The race factor in Democratic primaries
By Phil Kent
Liberals generally are uneasy talking about race and politics, and those conservatives or independents who discuss and analyze it are often pilloried in the “politically correct” media. But make no mistake: Race is a huge factor in the 2008 Democratic presidential primaries.
Sen. Barack Obama, the first black candidate with a realistic chance to secure the Democratic nomination, is enjoying a tremendous black bloc vote in key states. It spearheaded his comeback win in South Carolina, where he trounced opponents Hillary Clinton and John Edwards with the backing of four out of every five black voters. This bloc provided the margin of victory in several other states. Among black voters, Obama won 10-to-1 in Ohio. In Texas his margin was 5-to-1. (It is also true ? and a testimony to the growing number of whites brainwashed by incessant ‘diversity’ propaganda that Obama’s ‘change’ oratory generated new and youthful white votes, evidenced by primary wins in such large white-majority states like Iowa and Kansas.)
Yet former President Bill Clinton, in an effort to help his wife, knows the power of a “white backlash.” Former Clinton advisor Dick Morris underscores that the former president knew exactly what he was doing when he compared Obama to Jesse Jackson after a huge black turnout defeated his wife in the Palmetto State. The Clintons first played the race card there, hoping that blue-collar whites around the country would sympathize with them. Blacks were left angry and many white liberals flummoxed.
In a Wall Street Journal interview former Ohio Democratic Party official Brian Rothenberg described race as “the elephant in the room” in his state’s politics, with racial undercurrents in both the struggling industrial cities in the north and the depressed Appalacian region to the south. As reported in the March 5 Journal, 70-year-old Donald Congrove and 71-year-old Evelyn Ricketts — both self-identified Clinton supporters– openly said they could not vote for Obama. “I don’t think we’re ready for a black president,” Congrove said.
The Journal noted that results from Ohio underlined an increasingly racially polarized electorate that hurt Obama. Clinton won more than six in 10 white voters, winning 2-to-1 among white women and by a smaller margin among white men. (Hispanics are also generally voting for Clinton in the Democratic primaries.)
As for the Pennsylvania primary, Gov. Ed Rendell, a Clinton supporter said “you’ve got conservative whites here, and I think there are some whites who are not ready to vote for an African-American candidate.” Indeed, many aging blue-collar supporters of the late Alabama presidential candidate George Wallace still dominate in western Pennsylvania working-class mill towns and former steel communities. They are not Obama voters, yet often vote Democrat.
Paradoxically, Republican John McCain recently found a new ally in his campaign for the White House Hillary and Bill Clinton with their subtle racial call to arms to white blue-collar voters. The Clinton team even darkened Obama’s face to make him look more “sinister” in a March television ad. And Hillary Clinton went out of her way to praise McCain, pointing out he would be a better president than Obama when it came to the war against radical Islam. Clinton said she and McCain had “crossed the commander-in-chief threshold,” but questioned if Obama had.
Conservative Democrats and independent whites are also not reassured when the multicultural Obama endorses homosexual marriage and declares “I will reverse the policy” on building the fence with Mexico designed to keep out illegal aliens. Nor do these voters (let alone Republicans) like what they are beginning to learn about Obama’s longtime “ethnic” Chicago pastor Jeremiah Wright, who preaches anti-white hate from the pulpit and praises Black Muslim leader Louis Farrakhan. Then there’s that campaign video, featuring mainly black and Hispanic celebrities with the chant of ‘Obama’ in the background, with a promise that his presidency will “chang(e) America’s face to the world.”
Democrats who were once enthusiastic about both Hillary Clinton and the “Obama-mania” that drew new voters to the polls should now worry about the Clintons? scorched earth policies, including playing the race card. Her trashing of Obama can only help McCain with blue-collar Democrats and independents in the November general election- since Obama could wind up as a beaten-up Democrat nominee.
The author’s website is www.philkent.com