hillary, she is winning the moderate vote in swing states like New Mex and Missouri while Obama wins the liberal-elite voters.

Let's not forget, there are no caucuses in November.

Anecdotal evidence and right-wing commentary aside, Hillary stacks up much better than Obama in the general election.

Posted by: Mike | February 8, 2008 11:39 AM

Very interesting comments by Steele.

But the reality is that Barack Obama is getting a free pass from the media and that racism while there in a big way is now not allowed to be spoken by individuals. Yet sexism which is just as rampant is fine to be public about.

Take for example when the guy in NH held up a sign at a Clinton event, "Hillary Iron My Shirts", the press basically laughed it off. Some even made fun of it. Can you imagine the press if the same guy held up a sign at an Obama rally saying, "Barack shine my shoes". We would have had four days of the press discussion on racism. AND THAT IS THE WAY IT SHOULD BE BECAUSE WE WOULD ALL BE RIGHTLY OFFENDED BY A SIGN LIKE THAT. But why wasn't the same moral outrage displayed at the sign at Hillary's rally. It is because sexism in our nation is still OK.

I believe that we need to address both sexism and racism as well as homophobia in our nation and not sweep them under the rug. Hate is a learnt trait- and we have to stop our children from learning it.

On a slightly separate issue I have to laugh at Ted Kennedy and Marion Barry talking about supporting Barack Obama because he is a breath of fresh air and we need less partisan politics and a new generation of politicians. Have these two gentleman looked in the mirror lately.

They are both anachronisms, represent the most partisan of politics and been around forever. As well as being examples of men living lives that we wouldn't necessarily want our children to emulate.

I thought that after their endorsements of Obama's youth and bi-partinsanship they would be annoucing their own retirements.

Posted by: peter dc | February 8, 2008 11:44 AM

I am a registered republican, but since my vote on that side will not count anyway, I will be doing a write in for Obama. I would have preferred to change parties but the deadline in MD passed in Nov.

Posted by: mary | February 8, 2008 11:52 AM

Mary's post is a good example of why Super Delegates are needed in this process...

Posted by: Anonymous | February 8, 2008 11:54 AM

with 100 % African American vote Obama can win several states in the primary and caucuses but in the November election he loses big.

Posted by: js | February 8, 2008 12:00 PM

As McCain going to be the republican candidate, Barack Obama will be the right candidate for Democrates. There is no way Hillary going to win over McCain. No white male will vote for Hillary over McCain. With the momentum Barack Obama created, he can sweep many republican votes to win the election in November.

Posted by: ss | February 8, 2008 12:07 PM

Many post discusses only the race is the issue. It is better to think about economy, war and other important issues that matters in this election. Race is not an issue at all. Clintons have good economic plan that works and she can end this war. Please vote for Clinton, race is not an issue at this time.

Posted by: js | February 8, 2008 12:10 PM

The question for democrates is whether you want to win or loose in November. If you want to win, there is only one choice left: Nominate Barack Obama.

He will unite the country. Both republican and independents will vote for him in November along with Democrates. He will win landslide in November.

Posted by: sk | February 8, 2008 12:11 PM

Obama never had 100% black vote....outright lies like these are evil and wrong. The writer's motives are clear , to misinform. People should at least state known facts to argue their case.I am an independent to the core, this Barack guy gets my vote...if we were to vote today.

Posted by: dave | February 8, 2008 12:17 PM

Republicans are very active in Obama campaign hoping that if he wins nomination, they can win him easily in the November election bringing race issue. with 12 % of African American votes Obama never wins. Democrats please aware of this scam

Posted by: js | February 8, 2008 12:18 PM

Hey SS, I'm a white male and I will vote for Hillary over McCain or that other phony.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 8, 2008 12:20 PM

To Mike and to that NO name person who thinks shouldn't in the ticket:

The republican are salivating about having her as the democratic opponent. This morning foxnews came out with the Clinton- Emir of Bubai connection. Why do you think Hilary refuses to release her tax return unlike 90% of her fellow senators.

Why do you think she had her law school memoir sealed.

What about her segregationnist past?

Do you remember our lovely Goldwater girl ?


You desperately want to vote her because she's a woman. Go head!!!

As a white male I think she will ruin any other women's chances for years to come.

Mark my word

Posted by: Patrick | February 8, 2008 12:28 PM

I think we are asking some of the wrong questions. Is it really so strange that some blacks are backing Clinton? We all know there are black republicans: far worse than suporting Clinton. But, I am also one who will consider McCain if Clinton is the Dem. candidate. At least he has tried to slow down military spending and voted against torture. Clinton says diplomatic efforts with Iran would be a mistake. She is too old and has been in Washington too long. I am not impressed by her experience anymore. She is good but next to Obama, she's just a white shadow.

And to the article: I found the use of the phrase "tribal loyalty" in describing Obama's suport from blacks as just plain tastless.

From an American Student in Germany

Posted by: Dariush | February 8, 2008 12:41 PM

I personally hate this broad picture that all African-Americans are voting for Obama because he's black. Like we don't have the intelligence to weigh all of the +/- of the candidates.

Nobody says anything about the droves and droves of white women who vote for Hillary. See that's ok. I'm sorry, but I have weighed the issues and stances, researched, and prayed, and have picked the candidate of choice based on those factors. For me, and I stress for me, Hillary just doesn't measure up. And the tactics that she and her husband did...hurt.

Eight years ago, I'd probably would have gone through a brick wall for the Clintons. Finally an administration that included everyone in this country as part of its cabinet. An administration that was comfortable in its skin with being in a room of people who didn't look like them. But now, I feel that what they did while they were in office was just a show...mere politics.

When I heard the things out of the clintons (MLK vs. LBJ, The Fairy Tale, and the Jesse Jackson comment) I couldn't believe it. The 90's were a complete sham! So now, yes I believe that criticism directed at Obama is looked at under the microscope, because the first bit thrown at him had racial undertones in it. He started the campaign above racial rhetoric and then the clintons pulled him down into it. Obama didn't start it, they did. When you watch the tape, the words are coming from their mouths. And I believe for a lot of African-Americans, thats were the hurt comes. It didn't come from some Ultra-Conservative, but a Clinton.

