Could they go too far?


by Sunny
21st March, 2008 at 1:27 pm    

Interesting article on Real Clear Politics:

Obama’s speech in Philly yesterday on race, and specifically the Wright issue, was one of the most compelling I have heard in over 30 years in politics. It was direct with no attempt at evasion. It was emotional yet straight forward. Where most politicians would have abandoned a supporter like Jeremiah Wright and the community he served, Obama, while strongly criticizing him, but did not throw his friend overboard. It was, in my view, one of the best, if not the best, transformative speech on race and politics ever given.

Unless it is proven that Obama lied about not being in the pew when Wright delivered the controversial statements in question then, for the vast majority of Democrats at least, he is likely to put this crisis behind him.

But the Republican right wing has seized on the Wright story and is unlikely to let it go. For John McCain this has serious downside potential. Anger in the black community towards Republicans is established and immutable. But if conservatives are perceived as exploiting yet another race story, anger could spread to moderate Republican and Independent voters, many in the suburbs, where the Republicans have been bleeding support the last decade.

For those supporters of Hillary Clinton who see the story as a way of selling superdelegates on Obama’s unelectability, the downside is far more dangerous. If the Clinton campaign is caught using the race card, particularly after Bill Clinton’s ‘cracker tour’ of South Carolina, it will assure a Clinton defeat in November. Not only will blacks boycott the polls, so will many of the millions of young voters Obama has brought into the political process.


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Filed in: Current affairs,United States






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  1. Words matter « OurKingdom

    [...] has a fine assessment and links through to it HERE. Elsewhere in UK blogland from NHS Doctor to Sunny Hundal to Gracchi, to an understated gloat that the speech ‘won’t work’ on harry’s [...]




  1. Refresh — on 21st March, 2008 at 3:04 pm  

    Excellent piece. This is precisely why I say that Obama has placed the US at the crossroads.

    The rejection of this speech will drag the US further into the abyss, fast, as opposed to placing it on the path to recovery.

    I’ve a long held belief that the Nixons, Reagans, Bushes and neocons are descendents of those that benefitted directly from the assasination of JFK.

    Obama has taken them back to the missed opportunity that was Kennedy. Like JFK, he comes at it as an outsider with nothing to lose.

  2. Leon — on 21st March, 2008 at 3:47 pm  

    Hmmmm JFK was hardly an innocent Refresh, let’s not canonise him…

  3. Refresh — on 21st March, 2008 at 4:15 pm  

    No, not canonising – just making the point that the US has been here before.

  4. Refresh — on 21st March, 2008 at 5:27 pm  

    One point I have not yet seen made was Obama’s utter repudiation of Hillary Clinton’s dismissal of black america’s role in the civil rights movement:

    “Dr King’s dream began to be realised when President Lyndon Johnson passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964. It took a president to get it done.”

    Obama’s speech will remain the focus of the media for a little while yet – which we should be glad about – and within that period he hopefully will move it on to specifically address Hilary’s gaffe. And remind Hilary that it was a joint venture and not a favour from a white america to the black.

  5. Sajn — on 21st March, 2008 at 9:53 pm  

    I don’t think Hilary said it was a favour from white America to black Americe but just that without Johnson signing it into law it would not have been possible i.e. it was a joint effort.

  6. Refresh — on 21st March, 2008 at 10:32 pm  

    I think it was generally seen as a gaffe, at a time Clinton I was playing with race. It was divisive, and intended to harm. Thankfully it backfired.

  7. How Insane is John McCain? — on 22nd March, 2008 at 12:41 am  

    It’s just so incredible for Republicans to all of a sudden be so outraged about racism in America. To any rational person it reeks of cynical opportunism.

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