Saturday, April 05, 2008

Whither the white guy vote

Gail Collins' New York Times piece about white men is making the rounds on the blogs and message boards so might as well offer my obligatory two cents. After all, it's been awhile since race was discussed here, at least 36 hours.
Courting them is extremely tricky. It’s not like you can promise that under your presidency, more white men would be appointed to the Supreme Court.
Good point. The AWG electorate (angry white guys or average white guys, whichever) can't really go around preaching "yeah baby, more white dudes on the courts--both Supreme and basketball!" Those who do seem to have an affinity for white linen and funny hats.

But what about b-ball? The Final Four tournament is about to begin--would it really be such a sin for AWGs to root for the few white basketball stars left, such as Hansbrough and Love and uh, uh, well, them? After all, if Korean or Chinese stars were playing nobody would think a thing about Koreans or Chinese paying more attention to them than the other players, most of whom are black.

But Ms. Collins actually nailed it--most AWGs have long ago put aside that notion. As a kid devoid of any racial notions my favorite baseball player was black. Even today, there are no white players on the University of Memphis team but most of the white alumni don't care. In that vein AWGs might be the best-behaved racist bigots on earth.

The candidates’ desperation to make contact is showing. Barack Obama goes bowling in Altoona — with disastrous consequences. Hillary Clinton attempts to compare herself to Rocky Balboa, prompting many people to note that Rocky lost to a black guy. Obama, rather cruelly, points out that Rocky is a fictional character. Clinton, in turn, reveals that she owns her own bowling ball.
Funny, I had not considered the racial part of that identity politics stunt but looking back I guess many consider the bowling alley a stomping ground of AWGs. And here I thought they were the stomping grounds of people who liked cigarette smoke mixed with cheap beer and hot dogs (not that there's anything wrong with that).

Based on his pitiful score and Ms. Collins' description the stunt was an even bigger flop than otherwise assumed, unless he was screwing up on purpose to bolster his street cred or to appeal to women? Hard to tell anymore. It certainly couldn't be because he saw a bowling alley and just wanted a break from the campaign trail.

Turning to the all-knowing Google for answers I opened their Google Images portal and typed in "white guys", looking for the quintessential photo. The result was somewhat startling. Hint--DO NOT try this at work or with children around! (no discrimination--the same kind of results come from typing "Asian guys" or "black guys"). Hmm, maybe team Hillary should at least consider the advice of that conference call crasher?

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