The Candidate for White America

My Significant Other and I made a bet recently.
The bet is, How long will it take someone in Republican presidential candidate John McCain’s camp to drop the N-word if Sen. Barack Obama is running against him as the Democratic nominee.
He says it’ll be within minutes. Being the optimist, I said it would take at least a month. The loser buys the winner dinner at Striped Bass, one of Philly’s premier restaurants.
However, an article in Thursday’s USA Today tells me that perhaps I should perhaps try and get my dinner at Striped Bass before the end of the Democratic nominating contests because if what she said in that article is any indication, Hillary Clinton’s coming real close to dropping the N-word on Obama any minute now.
You see, Hillary’s the candidate for White America, and White America isn’t ready for a Black Man in the White House, she says.
Think I’m kiddin’? Here’s the science that the woman who was married to the nation’s alleged First Black President dropped on USA Today:
“I have a much broader base to build a winning coalition on,” she said. As evidence, Clinton cited an Associated Press article “that found how Sen. Obama’s support among working, hard-working Americans, white Americans, is weakening again, and how whites in both states who had not completed college were supporting me. There’s a pattern emerging here,” she said.
But by saying this I’m not being racially divisive, Clinton said. She then added “These are the people you have to win if you’re a Democrat in sufficient numbers to actually win the election. Everybody knows that.”
Now she may have a point here. Exit polls in North Carolina and Indiana, the most recent primary states, show that Clinton won the votes of six out of every 10 whites. Obama tends not to do as well with uneducated whites and Catholics as she does and statistics show this. The same held true here in Pennsylvania and will probably hold true in West Virginia and Kentucky, two of the next states to hold primaries.
But there’s a few things that Clinton fails to recognize.
(1) While many of us know of Idaho because we like potatoes, Idaho is famous for something else in civil rights circles. Idaho was the birthplace of the Aryan Nation, one of the world’s most notorious hate groups. A lot of the people I know started to think that this Obama chap might be for real when he won the primary there, because if you can win in a place that can create that type of hate, you might be able to win the whole banana.
(2) These are Democratic primaries. The whites and Catholics that are voting in these are Democrats already. You probably won’t get the ones that have been circling November in their calendars so that they can get busloads of their friends to come out and vote against you. Are you forgetting that your last name is Clinton?
(3) White folks and Catholics aren’t the only ones that will be going to the polls in November. Blacks, Latinos, Asians, Native Americans, gays, lesbians and everyone else will be heading to the polls to cast a vote. You can talk all of the “whites are the most important” stuff that you want, but there aren’t enough Latino voters in this country yet to offset the damage you’ll take if you piss black folks off enough to either stay home or vote for the other guy.
(and in case Clinton doesn’t think that’ll happen, I know of a couple of black folks off of the top of my head that will run to John McCain in a heartbeat if she’s the nominee.)
And…
(4) It’s one think to think something like this. It’s another thing to say it.
From Super Tuesday to now, it’s been evident to me and other folks crazy enough to observe this stuff for a living that Hillary Clinton’s campaign had no good plan B if Super Tuesday didn’t fulfill it’s promise of being the Democratic nomination knockout punch.
However, they’ve had a whole host of bad ones and this is just the latest.
Public Relations 101: If your client is about to stay something stupid to a reporter, you stop them before it comes out of their mouth or practice serious damage control to make sure that it never sees the light of day.
For failing to do either of those things, Howard Wolfson should be fired right fucking now! What was he doing, smoking crack in a back room when you were doing this interview? Was he listening to Harold Ickes have one of his world-famous profanity laden tirades or something? (I worked on the Clinton/Gore campaign in 1996. I saw Ickes in action. It’s a sight to behold, I’m tellin’ you.)
If the goal for your campaign Sen. Clinton was to prove to the American public that you can surround yourself with people almost as incompetent as the ones that President George W. Bush has surrounded himself with, I’d say you’ve succeeded. If you’ve paid these jokers $5, you’ve paid too much.
Now everyone tells me that the Clintons aren’t racist. Black folks still love this couple despite the fact that they’ve been dealing race cards from the bottom of the deck for months now.
But Hillary, you’re not doing yourself any favors right now. In fact, you’re looking like a Ivy League educated redneck. (I’ve met a couple of those. Don’t laugh.)
Since you insist on staying in the race, I suggest that you do yourself and your legacy a favor and start to think before you talk.
Unless you are thinking before you talk and crap like this is coming out. If that’s the case, I’m terrified for you.
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3 comments