So for me, the contest became clear, Obama or Edwards (who by the way, completely ran a class act campaign, but I wouldn't expect anything else, he's a class act guy). Then once Edwards dropped out, then it easily became a no brainer.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 8, 2008 12:44 PM

I'm sorry, but anyone who says the fairy tale or MLK, Jr/Civil Rights Act comments (made on MLK, Jr. day) are racist is as disingenuous as Obama's campaign.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 8, 2008 12:54 PM

It is interesting, my wife and I both grew up in the Soviet Union and, even though we still tend to socialism, when we listen to Brack Obama, it makes our skin crawl!

The Soviet Union born and carried along for seven decades of stupid, empty rhetoric like this. I am not saying that Barack is going to get any one up in arms, but there is an obvious generational war going on within the Democratic party that his disciples have stirred up.

I am even hearing now that his (lack) of a health plan is preferable, because universal health care would only benefit the old at the expense of the young.

His dredging up Republican talking points about the social security crisis is certainly feeding into this war on middle-aged and old.

For 70 years, the poor and disadvantaged in the U.S.S.R. who were actually made worse off prayed daily for pragmatic, capable leadership. That has been my prayer for these past 7 years. My family is doing well, so I don't think the election should be about my own self interest; its' not about me or my cohort "getting ahead", because we are doing just fine. I want the candidate who would do the most for the people who have the least. My prayer now is that Obama and his followers would be so magnanimous.

Posted by: slav | February 8, 2008 12:56 PM

yojoe, you gotta go to rehab, I say go, go, go...

Posted by: mclovin | February 8, 2008 12:58 PM

Bubai sounds like a fun place.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 8, 2008 12:58 PM

"I'm sorry, but anyone who says the fairy tale or MLK, Jr/Civil Rights Act comments (made on MLK, Jr. day) are racist is as disingenuous as Obama's campaign."
-------------
I'm sorry but to marginalize one of this country's greatest civil rights activist and his acts as meaningless without aid of a President was both a poor choice of words and racist. Now, I truly believe she didn't mean to come out that way, but in the end, she said it.

Posted by: historic | February 8, 2008 1:02 PM

Isn't it funny that all of the Obama supporters say he is the only one that can "unite the country" but he can't even unite the Democratic party when it is basically split down the middle between the two. Tell me how he's uniting the country when all of his supporters are the most fervent and outspoken Clinton critics. Is he unifying by dividing out those who don't "beleive" in his message?

Posted by: Ben | February 8, 2008 1:07 PM

Slav, the USSR is waiting for your return. I'm a republican, but all be damned if some red is going to call out one of our political leaders.

It makes your skin crawl, because you commies aren't used to political leaders encouraging peace, change, and prosperity. Why don't pop in a Putin tape and keep quiet.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 8, 2008 1:08 PM

"Isn't it funny that all of the Obama supporters say he is the only one that can "unite the country" but he can't even unite the Democratic party when it is basically split down the middle between the two. Tell me how he's uniting the country when all of his supporters are the most fervent and outspoken Clinton critics. Is he unifying by dividing out those who don't "beleive" in his message?"
---------------------
Because he's fighting the old guard. The party is split because some like the old ways of the political parties fighting. McCain is having the same implosion on his end of isle as well. These people won't stop this movement though. The time has come for leaders who will unite, be it Obama or McCain. Politicians who reach across the isle folks aren't traitors, they're leaders. Clinton is just a Democratic Bush. Obama and McCain are leaders who unite, and I wish them both well.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 8, 2008 1:14 PM

"Dr King's dream began to be realized when President Lyndon Johnson passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964. It took a president to get it done."

Posted by: Anonymous | February 8, 2008 1:14 PM

Because he's fighting the old guard. The party is split because some like the old ways of the political parties fighting. McCain is having the same implosion on his end of isle as well. These people won't stop this movement though. The time has come for leaders who will unite, be it Obama or McCain. Politicians who reach across the isle folks aren't traitors, they're leaders. Clinton is just a Democratic Bush. Obama and McCain are leaders who unite, and I wish them both well.

---------------------

You would be more accurate to compare Hillary to McCain in that example.

Obama is the far leftie. He is Huckabee in your statement.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 8, 2008 1:17 PM

"Politicians who reach across the isle folks aren't traitors, they're leaders.... Obama and McCain are leaders who unite, and I wish them both well."

Who has Obama reached across the aisle for?

Posted by: Ben | February 8, 2008 1:19 PM

sscritic, Asians in California didn't vote for Clinton because they are racist. Hispanics didn't vote for Clinton because they are racist either. Both groups voted for Clinton because they don't yet have the political power that Blacks do. There's a great article on this emergent/insurgent divide here. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jeff-chang/why-latinos-and-asian-ame_b_85359.html

Posted by: marathon | February 8, 2008 1:21 PM

Everyone who didn't vote for Obama is clearly racist.

Also, they hate puppies.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 8, 2008 1:23 PM

"Dr King's dream began to be realized when President Lyndon Johnson passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964. It took a president to get it done."
-----------------------
Dr. King's dream began to be realized when he was beaten and jailed. It was realized on the back of Emmit Till. It was realized from the thousands of men lynched in this country. It was realized on the assignation of Medgar Evers. It was boycotts, sit-ins, church bombings and having it televised so the whole world could look at America and question its definition of freedom. That's what got it done.

Not some man sitting in Washington, D.C. The last thing on LBJ's mind was civil rights. It was how can I talk about Democracy and Freedom to some foreign leader, when this is going on in my back yard. Without Dr. King, there wouldn't have been a civil rights bill to sign.

You sound as racist as Clinton.

Posted by: historic | February 8, 2008 1:25 PM

Anyone who doesn't vote for Clinton are sexist and hates white women.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 8, 2008 1:26 PM

"Anyone who doesn't vote for Clinton are sexist and hates white women."

-------------

They also hate cats.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 8, 2008 1:30 PM

"You would be more accurate to compare Hillary to McCain in that example.

Obama is the far leftie. He is Huckabee in your statement."

