Thursday, August 02, 2007

Independent voters can salvage the squandering of Obama

I recommend everyone read The Squandering of Obama By Salim Muwakkil, on In These Times. This is a very thoughtful post about Barack Obama's historical run for the DP nomination. As an independent, I wish all the best for Obama's campaign--we need new leadership and a new direction for the country that reflects what the American people want, which I believe will come from outside the 2 political parties and partisan thinking that now dominate our political culture.

This article makes me think about what a risk for the Dems right now to highlight issues important to the black community. Very risky. Obama fills the bill and Hillary has to contend with a Dem base organized around a non-Clintonian politic. Oooops! (In addition to Bill's "Sister Souljah" moment, let's also not forget that he left the trail in his seminal campaign to oversee the execution of a black man in Arkansas -- hardly an appeal to Americans of any color...) As Salim Muwakkil says, "He demonstrated a willingness to put blacks in their place."

The critical ingredient for the Obama campaign, if it is to remain relevant and anti-Clinton/Bush, is for Sen. Obama to reach out to independent voters. Independents are the base that can give flight to a new vision for America. I hope Mr. Obama will reach out to independent voters. It can make all the difference, not just for his campaign, but for the future of our country.
For more on the Clinton/Obama debate see Lenora Fulani's dialogue with Kirsten John Foy in the Amsterdam News.


jeff roby said...

What if he doesn't? His recent remarks on nukes and Pakistan are not encouraging. What if Hillary is the eventual nominee?

I think pushing Obama is the right move for the moment. We can't give Hillary a blank check, but another Nader campaign, I believe, would be pissing in the wind.

I wish I had an easy answer. I don't.

N. Hanks said...

I think THIS is the important moment. Independents are reaching out to Obama, and Betty Ward tells me he has negotiated a house party and then a larger meeting with New Hampshire independents soon. Many people feel that if Hillary wins the Dem nomination, it will simply ensure the continuation of Clinton-Bush. I think there's a better chance of Mike Bloomberg running as an independent than Nader. I personally don't think having another choice than Clinton-Bush in the race would be pissing in the wind as you say. But then, I'm an independent....

jeff roby said...

Depends on the independent.

One shade of difference we have, I think, isn't that I think so highly of Hillary, but my expectations of Obama are less.