Clinton Led Obama Among Black Voters

People who think that Geraldine Ferraro is right, and Barack Obama is the frontrunner in the Democratic race because of his race, have forgotten that Hillary Clinton led among black voters six months ago:

Sen. Hillary Clinton's lead over Sen. Barack Obama, her chief rival for the Democratic presidential nomination, is growing among African-American voters who are registered Democrats, and particularly among black women, a poll said Wednesday.

Among black registered Democrats overall, Clinton had a 57 percent to 33 percent lead over Obama.

That's up from 53 percent for Clinton and 36 percent for Obama in a poll carried out in April.

Clinton had the support of black voters and lost it.


Rather than forgetting it, they're saying it's identity politics trumping substance. Which, though highly controversial, is a reasonable argument.

A claim that the sole and only and entire factor is his race would be a severe oversimplification. But that extreme version shouldn't be used as the last word on the topic.

I'm a 64-year old white woman registered Democrat in California. I voted for Barack Obama in the California primary, and so did most of my friends. Most of us are pretty well educated, though some of us are not, so I guess that's how we (kind of) fit into Senator Obama's supposed demographic.

I focused on Senator Obama's candidacy first because he was one of the few politicians in the country who was willing to speak out publicly against the Iraq war before it was undertaken. He was not in the U.S. Senate at the time, but he was running for the Illinois Senate, so it took courage to make that stand. He showed judgment and courage. I have no doubt that if he had already been in the U.S. Senate, he would have made that famous speech there.

Intelligence, judgment, courage, and a remarkable eloquence which helps him rally the country behind him are the main reasons I support Senator Obama.

Experience means nothing without good judgment. I believe Abraham Lincoln had less political experience than Senator Obama has when he became perhaps our greatest President. The U.S. Senate had the chance to prevent the Iraq mess and they blinked. We need someone who has the courage to make the right decisions.

Ferraro's comment speaks for itself: "If Obama was a white man, he would not be in this position. And if he was a woman (of any color) he would not be in this position. He happens to be very lucky to be who he is. And the country is caught up in the concept."

It's gutter politics. Obama's a smart politician with formidable skills as an orator and organizer. If he's the frontrunner because he's black and would not be one otherwise, as Ferraro slimily suggests, how does that explain the failure of Al Sharpton and Carol Mosley-Braun in southern states in 2004? Sharpton only got 10 percent in South Carolina.

Ferraro has even denigrated her own accomplishment by saying she wouldn't have been a vice presidential nominee in 1984 if she wasn't a woman. If she felt she wasn't qualified for the job, she should have turned it down. Saying that today, in an attempt to bring down Obama, is ridiculous.

Sigh ... A claim that the sole and only and entire factor is his race would be a severe oversimplification. But that extreme version shouldn't be used as the last word on the topic.

Obama as white-acceptable black is not discussable if we can't even get past the first straw man.

It won't be the last word. People are talking about race as a factor -- it was a topic for 15 minutes on Hardball last night, with Pat Buchanan entertaining a viewpoint that wasn't far from Ferraro's.

Ironically, the conservatives seem a lot more willing to discuss race as a factor here than liberals. Not for nice reasons, but still, that's how it's working out. Or maybe I'm just reading the wrong echo-chamber, in my corner of the net, there's not a lot of iconoclastic bloggers interested in talking about race and society.

[Anti-strawman "not a lot" != "never seen one anywhere"]

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