---------------------
Are you serious? No one is more left than Clinton. If there's anyone who could unify my party its her. How ironic is that?

And actually Obama has worked with the senator from Arizona and Missouri on numerous occasions. The poster's original statement was correct (Again, how Ironic). This election makes no sense.

Posted by: Elephant | February 8, 2008 1:35 PM

"You would be more accurate to compare Hillary to McCain in that example.

Obama is the far leftie. He is Huckabee in your statement."

---------------------
Are you serious? No one is more left than Clinton. If there's anyone who could unify my party its her. How ironic is that?


----------------------------

Uh. Well you are misinformed. Obama was recently listed at the most liberal US Senator.

So actually, no one is farther left than Obama.

Here are some examples of leftist policies that Obama supports but Hillary does not He:

supports driver's licenses for illegals.

supports arbitrary timetables for withdrawal from Iraq.

supports increasing payroll taxes to solve Social Security.

etc.,

Posted by: Anonymous | February 8, 2008 1:42 PM

I agree with Ghokee. THe Obama supporters are way too confident about his electability. Obama's wins on SUper Tuesday were mostly in red states. Hate to say it, folks, but we all learned in 2000 that the electoral college is what determines the presidency. Many of those states (though not MO, CT< and DE) went for BUsh in 2004 by 25 or more points. They are NOT going for Dems, no matter how much we want to think so.

See the post politics chat today, too. There's evidence that there are low-income white voters who say they'll vote for McCain if Hillary isn't the candidate, just like Obama has some independents who say the same.

Averaging across polls, Obama and Clinton do about the same when compared to McCain. There's no clear electability advantage here. And I shudder to think what will happen when people take off the kid gloves in their treatment of Obama. Like Steele says, the media has barely examined him to date.

Vote based on who you think will do a better job, folks. Most people I know are on the fence -- they think Hillary will do a better job, but they are worried about electability. . . Someone needs to point out that it's not such a slam-dunk for Obama.

Vote your head -- whichever way it goes. And, for goodness sakes people, DO YOUR RESEARCH!

Posted by: skeptic421 | February 8, 2008 1:46 PM

Wow. I've read all of the comments; some thoughtful, some provoking and some just plain dumb. I am an Obama supporter. I am African-American. Now that I have said it, you can dismiss my comments as rhetoric and go on to the next writer. But if you want to know why intelligent, politically active, mature adults are jumping around like teenagers after Elvis, just look at what we are seeing. It's because we finally have something to get excited about. We have a person, willing to say the things that get people to think beyond their limitations. And I believe that it's more than just talk. Based on his actions in the past, I believe he will do what he has said he will. I know Sen. Obama's platform because I have been to his website and read his plans. I looked at his voting record, in the senate and in Illinois. I have read and listen to as much as I can with regard to both Dem nominees. That's what you're supposed to do when considering a candidate. And while Sen. Clinton is a good candidate (their views and action plans are very similar), I can't deny Sen. Obama's vision calls to me more. It calls me to action. So if it makes you more comfortable to right me off as "cultish" or "socialistic" or "based in my tribe of loyalty" its fine with me. It's corny but true: thinking about the possibility of change, creates in me the desire to be a better citizen. That this nation can rise up to the place it once was because I am more active in the political process excites my imagination. And I believe that it's not a cult that Obama is heading but a movement towards a better future. A movement that will get my vote.

Posted by: Stef | February 8, 2008 1:48 PM

Hillary is the only one of these two that can beat McCain. My question is why is Obama afraid of debating Clinton? I'll tell you why. It's because she wants to debate him on the issues and he doesn't have a clear stance on the issues. He stumps how he was against the war in Iraq and he wasn't even in the Senate at the time to vote, but has consistently voted to fund the war. If he's so against this war why does he continue to vote to fund it? He also stumps that he was against the Iran bill, but didn't feel it was important enough to leave the campaign trail to vote against it. Why would you want this man as our next President. He doesn't vote half the time on any issue, much less the important issues. Face it folks this is not a race or gender campaign, it's simply who would be the best person for President and who can beat McCain. Therefore, in my opinion, a vote for Obama is a vote for McCain to be our next President.

Posted by: Z | February 8, 2008 2:01 PM

Hillary is the only one of these two that can beat McCain. My question is why is Obama afraid of debating Clinton? I'll tell you why. It's because she wants to debate him on the issues and he doesn't have a clear stance on the issues. He stumps how he was against the war in Iraq and he wasn't even in the Senate at the time to vote, but has consistently voted to fund the war. If he's so against this war why does he continue to vote to fund it? He also stumps that he was against the Iran bill, but didn't feel it was important enough to leave the campaign trail to vote against it. Why would you want this man as our next President. He doesn't vote half the time on any issue, much less the important issues. Face it folks this is not a race or gender campaign, it's simply who would be the best person for President and who can beat McCain. Therefore, in my opinion, a vote for Obama is a vote for McCain to be our next President.

Posted by: Z | February 8, 2008 2:02 PM

Dems are punks! They say they want change, well here is a candidate that can provide it (Obama) and they are still fighting for Billiary. Yes Billiary, because we all know Bill Clinton will be running the show if Hill gets elected. Bill left with a high approval rating, BUT please keep in mind it is 2008 and people like me were too young to vote then.
The world has changed since the Clinton days. Have they?

Posted by: glt79 | February 8, 2008 2:15 PM

Barack is for change. He will guarantee that tomorrow will be different from today. The future begins with tomorrow. Vote Obama for a change (i.e.,instead of who you voted for last time!).

Obama 08!

He may be the new bog-wan of politics, but at least he's not evil like the others!

Vote Obamarama!

Posted by: JohnG | February 8, 2008 2:16 PM

gohokie,

Get the facts. Hillary didn't win Missouri. Obama did. New Mexico has yet to be counted and NPR reported today that it may recount the entire democratic vote, which means that as of right now, Hillary hasn't gotten that vote either.

Missouri is a bellwhether with a large representation of Americans in all ethnic categories. I should know; I grew up there. Obama won Missouri and as you know with the exception of 1956 Missouri has got it right in every presidential election in the last 100 years.

Go Obama!

