Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The elephant in the room

And it ain't a Republican. Roland Martin has written an interesting piece for this morning in which he discusses the white vote in South Carolina, heretofore almost completely ignored. Martin seems to be warning everyone:
Being a black man, I don't mind talking about the nuances of black politics -- I've run three black newspapers, a black Web site and been the news editor of a national black magazine -- but I can also count. And to suggest that white voters are immaterial in South Carolina is nuts.
He's right. Nobody really wants to go there. That's probably because to go there requires an explanation of why more than half of the white voters favor Hillary, while most of the blacks favor Obama. How else can this be explained other than by race? Yet to even make that suggestion might suggest the suggestion maker is a racist. We have much experience with this type of thing here in the Mid South area.

The View ladies weighed in on the subject and it was fascinating to watch. Both Joy and Elizabeth went out of their way to display altruistic approaches to their voting habits (Behar DID admit to being partial to a woman, all things being equal), which produced a light hearted moment towards Elizabeth. But Whoopi made the seminal comment--race is really the elephant in the room.

Perhaps Martin's analysis might explain why the Clintons, as posited by Newt Gingrich on Fox last night, are seemingly trying to bait Obama into a political bar fight, which could act to reduce his stature from a statesmanlike agent of change and into just another garden variety politico slinging mud, likely diminishing his status more in the white electorate than the black. As they say, once in the voting booth, things can change, and South Carolina is a bit different than Iowa.

Maybe it's telling that Barack is fighting back against third term Willie and not the actual candidate. It's a pretty good strategy and one that might even appeal to the McCainiacs and even a few Republicans in the long run. Race not being a factor, of course.

MORE 1/23/08

"What you care about is this. And the Obama people know that. So they just spin you up on this and you happily go along. I mean, the people don't care about this," he added. "They never ask about it. And you are determined to take this election away from them. And that's not right. That is not right. This election ought to belong to those people who are out here asking questions about their lives."
So said third term Willie. today. Allow a paraphrase: "We are victims of the press. This election is being stolen by Obama's evil race-baiters when it's really about the children. The children! The children!!!"

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