  1. I have a somewhat different viewpoint on what you’re writing. First off, I can tell you’re a Democrat. You start off by going after the Republicans on this event. And you end up blaming her consultants and you insinuate that she’s using this race card without thinking.Make no mistake about this. Hillary has a point regarding voting patterns of some classes of white Americans. She also doesn’t care that that is a problem that should be carefully addressed with grace. She instead sees it as an opportunity to be exploited. It doesn’t have to be Willie Horton, all it has to be is appeallin to logic. As in “Let’s be honest, Obama can’t win because he’s black. We need to win this election. Choose me.” So, she’s using the fact that a sizable amount of white Americans may resist voting for a black man to leverage the furthering of her presidential run. And, if she had more time, she’s exploit it publicly, in subtle ways – just like the way you feel Republicans do. And not just to potentially superdelegates or one media outlet.That’s because the most important thing to her is that she’s president. She’s been thinking that way for decades and gunning for that since the late nineties when she decided to run for Senate in a state that she never lived or worked in. It just had to be 1) prominent and b)safely Democratic. Arkansas had a seat open that year. She figured she’d get the nomination just like she got the Senate nomination back 2000. She sees this young, inexperienced guy who came onto the scene in Year 31 of her 35 years and can’t stand this. He comes out of nowhere. And then runs in this most Democratic of years…her year. The year she was supposed to cruise to the nomination and then to victory and onto the White House.So this is HER. Hillary Clinton. Not Howard Wolfson. She (and her husband) has held Barack Obama, at times his voters in disdain the entire time. “Let’s get real.” “All he did was make a speech in 2002.” Comparing Obama’s win in South Carolina to Jesse Jackson’s.Hillary Clinton offers no solution to what could be problematic for Barack Obama come this fall. She hasn’t tempered her approach and, as a result, has given much fodder to the GOP. She now seeks instead to exploit said problem for her own political gain.That’s Hillary Clinton. Not Howard Wolfson. A Democrat, not a Republican.She knows what she’d doing, saying. She wants to win – at all costs. That’s her. Hillary Clinton.

  2. Thanks for your response, Jonathan. I appreciate it.And you’re probably right about Sen. Clinton’s motivations. However, you’re not quite right about my being a Democrat. When I worked on the Clinton/Gore campaign in 1996, I was a mercenary. I’m just not mercenary enough to work for people who try to blame folks who look like me for all of the world’s ills.As for Mr. Wolfson, he failed PR 101. He’s got to know that she’s basically shot herself in the foot with blacks by saying what she did. The only thing that’s saving her is that media outlets kind of let it go.

  3. Then makes two of us. I worked for Clinton-Gore in 1992. And I’m an Independent and a centrist. Sorry about calling you a Democrat.But my point is that this is a campaign by and large run by Hillary Clinton’s determination to be President. Most people in her situation would have bowed out by now…for the good of the party. She’s still pushing. His greatest vulnerability is his race. She’s exploiting that to Democratic insiders. I honestly think that she’d be doing that regardless of whomever her strategists are. It’s my belief that she simply can’t believe that she’s not going to be the nominee. This young black guy is gonna get it, a guy who came out of no where.So she takes a legitimate concern (voter bias/resistance against a black candidate) and seeks to cement it in the mind of party insiders, delegates, superdelegates, and, yes, primary voters (who want to back a winner in November). Most in her position would have bowed out by now. They’d have the same concerns about electibility, but since they’s be out of the race, they’d be thinking of ways to help the candidate overcome those roadblocks. She,personally, will not do that. She is making it worse for Obama for the fall election. You’re right…the media is giving her a pass on her remarks for the most part. Why? In my opinion, it’s because, well, she’s a liberal Democrat who couldn’t possibly be all that racist. She’s just exploiting a weakness that no one wants to talk about. That may be true. But she’s making that weakness all that much greater by continuing. Because she hasn’t or can’t accept that she’s not going to win.And if a Republican has said such a thing…or a white male moderate to conservative Democrat, there would be more outrage. My 2 cents.

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