April 16, 2008

IF DEMOCRATS CARED ABOUT THEIR VOTES...:

Fight over Obama's comments leaves Democrats questioning prospects (Jeff Zeleny, 4/16/08, NY Times)

It is a diverse state, but the voters that seemed the toughest for Obama to win over were the same ones that had helped Clinton defeat him in Ohio: working-class whites, especially those in regions that have suffered through decades of economic decline.

These Reagan Democrats — people who might lean Republican on national security and social issues but who look to Democrats on the economy — could determine whether Clinton performs strongly enough against Obama in Pennsylvania for her campaign to continue.

They are also helping to test the limits of Obama's appeal, a skeptical focus group that to varying degrees has become a proxy for his ability to calm concerns about his race, his values and whether he can connect with voters beyond the Democratic Party's base.

"It seems he's kind of ripping on small towns, and I'm a small town girl," said Becki Farmer, 32, who lives in Rochester, Pennsylvania, another Ohio River town hit hard by the closed steel mills. "That's where your good morals and good judgment come from, growing up in small towns."

Indeed, advisers to Obama concede, his job has been made that much more complicated by his remarks about bitterness among small-town voters. Though it remains unclear what effect the episode will have in the long run, it has suddenly prompted a series of questions — and worry — from Democrats about whether Obama could weather a Republican onslaught in the fall, should he win the presidential nomination.

In Pennsylvania, as well as coming primaries in Indiana and North Carolina, did Obama provide another excuse for white voters to voice qualms about his candidacy without acknowledging that it is his race that troubles them? If he defeats Clinton, will accusations of elitism dog him as they have previous Democratic nominees? Does Senator John McCain, the presumptive Republican nominee, suddenly have an issue that will resonate for the next six months?

It is the criticism from Republicans, though, that worries many Democrats. A senior adviser to McCain, Steve Schmidt, told reporters on Tuesday that Obama's comments were "condescending and elitist" and that they would keep up the criticism "for the duration of Senator Obama's candidacy."


...they'd be nominating a Southern Baptist, not a Northern liberal.

Posted by Orrin Judd at April 16, 2008 6:37 AM
Comments

did Obama provide another excuse for white voters to voice qualms about his candidacy without acknowledging that it is his race that troubles them?

So all reservations and objections against Obama are covers for white Americans' racism. WOW. So pro-life Americans should vote for him (who pushes for killing alive aborted victims) because he is black. So gun totting Americans should vote for him because he is black. So pro-tax-cut Americans should vote for him because he is black. So Iraq war supporters should vote for him because he is black. So conservatives should vote for him because he is black.

I wonder who is the real racist here.

Posted by: ic at April 16, 2008 1:48 PM
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