Monday, January 14, 2008

The Democratic race card

The media is all giddy over Billary's new race kerfuffle with Barack. In actuality it illustrates just how little there is to talk about right now, but since that's it we might as well talk about it.

Only Bill and Hill know their hearts. The public can only judge by what we hear and what we've seen in the past. While we know there's never been any racist leanings from either, we also know they rarely ever do anything without a reason. Their pictures are in the dictionary beside the word shrewd.

Think back to before New Hampshire. None of this black-white talk existed, it was basically bickering about issues. After Hillary won New Hampshire by a thread we began to hear commentators saying the blacks in South Carolina might be changing to Barack, this after many months of supporting Hillary. Indeed, Obama has a healthy lead in the polls as we speak, something that didn't exist before Iowa (check the graph).

Let's also not forget this entire thing emanated not as some planted bombshell, but from the players' own mouths in highly public settings. Yes, Obama's group is the one trying to spin it as racist but is it possible the Clintons didn't see that one coming? Is it possible they goofed?

Yes, but doubtful. First of all, the space-time continuum is still intact. Second, the only way Barack wins the south is to obtain a large chunk of white Democratic voters and hope most of the blacks go for him. Granted, Edwards could be a factor here since chances are he'll pull voters away from Hillary rather than Obama (which is why he's jumping on the Obama bandwagon--more proof that he really belongs back in some law firm, in my opinion). But what if the white voters perceive a race war?

There were numerous examples over the weekend of whites coming to the defense of Ms. Rodham Clinton. Even our noted conservative black radio host here in Memphis came to her aid. Being called a racist is something whites know well--especially southern whites--and if the Clintons manage to position themselves as the victims they might change the dynamic.

Bottom line, even though this might be entirely engineered by Obama despite this document, don't discount the Clintons. Getting Barack embroiled in the race game suddenly makes him seem less messiah-like. It also might provide an opening for Hillary-friendly journalists to unleash a story about Barack's church, heretofore seen as lowball. As long as they remain the victims the Clintons won't be accused of any skullduggery and will maintain the support of several leaders.

This play could also earn her sympathy points from some moderates or even a few conservatives in the south and midwest, which might come in handy down the line. South Carolina is not the end of her road by any means.

MORE 1/15/08

Obama is taking off the gloves and putting on his reconciliation halo. I think it's a good move.

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