Friday, May 09, 2008

Hey, You're Not Supposed to Say That

Tertium Quid of From Burke to Kirk and Beyond ..., has a post linking to today's Op/Ed by Peggy Noonan, which addresses Hillary's latest example of racial foot-in-mouth.

For those of you who missed it, this is what Hillary recently had to say about her "winning credentials" being better than Obama's:
"I have a much broader base to build a winning coalition on." As evidence she cited an Associated Press report that, she said, "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."
To top it off, Paul Begala, Clinton sycophant extraordinaire dating back to the days of Bill, had this to say during a heated exchange with former Gore campaign manager (and African-American) Donna Brazile:
"[If] there's a new Democratic Party that somehow doesn't need or want white working-class people and Latinos, well, count me out... We cannot win with eggheads and African Americans."
Noonan's conclusion regarding this sudden willingness of certain Democrats to explicitly embrace white voters as a key constituent?
To play the race card as Mrs. Clinton has, to highlight and encourage a sense that we are crudely divided as a nation, to make your argument a brute and cynical "the black guy can't win but the white girl can" is -- well, so vulgar, so cynical, so cold, that once again a Clinton is making us turn off the television in case the children walk by.
Tertium Quid notes rightly:
Sometimes the cynicism of a candidate can make the old pros cringe. If John McCain said anything of the like, he would be impaled on the boom of the microphone.
But inappropriate appeals to racial categorizations aside, doesn't reality at some point have to reach up and slap the Democrats in the face? The fact is that Hillary, for whatever reason, connects with key constituencies in the heart of swing-state America, where Obama just does not. Here's how I commented in response to the Noonan piece at From Burke to Kirk:
Is the problem that Hillary and Begala were too brazen or inartful in saying out loud what appears to be true? Or that they sound desperate in giving voice to something the Democrats would rather not focus on?

Here in Ohio, Hillary would probably be a shoo-in for winning in November. Obama, on the other hand, IS going to have a tough time winning over white working-class voters in my neck of the woods. I hear it all the time. My wife's blue-collar-union-supporting-never-voted-for-a-Republican-in-her-entire-life-dyed-in-the-wool-Democrat grandmother (if what she says about never having voted for a Republican is true, then she didn't even vote for Ike or Reagan) is seriously contemplating voting for John McCain. I think there are a lot of people like her in these parts. I'm not saying that's the way it SHOULD be, but that appears to be the way it IS.

Obama's coalition is good enough for winning the nomination. But if we're talking about winning in November, then Hillary's correct. I think Hillary beats McCain fairly easily. I'm not so sure Obama will beat him...
Definitely read the rest of Tertium Quid's post and his analysis of what role "Jacksonian Democrats" could play in the outcome of this year's election.

Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
Rove: Hillary Over McCain; McCain Over Obama

Why North Carolina and Indiana Really Don't Mean That Much ...Rich Lowry on Hillary the "Social Conservative" [UPDATED]

Why Is It Working-Class Whites That the Media Deems "Racist"

Obama Campaign Seeks to Close Family Gap [UPDATED]

Dems Are Beginning to Believe They Can't Beat John McCain [UPDATED]

Obama Delegate Admits the Obvious: "Bitter" Was Indeed a Big Deal

On Disliking Obama for the Right Reasons

What Obama Really Meant Was "They're Nuts"

Obama Disses Blue Collar Voters Again: Says They "Cling to Guns or Religion" Because They Are "Bitter" [UPDATED]

Obama's Problems in Pennsylvania Mirror His Problems in Ohio

Obama Attributes Support for Reagan by Blue Collar "Reagan Democrats" to "Anger Over Welfare and Affirmative Action" [UPDATED]

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At 5/09/2008 2:58 PM, Blogger Darwin said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 5/09/2008 3:01 PM, Blogger Darwin said...

It seems to me that in many ways the Democrats are in trouble either way at this point. Since Reagan, their only chance of winning rests on a combination of winning blue collar workers, ethnic minorities, and educated and cultural elites. If they don't have strong support in any one of these (white workers, minorities, eggheads) they lose.

I think originally either Hillary or Obama could have pulled it off, simply based on the Democratic momentum this year and the cratering of the current administration. However, as the primary dragged and and became nasty, it's become an either or. If Hillary wins (highly unlikely), turnout among black and young voters will probably be low (I don't think they've vote McCain, but too many would stay home). If Obama wins, a lot of the blue collar and aging democrat vote goes to McCain.

Of the two, Obama will have the harder time, because the groups in his corner (blacks, youth, elites) are very, very unlikely to vote Republican anyway. At worst, they might just not turn out as much. The blue collar voters whom Obama has trouble with are precisely those who have, in recent decades, been most prone to defect to Republicans.

At 5/10/2008 5:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


You maybe right that Obama voters would just stay home, where as Clinton voters might actually vote for Mr. McCain. While that maybe fine at the Presidential level, I fear that Clinton voters will vote for Mr. McCain and then turn around and vote for Democrats down the ballot which would leave us no further ahead.



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