Posted by: lj27 | February 8, 2008 2:38 PM

Identity politics is nothing new, its as American as violence and cherry pie. What is interesting is that for the first time, "identity" includes race and gender in the same election (Shirley Chisolm aside). At this point, since neither candidate will likely be able to win enough delegates, both sides need to contemplate what will happen in the brokered convention, and it ain't gonna be pretty.

Clearly a unifying candidate needs to be found. Al Gore anyone?

Posted by: Russ | February 8, 2008 2:52 PM

When its all said and done, it will be remembered that Ms Hillary and Bill sealed their own fate when they got down in the mud in the South Carolina primary and used race, economic class and gender to win an election. All they did was to insure the Democratic Party process would continue for several more months with a nomination which may prove worthless to whoever is the nominee. And if Ms Hillary and Bill were to achieve the nomination based on the seating of disputed delegates from Michigan and Florida, well, we can look forward to a GOP president. Actually, Ms Hillary and Bill (and their blind supporters) deserve what they will have reaped. Unfortunately the rest of us will also have to live with that outcome.

Posted by: Consequences | February 8, 2008 3:06 PM

Hillary the republican dream candidate. Ethically worse than her husband, and he was as ethically challenged as Nixon, when she was first lady, then you add him to the mix. Dream candidate for the republicans. A nightmare for the country if she is elected. Cannot believe how selective peoples memories are.

Posted by: Ace | February 8, 2008 3:06 PM

lj27 - She won more moderates in those states than Obama. Obama's votes came from more liberal voters.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 8, 2008 3:08 PM

Uh. Well you are misinformed. Obama was recently listed at the most liberal US Senator.

So actually, no one is farther left than Obama.

Here are some examples of leftist policies that Obama supports but Hillary does not He:

supports driver's licenses for illegals.

supports arbitrary timetables for withdrawal from Iraq.

supports increasing payroll taxes to solve Social Security.

etc.,
----------------------
Dude give it up! Hillary is the most left, I have no idea of what election you're talking about. And as far as your three points.

supports driver's licenses for illegals. - So does Hillary, although today she might say she doesn't, but three weeks later she'll back to supporting them.

supports arbitrary timetables for withdrawal from Iraq. - So does Hillary, as a matter of fact according to her 60 days from when she's supposedly sworn in.

supports increasing payroll taxes to solve Social Security. - HillBilly is a Democrat so she does too.

She is the most left, liberal, polarizing figure in the election. Obama isn't exactly in the center but Clinton is so far left of him she's in West Virginia.

Posted by: Newt! | February 8, 2008 3:08 PM

Why should anyone care what someone who uses the screen name Newt! thinks about the Dem candidates? I certainly don't.

Posted by: Spectator2 | February 8, 2008 3:14 PM

I was looking at the list of Clinton's Lincoln bedroom sleepover log. I don't see anybody who is black. Not even their closest african american friend Magic Johnson. It is telling us something. It tells that the Clinton's want the black vores but they aren't allowed for sleepovers. Only the whites get to sleep in the Lincoln bedroom.

You can find the list at

http://www.cnn.com/ALLPOLITICS/1997/02/25/clinton.money/list.html

Posted by: Mark Levin | February 8, 2008 3:16 PM

The Clinton fans are correct. Hillary has won Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, and California. These are states with a large population. As a matter of fact, President Gore and President Kerry also won those very blue states. Oh I forgot, Gore and Kerry both lost the election. We have a President Bush. What do you all think will happen to Hillary in November? There will be no restoration.

Posted by: A Few Facts | February 8, 2008 3:17 PM

Spectator2 just give us Hillary...Please! So we can unite the GOP and wipe the Map red on election night.

Posted by: Newt! | February 8, 2008 3:18 PM

supports driver's licenses for illegals. - So does Hillary, although today she might say she doesn't, but three weeks later she'll back to supporting them.

supports arbitrary timetables for withdrawal from Iraq. - So does Hillary, as a matter of fact according to her 60 days from when she's supposedly sworn in.

supports increasing payroll taxes to solve Social Security. - HillBilly is a Democrat so she does too.

--------------------------

Wrong. She does not support driver's licenses for illegals, she has said she will begin bringing troops home within 60 days with the advice of the Pentagon but has not set an arbitrary timetable for full withdrawal, she opposes an increase in the payroll tax and is against any changes to social security funding until fiscal responsibility returns to Washington.

Obama was ranked most liberal US Senator by the National Journal in 2007.

Hillary was 16th. 32nd in 2006.

These are the facts.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 8, 2008 3:25 PM

Wrong. She does not support driver's licenses for illegals, she has said she will begin bringing troops home within 60 days with the advice of the Pentagon but has not set an arbitrary timetable for full withdrawal, she opposes an increase in the payroll tax and is against any changes to social security funding until fiscal responsibility returns to Washington.

Obama was ranked most liberal US Senator by the National Journal in 2007.

Hillary was 16th. 32nd in 2006.

These are the facts.

---------------------
I'm online now, at the NationalJournal.com and I can't find where he's rated #1. You have the URL?

And actually Hill was for drivers licenses for illegals. It wasn't until she was smacked in the face by Dodd and others that she "changed" her stance.

I've heard her stump speech on numerous occassions and she always says 60 days and she never mentions with the help of the Pentagon. I'm a staffer and we have CNN, MSNBC, CSPAN 1 & 2 on at all times.

And you stance on the payroll taxes news to me since she's vote twice to increase it. And your added, until Washington is fiscally sound is a joke. She voted every time to allow the President to increase spending on the war.

Posted by: CapHill | February 8, 2008 3:37 PM

I'm online now, at the NationalJournal.com and I can't find where he's rated #1. You have the URL?

http://nj.nationaljournal.com/voteratings/

And actually Hill was for drivers licenses for illegals. It wasn't until she was smacked in the face by Dodd and others that she "changed" her stance.

As you admit, she's against it.


I've heard her stump speech on numerous occassions and she always says 60 days and she never mentions with the help of the Pentagon. I'm a staffer and we have CNN, MSNBC, CSPAN 1 & 2 on at all times.

