Third Party & Independents Archives

An African-American for Prez... Part Deux

It turns out an African American might not be so un-electable after all.

In an article I posted on July 30 I provided a link to a story about how some African-Americans polled in South Carolina would not vote for Barak Obama in that state's primary because they did not think that, as an African-American, he could win the general election. They did not feel that white America was ready for a black president and would likely vote 'safely' in the primary and help to ensure Billary gets the Democratic nomination. I gave my opnion that this kind of defeatist thinking is hogwash and that people should, in my opnion, vote for the candidate with whom their views most closely align and not worry about for whom someone else will vote. I stand by that on its own, and there may be some evidence that the idea of Obama being unelectable is not really that realistic in the first place.

In the link provided above, the report on a recently conducted poll shows that, contrary to some in SC and this site's beliefs, Clinton may actually be more unelectable in the general election than Obama. The poll shows that, as of today (keeping in mind the election is still over a year off), Billary runs neck and neck with the top two Republican candidates, Big G from the Big Apple and that gruff actor from Tennessee, but that Obama actually has a six point lead over those same gentlemen. So, my question is this... what makes Obama so unelectable? Are we, and those polled in South Carolina, doing him and every other minority candidate a disservice by assuming that because he is black he is unelectable?

My original article produced some good, heated dialogue as to why people vote the way they do. I still stand quite firm in the belief that people should vote their hopes and not their fears and vote for the candidate with whom their views most closely align. If your main criteria for voting for a candidate is taxes, civil rights, a nice smile, or the color of their skin, you should stand firm and hold yourself to your own beliefs and not worry so much about how others will vote. Not all agreed...

Thoughts anyone?

Posted by Doug Langworthy at August 2, 2007 7:03 PM
Comments
Comment #228202
Are we, and those polled in South Carolina, doing him and every other minority candidate a disservice by assuming that because he is black he is unelectable?

Isn’t this the SOP for the progressives in the democratic party? The reason for Affirmative Action, quotas, etc? Once you have that thought process ingrained into your head it is kind of hard to shake it loose I suppose.

Posted by: Rhinehold at August 2, 2007 7:44 PM
Comment #228204

Rhinehold, maybe you’d be interested to know what Obama had to say about affirmative action on ABC’s ‘This Week’ show back in May:

STEPHANOPOULOS: … You’ve been a strong supporter of affirmative action…

OBAMA: Yes.

STEPHANOPOULOS: … and you’re a constitutional law professor, so let’s go back in the classroom. I’m your student, I say, “Professor, you and your wife went to Harvard Law School. You’ve got plenty of money. You’re running for president. Why should your daughters, when they go to college, get affirmative action?”

OBAMA: Well, first of all, I think that my daughters should probably be treated by any admissions officer as folks who are pretty
advantaged, and I think that there’s nothing wrong with us taking that into account as we consider admissions policies at universities.

I think that we should take into account white kids who have been disadvantaged and have grown up in poverty and shown themselves to have what it takes to succeed. So I don’t think those concepts are mutually exclusive.
I think what we can say is that in our society, race and class still intersect, that there are a lot of African-American kids who are still struggling, that even those who are in the middle class may be first generation as opposed to fifth or sixth generation college attendees, and that we all have an interest in bringing as many people together to help build this country.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Sandra Day O’Connor wrote that in 25 years, affirmative action may no longer be necessary. Is she right?

OBAMA: I would like to think that if we make good decisions and we invest in early childhood education, improve K-12, if we have done what needs to be done to ensure that kids who are qualified to go to college can afford it, that affirmative action becomes a diminishing tool for us to achieve racial equality in this society.

Makes good sense to me…

Posted by: Adrienne at August 2, 2007 8:53 PM
Comment #228213

If Obama can acknowledge that there are privileged black kids as well as underprivileged white kids (and that this should be taken into account), then why can’t he just take the next logical step and say that those who are underprivileged should get the advantages and those who aren’t shouldnt?

If he wants to help struggling black kids, why wouldn’t they be included in a policy of helping the poor no matter what race they belonged to?

Conservatives who feel that college admissions should only be based on academic merit still wouldn’t like a policy of “affirmative action for the poor,” but why is it that Obama wouldn’t? A race-blind policy of affirmative action would help the black poor, as well as the white poor he says should be helped, exclude those who don’t need the help, and tick off conservatives as an added bonus.

