McCain out to capitalize on Clinton campaign disrespect of black voters


Everyone is pulling at the racial heart strings of America, except for the black candidate. Obama can’t bring up race -because his race is a negative in the eyes of American voters- but Hillary Clinton is now playing to females, because it’s a positive. Positive because females make up 54% of the population and 55% of registered voters.

McCain made an odd trip to Selma last week, but his stroll down the streets of the lower 9th ward in New Orleans brings his strategy into focus. McCain called the government’s response to Hurricane Katrina “a perfect storm” of mismanagement at the federal, state and local levels. “Never again, never again, will a disaster of this nature be handled in the disgraceful way it was handled,” McCain said.  McCain is after black voters.

While Hillary Clinton and her campaign continue to demonize Jeremiah Wright, Fmr. President Clinton stokes the racial flames in his own right. “No. I think that they (the Obama campaign) played the race card on me. And we now know, from memos from the campaign and everything, that they planned to do it all along,” Clinton told a Philadelphia radio station.

I think black folks feel strongly that that this is a strange way for President Clinton to show his appreciation. Rep. James E. Clyburn

What’s worse than Hillary Clinton’s gutter tactics is the Democratic “leadership” allowing it to happen. That goes for from party chairman Howard Dean and the uncommitted “super delegates.” Leaders wouldn’t stand around idle and watch while “the chosen one” works to erode the party’s most trusted voting block.

John McCain is not sitting idle. McCain sees an opportunity if Hillary Clinton is able to steal the nomination. Selma, New Orleans, Memphis, the man is not stupid. The only people acting like they don’t have a clue are the “leaders” of the Democratic Party. McCain and Clinton’s moves are caluculated while Dean watches and begs.

“Black people are incensed over all of this,” says Representative James E. Clyburn, an undeclared superdelegate from South Carolina. Clyburn had more to say in his interview with the New York Times on Thursday.

james_e_clyburn_4829.jpgMr. Clyburn said Mr. Clinton’s conduct in this campaign had caused what might be an irreparable breach between Mr. Clinton and an African-American constituency that once revered him. “When he was going through his impeachment problems, it was the black community that bellied up to the bar,” Mr. Clyburn said. “I think black folks feel strongly that that this is a strange way for President Clinton to show his appreciation.”

Tami, blogging at What Tami Said in Indiana, is tired of the narrow portrayal of black voters. She is frustrated by the assertion that Barack Obama has the majority of the black vote because he is black. Here’s more of Tami’s analysis of the subject.

Yes, Barack Obama has the vast majority of black support TODAY, but it was not always so. It is interesting to Google “Barack Obama” and “black vote.” Results include:

Obama’s Appeal to Blacks Remains an Open Question (Jan. 2007)

Can Barack Obama Win the Black Vote? (Feb. 2007)

So Far, Obama Can’t Take Black Vote for Granted (Feb. 2007)

Barack Obama’s Black Wakeup Call (October 2007)

Why Barack Obama is Losing the Black Vote (October 2007)

Black Voters See New Generation Gap (Jan. 2008)

Here’s what Maureen Dowd says about the kitchen sink strategy employed by the Clintons.

…the Democrats watch in horror as Clinton continues to scratch up the once silvery sheen on Obama, and as John McCain not only consolidates his own party but encroaches on theirs by boldly venturing into Selma, Ala., on Monday to woo black voters.

They also cringe as Bill Clinton continues his honey-crusted-nut-bar meltdown. With his usual exquisite timing, just as Pennsylvanians were about to vote, he became the first person ever to play the Caucasian Card.

Guess what: Black folks in America may be forgiving, but we are not as dumb as Bill and Hillary are playing us for. In an October interview with The Politico, I was characterized this way.

“I’m unaffiliated with any party but find myself voting for Democrats (for President).” He’s leaning toward voting for Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) for president.

I point that out to show that even the most loyal of Obama supporters had to see where he stood on the issues important to us before throwing our support behind him. Back then I didn’t know who I would vote for in the primary and was fully willing to throw my support behind Senator Clinton. I think that goes for many (not all) of the 90% + of African-Americans supporting the junior Senator from Illinois.

No longer is that the case. The Democratic leadership needs to make their position known one way or the other. But instead they sit in silence as John McCain becomes the one who challenges conventional wisdom. Don’t mistake the kindness of the African-American voter for weakness.

Photo from L.A. Times


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