The whole basis behind not doing a arbitrary deadline is that there are many factors that must be taken into account that she will need to work with the military and Iraqis on once she in the WH. Google is your friend.


And you stance on the payroll taxes news to me since she's vote twice to increase it. And your added, until Washington is fiscally sound is a joke. She voted every time to allow the President to increase spending on the war.

Strawman. It's clearly her position. And it's much better one for going against McCain that Obama's.


Posted by: Anonymous | February 8, 2008 3:44 PM

So John McCain's a uniter? In John McCain's America, women who are raped would have to bear the child of the rapist, whether they want to or not. This older, religious, white male wants none of that. My ancestors left the old country to get away from a state religion.

----
Obama and McCain are leaders who unite, and I wish them both well.

Posted by: White Male | February 8, 2008 4:15 PM

tusc--
You probably haven't heard of Ken Salazar. But you've heard of Barack Obama. That's for one reason and one reason only: Obama's race.

So before Americans punch the ballot for Obama and pat themselves on the back for their racial awareness, let's get one thing straight: It's the soft bigotry of low expectations that's lifting Obama to unprecedented heights.

If voters looked realistically at Obama, unblinded by the desperate desire to elect a nonmilitant African-American to the presidency, they'd scoff. And they'd have every right to do so. Obama is utterly unqualified to be president of the United States.

If we elect him to the White House based on the misguided desire to feel good about our own broadmindedness - if we ignore his emptiness in favor of his melanin - we deserve what we get.

Well, tusc, I don't know about you, but I would have to look very seriously at myself before I proclaimed that a Magna Cum Laude graduate and Law Review President at Harvard Law School benefits from anyone's "low expecatations". Or perhaps they just "gave" him those accolades because he looked black.

Just what perecent of the population can boast those credentials? Surely they are relevant to an individual's intellect and analytical abilities? Name another presidential candidate that was president of their law review? Hillary Clinton wasn't. Did she even graduate Magna Cum Laude from Yale?

Now, you also basically imply that if Obama were white, people would scoff at his candidacy...really? Are you making this assessment of Obama's qualifications relative to Clinton? or to any candidate? How about the current president? Was Bush, when he ran for president, more qualified than Obama? How many "voters" "scoffed" at Bush's "qualifications"?

If you agree, as you must, that Bush, when he ran, was less qualified for President then Obama is now, what accounts for the support that Bush got? Under your logic, is must have been because of Bush's race, because, why else would someone of low qualifications get placed into a position? Bush was clearly less experienced than both Gore and Kerry. Bush had NO foreign policy experience OR knowledge, which he demonstrated to comical effect. Yet no one "scoffed" at Bush's candidacy. In fact, they re-elected him. Apparantly, according to your reasoning, "scoffing" is only reserved for black candidates who "appear" to be "unqualified" to you.

No, sir, your position is transparent. You are the one with the race problem. You are the person who cannot see past Obama's skin color.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 8, 2008 4:32 PM

Young voters=Unreliable; African American=Fickle; Independents=Indecisive

Relying on all three of these populations will not yield a candidate and country that will dig its way out of the Bushes.

It takes two to tango; if the GOP is not talking about building bridges it will be a wash.

Soaring rhetoric may get you in but when it comes to actually governing and the public's help is needed, especially any of the three aforementioned populations, it will be lacking; people don't want to realize the tough part of getting to solutions.

Get it together, Folks! Hillary "Rock'em" Clinton BW4C=Black Woman for Clinton

Posted by: SB | February 8, 2008 5:52 PM

ACROSS GENERATIONS - EVEN MY MAMA LIKES OBAMA

We know for certain that real change does not mean drinking a new flavor of Kool-Aid and calling it

champagne, or sustaining another cycle of Clinton and Bush political dynasties. Moreover, the

passive-aggressive political attack and smear strategy of Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton and her husband

revealed their true integrity and political values. Senator Barack Obama's campaign, ideas, issues and

movement affirms that America is overdue and poised for a new political paradigm. This is the essence of

genuine change.

Thankfully, as an Independent, I am free to be more discerning about the details and substance behind any

candidate's platform, plans and principles. On those benchmarks, and as an eyewitness and hands-on

political activist, Mr. Obama scores higher than any candidate I've known or voted for in either party in the last

35 years.

Moreover, even as a vice presidential choice, I am genuinely fearful that Mrs. Clinton's political value system,

lack of integrity, sense of entitlement and win-at-any-cost personal ambition will enable her to undermine real

and effective change in an Obama Administration. The smear and voter suppression tactics in New

Hampshire, Nevada and beyond are proof of her values. Also, another family franchise co-presidency (or

aristocracy) is a corruption of true democracy.

I have concluded that the success of his candidacy is more than just about change, but is actually a positive

paradigm shift in how we see ourselves as Americans and our true potential as a united nation. As such,

District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia voters of every political persuasion should think hard and be fully

confident about the qualifications and rightful ascendancy of Barack Hussein Obama to President of the

United States.

Dennis Moore, Chairperson - dennis@DCIndependents.org
District of Columbia Independents for Citizen Control Party
http://www.DCIndependents.org

Posted by: Dennis Moore DCICC | February 8, 2008 6:07 PM

Mark Levin, apparently you don't see anybody who is black the list you posted the link to because there are no photos next to the names and you don't know the people listed. I looked at the list and identified several black people.
Barack Obama does not need support from people like you.
Obama '08!!!

Posted by: Upper Marlboro | February 8, 2008 6:29 PM

What's better than Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama in the White House for 8 years?

Hillary Clinton AND Barack Obama in the White House for 16 years!

Let's harness the excitement we're seeing among Democrats for both amazing candidates.

Sign the petition to Howard Dean and the DNC at http://www.16yearplan.com

Posted by: steven|February 8 2008 10:40 AM
------------------------------------------
Steven, surely you jest. Here is a Clinton cochair's take on a possible Hillary-Obama ticket:

news.xinhuanet.com Campaign cochair says Clinton-Obama ticket is possibility
Added 7 days ago on February 1st, 2008
EAST LANSING - A Clinton-Obama presidential ticket for Democrats? It's possible, said Joel Ferguson, a cochair for Hillary Clinton's Michigan campaign.

