A Rasmussen poll shows that Hillary Clinton can only capture 55% of a key Democratic voting block, African Americans. Likewise Obama only gets 36% of votes from white males. Such identity politics plays right into the hands of John McCain, the same article even said “McCain currently leads Barack Obama 49% to 42% and Hillary Clinton 51% to 41% margin.”
I won’t blame this on Hillary Clinton, or on African Americans. The Hillary campaign has done it’s share of race baiting. But the media is one of the main culprits, running inflammatory comments over and over again to cause controversy and in turn get more viewers.
Nor is this the fault of blacks either. For about 150 years we’ve been voting for white men. We don’t have a problem if Obama looses to his only Democratic opponent. Where the problem stands is if he looses because of race baiting, and if he looses it certainly will look that is true.
For one Hillary’s campaign has used the race card (I won’t yet call her a racist) to gain votes. They are perfectly fine with loosing the black vote in the primaries, to gain a larger share of votes from people on other spectrums of the hue. Some think because eighty to ninety percent of blacks vote for him suggests that his campaign is somehow racist because the vote doesn‘t break down more evenly.
Second, if you’ll recall the Clinton campaign used the race card in South Carolina too. But then it seemed they backed down after they realised the element of the white vote that was racist, would go for John Edwards. But as soon as Edwards dropped out we saw this creeping back into the campaign.
The real issue is how will this affect the Democratic party beyond 2008? I’m starting to wonder if Hillary would rather see a Democrat loose in 2008 so she can run again in 2012. The poll certainly makes November look ominous for Democrats in November. But if Hillary is successful in using her race based politics, and then continues those same policies to ensure she’s still president until 2016 America might see a new coalition of progressive thinking Democrats and blacks.
The whole Reverend Wright controversy is of particular concern. I believe that Hillary was behind the timing. Why hasn’t she made any comments denouncing the press’s obsession with his comments, several of which where reported out of context? I remember when the New York Times ran the whole McCain affair story, Mike Huckabee simply denounced it as “politics.” I’m not asking Clinton to endorse Reverend Wrights inappropriate comments, but merely the way the media is using race baiting and distorting the comments to manipulate voters as if they where kids.
I for one was still willing to ignore the racist campaign in South Carolina and vote for Clinton in a general election. But now I can’t justify my people being used as a disposable pawn throughout this cycle. If Obama doesn’t win I’ll probably be voting for Ralph Nader. My mother has said she would write Obama’s name in. Meanwhile my dad and grandmother both feel Clinton would be better over McCain. With so much attention focusing on swing states, shouldn’t key demographics be viewed as important too?