Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Playing the Race Game: Clinton and Obama in South Carolina

...The “controversy” over Clinton’s Martin Luther King Jr. comment (“it took a president to make the dream a reality”) was, if anything, a setup to push Obama to talk race, something he has taken pains to avoid. Talking race in a white media echo chamber works to Clinton’s advantage. First, it is a subtle nod to subconscious and not-so-subconscious racism. Secondly, it gives her the chance to expound upon the Clintons’ fictional race history with blacks....
(Playing the Race Game: Neither Clinton Nor Obama Addressing Key Race Issues, by Kevin Alexander Gray, Columbia SC Free Times)

.....In fact, with its January 26th voting, South Carolina becomes the first state to showcase the Black vote and an Obama victory there would force Clinton to have a strong showing on Super Tuesday or fold her tent. That’s why she’s racing to play the race card..... (“Billary” is playing the race card, by George Curry, Hudson Valley Press, NY)

....Obama has done everything he possibly could to keep race out of this election. And the Clintons attracted national scorn when they tried to bring it back in by attempting to minimize the role Martin Luther King Jr. played in the civil rights movement. But here they have a way of appearing to seek the black vote, losing it, and getting their white backlash, all without any fingerprints showing. The more President Clinton begs black voters to back his wife, and the more they spurn her, the more the election becomes about race — and Obama ultimately loses.... (How Clinton will win the nomination by losing S.C., by Dick Morris, The Hill)

Newman: You can see the soul-lessness of the Democratic Party. Forget the Republican Party. I don't regard myself as having any expertise on the Republican Party, except that they believe in the soul. But if you take a look at what's going on in the Democratic primary, it seems to me to be utterly fascinating. Here's the former president of the United States, Bill Clinton, the "first black President" so called, who's track record of accomplishment for black people when he was in office many people feel is highly questionable. Nonetheless, he has a great reputation among African Americans. But the first time someone comes along who threatens to stop a political victory for a Clinton, and suddenly he's Mr. Snide and Nasty – towards the first viable black presidential candidate in the history of the United States. That's a little revealing.
Salit: And what does it reveal, do you think?
Newman: It reveals that he is into winning, period. It undercuts the idea that he is a deep believer in civil rights and economic rights for black America.
(Bill Clinton Off His Leash, Talk/Talk with Jackie Salit and Fred Newman)

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