Ferguson said Clinton's Democratic rival Barack Obama has appeal among young voters - ESPECIALLY YOUNG AFRICAN AMERICANS - THAT WOULD MAKE HIM A POTENT VOTE-GETTER AS A VICE PRESIDENTIAL RUNNING MATE." "There's a shot at that happening," he said after taping public television's weekly show, "Off the Record." Ferguson, a Michigan State University trustee and wealthy developer, said if Clinton wins the Democratic nomination, she will ultimately have the black vote behind her in the November election. BUT THAT MAY NOT BE TRUE AMONG YOUNG, FIRST-TIME VOTERS, he said. IF POLLING SHOWS OBAMA CONTINUES TO BUILD SUPPORT AMONG YOUNG VOTERS WHO OTHERWISE WOULD NOT VOTE IN NOVEMBER, HE COULD BE AN ATTRACTIVE RUNNING MATE. "There's an excitement there," said Ferguson, who orchestrated Jesse Jackson's victory in Michigan's 1988 Democratic presidential primary. FERGUSON SAID OBAMA HAS MANAGED TO DISTANCE HIMSELF FROM JACKSON AND THE REV. AL SHARPTON - A 2004 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE AND CONTROVERSIAL BLACK FIGURE - WHILE GAINING THEIR QUIET SUPPORT. "AS LONG AS HE KEEPS JESSE JACKSON AND AL SHARPTON IN THE CLOSET, WHTE FOLK DON'T THINK HE'S BLACK," FERGUSON SAID OF OBAMA. "HE'S MANAGED TO BE TIGER WOODS AND OPRAH," a reference to the golf superstar and Oprah Winfrey, both African Americans with popular appeal...
----------------------------------------
Mr. Ferguson is a bigot and a racist!!
Don't believe it? Go back and read it again! Am sure he is right on about Hillary's attitude, and that MAKES HER A RACIST AS WELL.

Mr. Obama would NEVER LOWER HIS OUTSTANDING ETHICS, CHARACTER, INTEGRITY, HONESTY, WISDOM, AND GOOD JUDGEMENT TO MATCH THOSE OF HILLARY AND HER CAMPAIGN COCHAIRS.

Posted by: NinaK | February 9, 2008 12:00 AM

A lot of Democrats will vote for McCain if Obama wins. How could you give America to be handled by Obama when you do not know what he will do. Lofty, rhetoric speeches without substance won't impress learned democrats. Voting present instead of yes or no signifies that this man is purely rhetoric without substance. read this article

The Cold Splash of Reality, With A Side of Sizzle
Print Columns | Web Chats | Blog Archives | Subscribe to Blog Feed What Is RSS? XML (raw feed) Add to Bloglines Add to Google Homepage/Google Reader Add to My AOL Add to My MSN Add to My Yahoo Add to Netvibes Add to Newsburst Add to NewsGator Add to Rojo
Obama and The Power of Pride
In the run-up to Tuesday's Potomac Primary, Hillary Clinton's press operation is working in overdrive to draw attention to their candidate's prominent black supporters. In a region in which blacks will be a large and possibly determining portion of the Democratic primary vote, the Clinton campaign hopes to dull the impact of Barack Obama's popularity among black voters, which has propelled him to victory in states that demographically look more like Maryland and Virginia than like states where Clinton has done well.

So here's former Prince George's county executive Wayne Curry talking about Clinton's "commitment to ensure that young males of color have the opportunity to succeed," and here's Clinton's news release noting that Curry and his brother integrated their elementary school and that Curry was the first African-American to serve as county executive. There've been announcements about Maryland Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown and about Curry's successor, county executive Jack Johnson, throwing their lot in with Clinton, all designed to say to black voters that they ought not automatically choose Obama.

But both campaigns expect that most blacks will indeed cast ballots for the junior senator from Illinois. And most black elected officials--from former Gov. Doug Wilder to Alexandria Mayor William Euille to congressman Bobby Scott in Virginia, to Mayor Adrian Fenty and ex-mayor Marion Barry in the District, to Prince George's state's attorney Glenn Ivey and Reps. Al Wynn and Elijah Cummings in Maryland--are jumping aboard Obama's bandwagon.

"What's kicked in is this sense of pride," says Michael Steele, the Prince George's Republican who lost a race for U.S. Senate two years ago. "Initially, all the talk was 'we don't know him or what he stands for,' but after the Clintons did their show in South Carolina, it kind of moved black people beyond any sense of allegiance to the Clintons. Now you have a Shakespearean melodrama being played out between Lady Macbeth and Hamlet."

Steele, who grew up a Democrat in Washington, says he has watched his friends in politics--many of whom are black Democrats--fall for Obama in a big way. "This whole Camelot thing, falling in love with the idea of a black president--putting him in this bubble does all of us a disservice. In fact, he's extremely talented. But you need to apply the same standards you would to anyone else."

Steele says race is helping Obama at least as much as any racism among white voters might be holding him back. "He's getting an easy ride from the news media and from white pundits and voters," says Steele, who has long bristled over what he sees as unusually harsh treatment he's received for being a black Republican. "Just because he's African-American doesn't mean he should get a pass. The fact is now, you can attack the heck out of Hillary all day long, but you don't do that with Barack for fear of being perceived as racist."

But Marion Barry, the D.C. council member from Ward 8 in Southeast, argues that while "race is a factor in everybody's mind in America, it is not why I or others are endorsing Obama. I was close to endorsing HIllary, and she has made it very clear that she is the candidate of experience. Blacks are not monolithic about values and views. But whether people want to admit it or not, race is a factor in America. It is always a factor." He cites the 2006 D.C. election in which former Ward 3 council member Kathy Patterson, who is white, lost her bid for the council chairman position in a vote that split along racial lines--Patterson received a large majority of the white vote, while the victor, Vincent Gray, won a big majority of black votes. "That ought to tell you something," Barry says.

In the case of the black officials who are supporting Clinton, Steele and Barry see a mix of motives: A proud belief that American politics has evolved to the point that one need not support a candidate simply out of tribal loyalty, a less lofty calculation that Clinton is likely to win and therefore one ought to be on the victor's good side, and--shocking but true--a conviction that Clinton might just be more worthy of an endorsement.

