January 12, 2008


Minority Reports: After New Hampshire, a hint of racial politics (Ryan Lizza, January 21, 2008, The New Yorker)
The brief interregnum between the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary may be remembered as a time when it appeared that the magical qualities ascribed to Barack Obama included an ability to suspend all the ordinary rules of politics. Everything about Obama’s Iowa triumph seemed to defy history and shred doubts about his candidacy, including his relative lack of Washington experience. Relying on college kids to win a race normally controlled by geriatrics was thought to be tactical folly. Obama, though, won a majority of voters under thirty, who, according to the Obama campaign, made up nine per cent of the Iowa electorate in 2004 and climbed to twenty-two per cent this year. It was also a tenet of conventional wisdom that Hillary Clinton had a tight grip on female voters, and yet Obama beat her by five points among women. Following in the path of Gary Hart, Bill Bradley, and Howard Dean, Obama was typed as the candidate of Starbucks liberals (latte having long ago replaced Chardonnay in the iconography of the pundits), someone with little working-class appeal who could never break out of the demographic borders of the young and well educated. But, remarkably, in Iowa he fought Hillary Clinton to a draw among union households and bested John Edwards and Clinton among Independents and Republicans. Furthermore, the results in Iowa seemed to affirm the idea that Obama’s exotic Kansan-Kenyan ancestry was not a liability but an asset, a visual reminder of the kind of transformation he preaches.
....I thought Hart, Bradley, & Dean were white.

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 12, 2008 9:40 AM

If I thought Baraka Hussein Obama could win in my state, I would switch party registration to raid the primary.

Posted by: Lou Gots at January 12, 2008 12:19 PM

Hart and Obama at least won a primary (or two).

Bradley and Dean were sideshows, although Dean did give the MoveOn, ANSWR, Code Pink layers a voice.

If Obama lasts long enough to force Hillary to bluster to the media (in early June): "I am the nominee!", the Democrats will be in complete collapse.

It will be interesting to see if James Clyburn endorses Obama in SC. And it will be interesting to see if the Clintons continue on their racial profiling campaign against Obama if he wins SC.

Posted by: jim hamlen at January 12, 2008 1:05 PM


Posted by: ghostcat at January 12, 2008 2:05 PM