From Pine View Farm

She’s No Ferrari, Not Even a Fiat 1

As a matter of policy, I refuse to address name-calling between candidates in this space.

I can do my own name-calling quite well, thank you.

I’m going to point you towards this post from Josh Marshall, which does address the current kerfuffle involving Geraldine Ferraro, Hillary Clinton, and Barack Obama, because I think it’s worth reading as a thoughtful consideration of the situation.

Full disclosure: The first ballot I cast for a Presidential Candidate was a write-in for Shirley Chisholm.

Can anyone seriously claim that it’s an asset to be an African-American in a US presidential race? Happily what we’re now seeing is that it does not in itself seem to be an eliminating factor in a presidential race. But an advantage? There’s no doubt that Obama’s race is the central factor in allowing him to consolidate almost unanimous support from African-American voters, especially in the South. But African-Americans make up only about 13% of the population. And does anyone doubt that that advantage he gains there is not balanced at least to a substantial degree by resistance to voting for him among white voters? Why is Obama running so poorly among white voters tonight (compared to his rates in northern states) in Mississippi? And in South Carolina? We hear a lot about Sen. Clinton’s bedrock of strength among non-college educated white voters. Do we really think that’s simply a matter of appeal of Sen. Clinton? More speculatively, but I think no less true, is that a lot of the Farrakhan/Muslim/foreign influence stuff has more sticking power because of Obama’s race.

Most of the same points could be made about the advantages and disadvantages Sen. Clinton is under because of her gender. In fact I think there’s a pretty striking symmetry. It’s clearly helping her with her big advantage among women voters, especially her generational peers. But we’d be foolish not to realize that some of Obama’s big margins among white men are not simply a reflection of support for Obama.

You might support Obama or not, think he’s qualified or an empty suit but suggesting he’s only where he is now because he’s black is something much worse than outrageous. It just seems obviously false.


1 comment

  1. Opie

    March 11, 2008 at 4:44 pm

    Does the Southern Poverty Law Center spend all their efforts unearthing fringe racist groups nobody ever heard of, or do they also devote some time to denouncing the much more open and damaging racism like we’ve seen from the people mentioned in your post?