But for those black officials who are going with Obama, his stirring rhetoric and the clarity of his call for wider participation in the political process are as important as what it means to have the first serious black contender for the presidency. Even those black politicians who are lining up behind Clinton seem almost to melt when asked for their views about Obama. "My head and my work stand with Hillary," said a black elected official who asked not to be named when I inquired about what was going on in his gut. "But my heart has to be with Barack. We are all human."


By Marc Fisher | February 8, 2008; 9:07 AM ET
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CommentsPlease email us to report offensive comments.

Obama-Cult in '08!!

Posted by: Me | February 8, 2008 10:16 AM

My politics don't align with those of Michael Steele, but he hit the nail on the head. As the campaign played out in South Carolina, with comments from Bob Johnson and Bill Clinton, a lot of people (not just black people, either) were alienated.

Some of my Democratic friends now say that if Clinton is the Democratic nominee they'll stay home or vote for McCain. For some, it's a matter of race, and for others it's wondering whether a Hillary Clinton presidency would be hers alone. Would she be able to make decisions without being undermined by her husband? With his history of personal peccadilloes and transgressions, could she run the country if she had to "keep an eye" on him? How would she handle policy decisions that went against Clinton policies of 1993-2001 (such as re-reviewing NAFTA, which he campaigned for heavily in '93?)

That's all anecdotal, and no way scientific, and it's not intended to say Hillary isn't her own person. But the questions ARE there. Likewise, it's fascinating to watch these factors cut so many ways across questions of race, gender and allegiance in the Democratic primaries. I only hope that we, as Americans, don't blow it and make a well-reasoned and educated decision.

Posted by: dirrtysw | February 8, 2008 10:19 AM

And you don't think Hillary is getting the same "pride" vote from women.

Posted by: duguyisheng | February 8, 2008 10:19 AM

Whereas the BLACK VOTE for Obama is 99%, is it permissible for me to say...ASIANS, HISPANICS and WHITES vote for Hillary RODMAN CLINTON as we must show the Blacks that we have to live by MARTIN LUTHER KINGS PREACHING when he said..We have to live in a colorless world where we will be judged by our CHARACTER and NOT THE COLOR OF OUR SKIN!!

Posted by: yojoe | February 8, 2008 10:22 AM

Yes, people go on about race and gender, but the real question is the independent vote. That will decide a general election and who gets it? Obama. You can't win a battleground state in the general election without the independent vote. Obama pulls more of the independent vote than McCain. Clinton loses the independent vote to McCain. So since it is a tie between Obama and Clinton, forget about race and gender and vote for the one who can beat McCain. The Republicans swallowed their pride and picked the candidate who had the most chance to win. Please, Democrats don't be foolish. Obama wins the independent demographic. Independents in most of the country despise the Clintons. So if you want to win the White House, go Obama.

Posted by: Goldie | February 8, 2008 10:26 AM

A friend of mine found a stack of print-outs of that "Truth about Obama's Past" e-mail on the Metro yesterday. (He threw them in the trash.) Funny how they keep turning up a few days before a primary.

Reminds me of the tactics "somebody" used against McCain back in 2000.

Posted by: Pompous Magnus | February 8, 2008 10:27 AM

Here's something interesting that came out today...

Obama Proves America Is Still Racist
By Ben Shapiro
CNSNews.com Commentary
February 08, 2008

Super Tuesday was certainly super for Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama. The less-than-one-term senator proved he was more than a flash in the pan with wins in Alabama, Connecticut, Colorado, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota and Utah. Obama is a serious challenger for the Democratic nomination.

The media - and Obama's supporters - would have us believe that Super Tuesday was super for America. Obama's big showing, we are told, demonstrates that Americans have finally moved beyond the racial divisions of the past.

This is exactly wrong. Obama's big showing demonstrates how far Americans still have to go when it comes to race.

Barack Obama is the Halle Berry of American politics - he's a pretty, non-threatening face who happens to be the right color and, therefore, demands our plaudits. Never mind that he was brought up by his white mother, went to a private high school and has spent about as much time facing down serious racism as Mitt Romney. He's got African genes, and we're all supposed to pull the lever for him to prove to ourselves that we're not racists.

Let's not kid ourselves: Obama's candidacy is strictly about his skin color. If Americans were truly ready to move beyond race, they'd take a look at Obama the Candidate rather than Obama the Friendly Black Guy.

And here's what they'd see:

Obama is a candidate whose empty bombast could float a fleet of hot air balloons. "We are more than a collection of Red States and Blue States," Obama spouted on Super Tuesday during his victory speech. "We are, and always will be, the United States of America." This prompted my 14-year-old sister to exclaim, facetiously, "So that's why they call it the United States."

Obama is a modern day Warren G. Harding, of whom William McAdoo once said, "His speeches leave the impression of an army of pompous phrases moving over the landscape in search of an idea. Sometimes these meandering words would actually capture a struggling thought and bear it triumphantly a prisoner in their midst until it died of servitude and overwork."

The only difference between Harding and Obama is that Obama's speeches never actually capture a struggling thought - and if they did, they'd have to waterboard it for information. Obama's speechmaking isn't deep. It is profundity for dunces.

Obama is a candidate who knows less about foreign policy than Rick Salomon, who at least knows about Paris. He has suggested unilaterally invading Pakistan while inviting Muslim dictators to a sit-down, no questions asked. He points to the gap between "worlds of plenty and worlds of want" as the source of Islamic terrorism. He states that the real threat to peace in the Middle East isn't Islamic extremism, it's "cynicism." He's Pollyanna on steroids.

Obama is a candidate with the same amount of federal experience as Ken Salazar. Salazar is a Democratic senator from Colorado, elected in 2004. He has actually been involved in major legislation. He won his seat in a heated race - unlike Obama, who inherited his seat when Republican opponent Jack Ryan imploded due to a sex scandal.

You probably haven't heard of Ken Salazar. But you've heard of Barack Obama. That's for one reason and one reason only: Obama's race.