Why is it that his focus remains on race instead of need? The answer lies in Democratic politics rather than proposing genuine and fair solutions to problems. It’s the need to divide Americans by race in order to guarantee votes from a crucial part of their consituency without whom they could not win elections. What this reveals is that Obama is just another calculating and dishonest pol who’ll pander shamelessly in order to get elected. It’s especially bad in his case because while it’s clear that he’s actually able to understands and articulate the problem, he refuses to take the logical next step of his convictions.

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at August 2, 2007 10:14 PM
Comment #228226

Loyal Opp, Obama didn’t say ‘abandon affirmative action’. He said, when applying for assistance under affirmative action, the person’s unique circumstances should be considered as part of the equation as to whether they should receive assistance or not.

Obama is so damned refreshingly intelligent compared to the black and white there is no gray area President we have in office today.

Adrienne, thanks for the quoted dialogue. I missed that one. Obama has definitely captured my attention and hope that he is what he presents himself to be. A rational, intelligent person dedicated to public service and representative of the interests of our nation’s future and the people’s.

If he were running as an Independent, he would already have my support as the most promising Independent candidate of all others contemplating a run.

Posted by: David R. Remer at August 3, 2007 12:45 AM
Comment #228244

LO,

That’s the way it works today, at least with admission policies. Money, race, where you grew up, all sorts of factors are taken into account. If you’re a poor white kid from Arkansas, that’s a demographic schools are looking to fill. Rich is a demographic they look for too, but affirmative action ensures the schools take a balanced view, not that it’s a perfect system by any means.

I never thought O’Bama was unelectable. He has an amazing way of getting people to re-consider issues they usually have knee-jerk responses too. I do wish he had more experience though.

Posted by: Max at August 3, 2007 11:10 AM
Comment #228249

David:
“Adrienne, thanks for the quoted dialogue.”

No problem. I figured if people are going to spout off about Obama’s views, and how they match up (or don’t match up) with those of the progressives in the Democratic Party, it would be helpful to use what he’s actually said.

“I missed that one. Obama has definitely captured my attention and hope that he is what he presents himself to be. A rational, intelligent person dedicated to public service and representative of the interests of our nation’s future and the people’s.”

I actually missed it too, but I had heard about it, so I went and searched out the transcript (for my reply to Rhinehold) and in the process, found the video. He talks about other issues besides his stance on affirmative action in the interview. If you’re interested, you can watch it here.
My view on Obama is mixed so far. I like plenty of what he has been saying, but is a bit too conservative for my taste in others. I am watching him carefully, but since I have not agreed with many of his Senate votes, I wouldn’t call myself a devoted follower.

But that’s nothing new for me. I’ve never been entirely devoted to any politician — even those I’ve voted for — my whole life! :^)

Posted by: Adrienne at August 3, 2007 11:31 AM
Comment #228251

Adrienne… I think your lack of devotion to any one politician is commendable!

Posted by: Doug Langworthy at August 3, 2007 11:44 AM
Comment #228265

Doug,

It’s interesting that the people in South Carolina think that white America is not ready to elect a black president…especially when the Republican’s top two most popular presidential hopefuls (who AREN’T running) are Colin Powell and Condy Rice.

I see 16 years of Democrat dominance in the Executive Branch beginning in 2008. 8 years of Billary and then another 8 years of B. Hussien Obama as her successor.

Posted by: Jim T at August 3, 2007 2:14 PM
Comment #228269

Langworthy:

I agree 100%. Vote your hopes, not your fears.

Blacks, more than anyone, should jump onto the Barack Obama wagon. Here’s a chance to show what an African-American can do - for the entire country and the world!

For the rest of us, who are not black, we should put his color aside, and vote for him because he has the best ideas for retrieving America’s former greatness and for turning the world away from extremism.

A vote for Obama is a vote for positive change!

Posted by: Paul Siegel at August 3, 2007 2:48 PM
Comment #228275

Jim T,

First of all… thanks for getting us back on topic!

You may be right that the last 8 years of Republican mis-management… strike that… Neo-Con Republican mis-management of the White House will produce an un-interrupted 16 year run for Dem control of the executive branch of our government… being a somewhat-devout Libertarian, it makes no-nevermind to me, but that’s just me.

