Posted by: Jim | February 28, 2007

Obama-rama

Barak Obama is getting a cool reception from Black Americans.

This one is turning my brain inside out. If blacks have legitimate concerns with Obama, then good for them for not regarding his color as the reason to vote for him.

However, the George Wilson of XM Radio says, “When white America has embraced a candidate — as they have with Barack Obama — there is a certain amount of distrust that goes with this among a number of African Americans.” That is not a valid reason for black Americans to reject Obama, and I hope that GW is incorrect.

However, CNN also states, “Obama suffers, in part, because voters are not familiar with him and there is doubt whether the son of a white woman from Kansas and a black man from Kenya, who was raised in Hawaii and educated in elite schools, can relate to the black American experience.” This is a legitimate reason that might make a black voter shy away from Obama. If, in light of this, they compare Obama with Clinton and favor Clinton (as a plurality of black Americans have) as the best person for the job, then Obama will need more than color and his current creds to win the black vote.

I think having a person of color in the White House would benefit people of color, even if only slightly. It would help the view that many non-Americans have of America as a racist nation. It would help the view that Americans have of themselves. But all this therapy is of miniscule value compared to the massive priority of electing the right person for the job.

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Responses

  1. All good arguments, although it’s hard to see how Obama’s background and upbrining could make him any *less* in touch with the black man than Hilary Clinton. At any rate, it’s making for an interesting race.

  2. If we are going to elect the right person, it should be Gore (and I have held this view since well before the Oscars). I don’t think it is healthy for power to bounce back and forth between two families, and for that reason I rule out Hilary.

    I also think Obama would be good. I don’t know when the right wing managed to tag anybody with a functioning brain as ‘elitist’ (the test for a President appears to have become “Would I go for a beer with this man?”), but I would welcome somebody with genuine rhetorical power after what will be eight years of Bush mangling the English language and making the US a laughing stock internationally.

    I know it’s a marginal point when compared with Bush’s policies, but there is something totally teeth-grinding about looking at, or even worse, listening to this man. I look at him and see a man who’d be bagging groceries without his pedigree (and probably bagging them badly).

    Gore / Obama – it’s been floated, that would be my preferred ticket.

  3. Of all the announced candidates so far, the only one I would vote for is Obama. King, it’s funny you should mention the Gore/Obama ticket possibility, because we were discussing that very thing at work last week. Hillary is too divisive to be elected, and Edwards is a pretty-boy tort lawyer that has no cross-party appeal. The scenario we worked out was that Gore will announce his candidacy sometime between this December and the end of January ’08, and after he destroys the opposition in the primaries (because everybody is sick of Hitlery), it will be Obama for VP. Rudy and McCain are supposed to stop that train? I don’t think so.


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