So before Americans punch the ballot for Obama and pat themselves on the back for their racial awareness, let's get one thing straight: It's the soft bigotry of low expectations that's lifting Obama to unprecedented heights.

If voters looked realistically at Obama, unblinded by the desperate desire to elect a nonmilitant African-American to the presidency, they'd scoff. And they'd have every right to do so. Obama is utterly unqualified to be president of the United States.

If we elect him to the White House based on the misguided desire to feel good about our own broadmindedness - if we ignore his emptiness in favor of his melanin - we deserve what we get.

Posted by: Jaime | February 9, 2008 12:51 AM

THIS IS FOR ALL THOSE CYNICS WHO CONTINUE TO BASH MR. OBAMA ON WHAT THEY CALL LACK OF EXPERIENCE AND LACK OF SUBSTANCE. Mark has taken the time to delve into Mr. Obama's and Hillary's senate records. Here is the REAL TRUTH ON EACH CANDIDATE:

"Senator Clinton has based her campaign on an erroneous claim to greater legislative and administrative experience. Former President Clinton talks up her role in his administration on the campaign trail but pointedly refuses to release any documents that would provide greater details on her actual activities there. It is broadly understood that Hillary spearheaded the response team that staved off Republican attacks and spun the many scandals of the Clinton years. As to her Senate record, no one in the press has had the diligence to lay out her record for the public to assess.

Senator Clinton, who has served only one full term (6yrs.), and another year campaigning, has managed to author and pass into law, (20) twenty pieces of legislation in her first six years.
These bills can be found on the website of the Library of Congress (www.thomas.loc.gov), but to save you trouble, I'll post them here for you.

1. Establish the Kate Mullany National Historic Site.
2. Support the goals and ideals of Better Hearing and Speech Month.
3. Recognize the Ellis Island Medal of Honor.
4. Name courthouse after Thurgood Marshall.
5. Name courthouse after James L. Watson.
6. Name post office after Jonn A. O'Shea.
7. Designate Aug. 7, 2003, as National Purple Heart Recognition Day.
8. Support the goals and ideals of National Purple Heart Recognition Day.
9. Honor the life and legacy of Alexander Hamilton on the bicentennial of his death.
10. Congratulate the Syracuse Univ. Orange Men's Lacrosse Team on winning the championship.
11. Congratulate the Le Moyne College Dolphins Men's Lacrosse Team on winning the championship.
12. Establish the 225th Anniversary of the American Revolution Commemorative Program.
13. Name post office after Sergeant Riayan A. Tejeda.
14. Honor Shirley Chisholm for her service to the nation and express condolences on her death.
15. Honor John J. Downing, Brian Fahey, and Harry Ford, firefighters who lost their lives on duty.

Only five of Clinton's bills are more substantive.

16. Extend period of unemployment assistance to victims of 9/11.
17. Pay for city projects in response to 9/11
18. Assist landmine victims in other countries.
19. Assist family caregivers in accessing affordable respite care.
20. Designate part of the National Forest System in Puerto Rico as protected in the wilderness preservation system.

There you have it, the facts straight from the Senate Record.
------------------
Now, I would post those of Obama's, but the list is too substantive, so I'll mainly categorize. During the first (8) eight years of his elected service he sponsored over 820 bills. He introduced

233 regarding healthcare reform,
125 on poverty and public assistance,
112 crime fighting bills,
97 economic bills,
60 human rights and anti-discrimination bills,
21 ethics reform bills,
15 gun control,
6 veterans affairs and many others.

His first year in the U.S. Senate, he authored 152 bills and co-sponsored another 427. These included:
**the Coburn-Obama Government Transparency Act of 2006 (became law),
**The Lugar-Obama Nuclear Non-proliferation and Conventional Weapons Threat Reduction Act, (became law),
**The Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act, passed the Senate,
**The 2007 Government Ethics Bill, (became law),
**The Protection Against Excessive Executive Compensation Bill, (In committee), and many more.

In all since enter the U.S. Senate, Senator Obama has written 890 bills and co-sponsored another 1096. An impressive record for someone who supposedly has no record according to the spin meisters and mindless twits. I challenge Clinton supporters to name a single legislative accomplishment that demonstrates her superior experience.
Posted by: Mark | February 4, 2008 9:39 PM
------------------------------------------
As you can see, Hillary has done NOTHING TO HELP THE POOR IN NEW YORK, HOW DO YOU EXPECT HER TO HELP THE NATION'S POOR? She spent her senate time naming libraries, courthouses, and postoffices. None of her "accomplishments" have "substance".

Clearly, Mr. Obama has the LEGISLATIVE EXPERIENCE AND SUBSTANCE TO BECOME OUR NEXT PRESIDENT. He will make an OUTSTANDING PRESIDENT WHO WILL LEAD US IN THE NEW DIRECTION OUR COUNTRY SO DESPERATELY NEEDS. He has already united us in such a big way, he gives us the courage to look beyond ourselves and make a better country, a better world.

Posted by: NinaK | February 9, 2008 1:08 AM

Look, Obama is getting a 'free ride' with the media because they have done their homework and can't find anything. If they had, trust me, it would have been in public. This is not to say that Obama does not have a few grey areas. These however, when taken into the larger picture of evaluating his character and desired leadership ability as a president, are rendered insignificant.

And to you the media. You have to keep Obama, and the other candidates for that matter, clean by holding him and them up under your microscope. Not doing so fails America.

Posted by: Craigsgy | February 9, 2008 1:09 AM

who is getting a free ride? Why isn't anyone investigating the Clinton's financial deals with foreign govenrments? or the Clinton Foundation? Why does a recent headline say,"Obama only ahead of Clinton by two delegates"? when just a few weeks ago she was 30+ points up in some states and was the annointed nominee? Why do most outlets fail to mention Obama has won more delegates? and why do most people forget that without the favorable media coverage Bill received during his first run he wouldn't have gotten elected? But I suppose it was o.k. then...

and the reason the country is in the shape it is in is because of all those politicians with "experience", we don't need that kind of experience. there was another young lawyer from Illinois who some said didn't have enough experience, he did fine.

Posted by: wally | February 9, 2008 1:33 AM

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