by Racialicious special correspondent Latoya Peterson
Obama is the only candidate in the race, either Democrat or Republican, who has a Cuba policy that makes any sense. He is the only candidate who is not afraid to state the obvious, which is this: The harsh U.S. economic embargo against Cuba, in place since Feb. 7, 1962, has not worked. We need a new path.
When you attack a candidate on the base of his gender, race, or religious faith, you’re no longer attacking the candidate. You’re attacking all people who share that background, or in Romney’s case, anyone who simply doesn’t share Huckabee’s faith period. People react harshly because they know that the invoking those stereotypes in the public eye as an argument against a political candidate has the potential to affect not just votes, but their personal lives.
John Edwards has run a principled campaign. He talks about poverty even though poor people can afford to give him little money and turn out to vote at low rates, especially in primaries. His “Back Home, Back Roads Barnstorm” campaign this week took him by bus from one small, rural area of South Carolina to the next, even though small cities like Lancaster, Seneca and Greenwood are not nearly as vote-rich as Greenville, Columbia or Charleston. Whatever else might be said of him, if Edwards suffers a crushing, third-place defeat on Saturday, nobody can say he abandoned his core campaign themes or target audiences. One could argue that his rhetoric, his stance on the issues, has slowed Clinton and Obama’s rush to the center, has increased their focus on economic issues.
Despite their valiant and transparent efforts, the 2008 G.O.P. candidates have been unable to recreate the alchemy that transformed Ronald Reagan from a 1940s B-movie actor into an icon of the Republican Party. It is not just that Messrs. Huckabee, McCain, Romney, Thompson and Giuliani lack Mr. Reagan’s charm. None has applied himself as long and as assiduously to marshaling ideas and developing a political base as Mr. Reagan did, honing an ideology that both fed on and nourished the growing conservative movement of his time.
If there’s a lesson here, it’s one most people should have learned by now: The Democratic Party does not care about black people. They take our votes for granted and that’s why they don’t operate in our interest, even when they happen to be in power. Here’s another sad truth: the “progressive movement” doesn’t care about us either. They care about reproductive rights and gay rights, but don’t expect the Democrats to fulfill certain promises about transitional employment and education any time soon. Those provide convenient talking points in front of black audiences but are of little interest to the young liberal activists who will someday be running the party. Racism? That’s not a problem. We’re in the age of Obama, remember?
In an age of all-out political warfare, the Obama campaign is a bit of an odd duck: It is not obsessed with winning each news cycle. The Illinois senator remains a remote figure to those covering him, and his team, while competent and professional, makes only spotty attempts to drive its preferred story lines in the press.
“There is no charm offensive from the candidate toward the press corps,” says Newsweek correspondent Richard Wolffe. “The contact is limited. . . . They see the national media more as a logistical problem than a channel for getting stuff out.”
Both the Clintons and their allies had pressed Mr. Kennedy for weeks to remain neutral in the Democratic race, but Mr. Kennedy had become increasingly disenchanted with the tone of the Clinton campaign, aides said. He and former President Bill Clinton had a heated telephone exchange earlier this month over what Mr. Kennedy considered misleading statements by Mr. Clinton about Mr. Obama, as well as his injection of race into the campaign.
If I had to choose between KLS and Caroline Kennedy, I suppose Obama got the more relevant and powerful endorsement, but it will make watching the show a little less sweet for me. I will not even buy her new Barbie.
The bottom-feeding “Low Tidings” column was written by the Independent’s editor, Rick Murphy. This is what passes off as satire:
“The truth is, I don’t know many black people, but my advisers have drafted a strategy to reel in the black vote:
1) Call everyone ‘Brother.’ Blacks, I am told, do this even if most of their real brothers are in jail.
2) Talk Jive. Brothers want to hear jive. During my speech I told the crowd, ‘We be, you know, sick of whitey supressin’ and congestin’ so, you know, we won’t denigrate or sophisticate but emulate and populate, you know, the system is, like, broken, y’all!’”
And, in reference to Hillary Clinton:
“Ultimately, if she gets too close, one of my New york advisors has advised me to ‘Bitch slap that ho.’ White women, I am told, like that.”
A weak apology was issued, citing a “lapse of judgment.” Yes, I’m sure it was – after all we’re in “post-racial” mode.
I can admit that the hype surrounding Barack after his Iowa win was a bit ridiculous – but ever since New Hampshire, you would be hard pressed to find one media outlet that doesn’t either obsess over race or shamelessly promote Hillary Clinton “talking points”. When the Clinton camp attacks its characterized as “good politics” and them being “tough”, but when Obama counters, he’s “whining”, “frustrated”, or how that hack Chris Matthews describes it – Bill Clinton is “inside Obama’s head”. MSNBC’s Craig Crawford would have us believe that Bill Clinton telling a South Carolina crowd that blacks will vote for Obama isn’t injecting race, but Obama somehow having Oprah simply stump for him is playing the race card – I used to think that a black man couldn’t become president because America wasn’t ready, now I believe it won’t happen because it seems that 95% of all the political writers out there got their journalism degrees from the bottom of a fucking cereal box.
Quick Richard Cohen: Obama is now too black of a candidate which is costing him the white vote.
Quick Eugene Robinson: Lost the white vote? Hillary scored 28% to Barack’s 27% of white men. HRC’s advantage comes from women, but they need to stop campaigning on identity politics.
Florida was stripped of all of its delegates by the DNC because the state wanted to move its primary forward from February, right? So I’m confused — does this victory count for the Clintons, or not? Was this just the symbolic election we were led to think it would be? Is this just a way to steal the big Kennedy-endorsement thunder from the Obama campaign? Or does it really mean that the Obama candidacy isn’t as secure as we might want to believe?