Obama campaign echoing Wisconsin left in complaining
The problem of poking fun at the political left and mainstream journalism is that they’re often beyond parody. Fred Dooley left a comment at my site wondering, “I thought it was a racist result to not elect the black guy, or is that only in Wisconsin?”
Yesterday’s joke is today’s news analysis, at least at the New York Times:
Lurking behind that question is another: Is the Democratic Party hesitating about race as it moves to the brink of nominating an African-American to be president?
Mr. Obama remains ahead of Mrs. Clinton in delegates, in the popular vote and in national polls, and Mrs. Clinton certainly has her own problems trying to herd Democrats into her corner.
But just when it seemed that the Democratic Party was close to anointing Mr. Obama as its nominee, he lost yet again in a big general election state, dragged down by his weakness among blue-collar voters, older voters and white voters. The composition of Mrs. Clinton’s support — or, looked at another way, the makeup of voters who have proved reluctant to embrace Mr. Obama — has Democrats wondering, if not worrying, about what role race may be playing.
“I’m sure there is some of that,” said David Axelrod, Mr. Obama’s senior political adviser, as he considered how race was playing among voters in late primary states. Mr. Axelrod said Mrs. Clinton’s biggest advantage had been among older voters, “and I think there is a general inclination on the part of the older voters to vote for what is more familiar.” He added: “Here’s a guy named Barack Obama, an African-American guy, relatively new. That’s a lot of change.”
While arguably critical to determining the viability of Mr. Obama’s candidacy, the role of race is difficult to disentangle from the other strands of the political debate surrounding him, encompassing topics like values, elitism, ideology and experience. Although some polling evidence hints at the depth of racial attitudes in this country and the obstacles Mr. Obama faces winning white voters, it has historically proved challenging to measure how racial attitudes factor into voter decisions. (Respondents do not tend to announce to pollsters that they will not vote for a candidate because he or she is black.)
Who knew that the Democratic primary voters in Pennsylvania were really the Johnsons from the movie Blazing Saddles?