As far as Powell goes… I’m not even sure he would want to be affiliated with the Reps again until they kick the Bushie/Neo-Cons out of their leadership and get back to their core values… and Condie may not be vary far behind. This administration has done so much to damage the image of the GOP that it may take 16 years to fix.

Posted by: Doug Langworthy at August 3, 2007 4:32 PM
Comment #228276

Paul,

Thanks for the note of agreement… you are so right… But on the Obama front… let’s not get ahead of ourselves…

He’s not even my favorite candidate of the Republi-crats, much less of anyone that might end up on the general election ballot… even in your democratic party I think Richardson has just as many great ideas and gets me just as fired up when I hear him speak, AND he has that added bonus of actually having diplomatic experience (US Ambassador to UN), domestic federal policy experience (Secretary of Energy), and executive leadership experience (highly successful and popular governor of New Mex)… It is just unfortunate that because the media has already told us that Richardson can’t win, we believe it.

I would be willing to bet that if all the candidates put their positions on issues and experience on a piece of paper w/o names attached, well… to me it’s a no-brainer… but that’s just me.

Posted by: Doug Langworthy at August 3, 2007 4:48 PM
Comment #228277

Paul… I just re-read your post and a question came up… just a question, but…

Are you saying African-Americans should vote for him because of his race, but whites should put race aside?

If so, why the discrepancy?

Posted by: Doug Langworthy at August 3, 2007 4:51 PM
Comment #228340

Jim T, it’s utterly impossible to predict something like the results of presidential elections 8 and 12 years from now. All sorts of things, internationally and domestically, will happen in the meantime, and the political landscape will look completely different from today. Bush will be long-gone, and public attention will be focused on a Democratic Congress and (possibly) the record of a Democratic president. Nobody can predict what that will look like—except to say that historically, those in power tend to step into a lot of controversy.

As entertaining as it is to talk about Obama, Clinton is now polling 20+ percentage points better than him in many surveys. I wouldn’t say it’s over yet, but the writing does seem to be on the wall.

I strongly disagree with those who believe Clinton will choose Obama as her running mate. Getting the first woman elected will be enough of an uphill struggle without trying to break two major barriers at once. Clinton wants to win, and frankly I don’t see her taking that risk—or putting somebody on her ticket whose charisma and appeal would overshadow her for 8 years if she managed to get elected.

If Obama remains in the Senate, he’s going to lose a great many of the advantages he has now. He’ll no longer have a relatively small voting record with which his opponents can tar him, and he’ll no longer be the hot new media sensation as new leaders begin emerging from the Democratic ranks. 8 years is a VERY long time in presidential politics.

And quite frankly, despite Democratic hubris on this point, I think it’s almost a coin-toss as to who will actually capture the White House in 08. The Democratic congress is not exactly (by any poll you want to mention) winning a lot of favor for Democrats. And Clinton, the likely Dem candidate, comes with tons of baggage which her Democratic opponents simply aren’t talking about—but which her Republican opponent will be happily hammering away at through the entire general election campaign. I’m not saying that she will lose, but I do think it will be a lot more interesting than many assume.

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at August 4, 2007 12:34 PM
Comment #228343

Doug,

“First of all… thanks for getting us back on topic!”


No problem. Anytime.


“You may be right that the last 8 years of Republican mis-management… strike that… Neo-Con Republican mis-management of the White House will produce an un-interrupted 16 year run for Dem control of the executive branch of our government…”

L.O. brought up a good point of “stuff” happening and there might not be 16 years of Democrats in the White House. Of course, history COULD repeat itself and we’d have 8 years of Hillary and then Barak COULD be upset by a narrow margin in Florida (where the concept of punching a hole in a piece of paper is the same as quantuum physics).

I don’t know…but I see Hillary in the White House this time. Even though 1/2 the country HATES her (nickname “PIAPS”) and 1/2 the country LOVES her (no in between), I don’t see the Reps winning this time…and maybe it’s for the best. Maybe, just maybe, Conservatives will get their act together and start purging themselves of the far right and those who do not really believe in true Conservative core values.

I just feel that Hillary’s campaign is just way too “slick” and “planned” to be defeated. Nope, no mud will stick to her. She’s the new “Teflon Don”.

The only person that can defeat Hillary…is Bill. As long as Bill keeps his pants zipped…she’s the next prez.

Posted by: Jim T at August 4, 2007 1:24 PM
Comment #228351

I saw that Ken Starr and Rupert Murdoch are sending money Hillary’s way. You know things are bad on the right when Republicans think all their presidential candidates are crap and they start supporting a Democrat. Arguably the most moderate Democrat running, but a Democrat nonetheless.

Posted by: American Pundit at August 4, 2007 2:36 PM
Comment #228359

AP:
“I saw that Ken Starr and Rupert Murdoch are sending money Hillary’s way.”

And that should be informing Democrats and Independents that Hillary is not the kind of person they should even think of voting for.

“You know things are bad on the right when Republicans think all their presidential candidates are crap and they start supporting a Democrat.”

The way I see it, things are terribly wrong on the left when the Democratic front runner is someone who would receive money from the most rabid of partisan Republicans.

“Arguably the most moderate Democrat running,”

I really despise how the word “Moderate” has just come to be a code word for Democratic politicians who are as willing and eager to be advocates for big business interests at the expense of the people the same way the Republican politicians are.
Not only did Hillary take $20,000 in donations from News Corp.(Faux News Wingnut Propagandists), but lots and lots of other
dirty money, too.

Obama isn’t spotless either, you’ll note. In fact, among the top tier Democratic candidates, Edwards is far and away the best. If you care about such things, that is.
I, for one, do tend to take such things into consideration.

“but a Democrat nonetheless.”

No, not a Democrat. Republican Lite.

Posted by: Adrienne at August 4, 2007 4:57 PM
Comment #228364

Hillary Clinton at Yearly Kos convention admits: “Yes I Will” Continue to Accept Lobbyists’ Money

According to her, lobbyists “represent real Americans”, so it’s perfectly okay to allow them to fill her campaign coffers to overflowing.

Posted by: Adrienne at August 4, 2007 6:30 PM
Comment #228384

Ok, last time I’m going to say this. If Hillary wins the nomination, she will lose the general. Hillary is hated by the Right even more than her husband, and if she runs in November, they will show up in droves. She will lose by one state, most likely Ohio, Pennsylvania, or Florida. If this happens, the Republicans will control the White House until 2012, since with the way that the Electoral College is stacked toward the Heartland, no Republican incumbant could possibly lose.

Obama, on the other hand, will mop up the floor with any of the Republican candidates. Check here if you don’t believe me.

L

Posted by: leatherankh at August 5, 2007 12:26 AM
Comment #228433

Adrienne, Hillary Clinton never even attracted the possibility of my voting for her, precisely because of her embrace of wealthy lobbyist’s money. Obama has denounced lobbyist’s unethical influence upon our government by declaring changes he would make on his first day in office regarding lobbying and his Administrative Staff. If it’s a choice between these two, Obama has won me over, on this issue alone, as well as on a few others.

I am still hoping for a third party or Independent candidate however. And there is still time for their emergence. For me, the two party system that nullifies progress by switching leadership and reversing each other’s courses, is the greatest negative factor influencing our nation’s future.

We need solutions put in place that can survive long enough to actually solve problems. This war between the DNC and RNC is killing America’s future options to survive as the greatest nation on earth.

Posted by: David R. Remer at August 5, 2007 4:07 PM
Comment #228434

Loyal Opp, Obama leads in one, tied in another, and trailing by only a small percentage in the first 3 primary states. The outcome of the primaries in those 3 states will in large part, determine who the front runner is, regardless of what national polling shows today. That national polling will turn on a dime if Obama wins 2 of those 3 states and comes in second in the 3rd state. It will be a whole new ball game if that occurs, and polls currently show that possibility is very real.

Posted by: David R. Remer at August 5, 2007 4:12 PM
Comment #228458

The only person that can defeat Hillary…is Bill. As long as Bill keeps his pants zipped…she’s the next prez.
Posted by: Jim T at August 4, 2007 01:24 PM


She might just pick Bill to be her Vice-Presidential running mate. That way she could keep an eye on him, and also finally fulfil her life-long dream of being head of the household!

JD

Posted by: JD at August 5, 2007 8:22 PM
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