Don’t forget the African Americans


by Sunny
28th April, 2008 at 6:01 am    

If you ever want to find examples of how slavishly and bizarrely the mainstream media following similar lines of thinking – the current state of the American elections is a good one.

But before I expand on that, consider this. African Americans constitute around 14% of the American electorate. They also form around 50% of the Democratic party’s base and are seen as its most loyal constituency. So you’d think they would feature pretty importantly on what Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama need to do win presidential election. With American voters so polarised its vital that any candidate reach all parts of the Democrat base and can do well with independents.

But here’s the thing. Everyone in the media since Pennsylvania has jumped on the same bandwagon that Obama is in trouble. He’s not and there are simple reasons why he’s not:

(a) Hillary Clinton remains a more polarising figure (and the polls support this view) nationally than Obama. He is still ahead of her in nationwide polls, after being 20% behind when this election started.

(b) After he convincingly wins North Carolina next week there will be zero chance for her to win on delegate numbers. She’ll need to win the remaining states by over 80% in the remaining states to barely catch up in the delegate count.

(c) The super-delegates could hand her victory by joining the Clinton camp in huge droves. But if they do that when she’s behind in delegate numbers then the three most important constituencies to Democrats – African Americans, young voters and liberals, would be mightly pissed off and be much more likely to stay away during the Presidential Election.

The super-delegates know this and they are still coming out for Obama in greater numbers than for Clinton. The mainstream media though, which seems to have forgotten African Americans (now there’s a surprise!), has found a different narrative.

Both the Guardian (wtf??) and The Times tell us how Obama is now in deep shit after Pennsylvania. Whatever supposed love-affair they had with Obama has turned into an outright one-sided story against him. I thought the Guardian at least would take African Americans more seriously.

But anyway… apparently the problem is that white voters are still not warming to Obama. The Times says around 10% of white Democrat voters (in Pennsylvania) wouldn’t vote for Obama while the Guardian says 19% of American voters in total were not ready to elect an African American.

But both those numbers are actually lower than the 24% who said in an earlier poll that America was not ready for a Black President. And even that number had fallen from an earlier high. So in actual fact more Americans are coming to terms with having a black president.

The Guardian article and the Times piece are concerned with how Obama will pick up white working class voters (his Achilles heel is older white women) but they don’t ask – what will Hillary Clinton do to get the black vote?

In an interview with the New York Times, the most powerful black congressman, James E Clyburn, said this:

In an interview with The New York Times late Thursday, Mr. Clyburn said Mr. Clinton’s conduct in this campaign had caused what might be an irreparable breach between Mr. Clinton and an African-American constituency that once revered him.

“When he was going through his impeachment problems, it was the black community that bellied up to the bar,” Mr. Clyburn said. “I think black folks feel strongly that this is a strange way for President Clinton to show his appreciation.”

Mr. Clyburn added that there appeared to be an almost unanimous view among African-Americans that Mr. and Mrs. Clinton were committed to doing everything they possibly could to damage Mr. Obama to a point that he could never win in the general election.

He added in an another interview that the media wasn’t bothered by the fact that if Clinton, having pissed off half the Democrat constituency, won the nomination, it was going to be mighty difficult for her to win the election. But, our “senior correspondent” for the Times is still worried that because 10% of white Pennsylvanians wouldn’t vote for Obama, he was finished.

This is despite the fact that:
1) Over 70 Clinton fundraisers have very recently switched to Obama.
2) He keeps attracting super-delegates and her initial lead in super-delegates keeps slipping.

But oh no, the media, including the fabled “liberal voice” of the Guardian, have found a new script and they’re sticking to it.

No one’s asking why the MSM is giving John MacCain such an easy time. Apart from the ever reliable Jon Stewart of course.

Obama will eventually win the nomination. But it won’t be thanks to the media and their obsession with his bowling score or whether he wore an American flag on his lapel. He will win despite them.


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  1. The audacity of hype « The Bleeding Heart Show

    [...] been following the “Obama in crisis” myth that’s been doing the rounds, Sunny rightly reubts by pointing out that unless a massive majority of the uncommitted superdelegates [...]




  1. Roger — on 28th April, 2008 at 6:37 am  

    If 14% of the US population form around 50% of the Democrats’ base, as the article claims, the Democrats’ base is about 30% of the US population. Not much point trying to get a Democrat president then, is there?

  2. Aaron Heath — on 28th April, 2008 at 8:13 am  

    If the Super Delegates overturn the will of the majority – in this election, then the Dems will struggle in November.

    The Democrat base is energised by Obama, and they’ll be turned off by an establishment coup.

  3. dave bones — on 28th April, 2008 at 8:38 am  

    Obama sounded great in one speech but I don’t think he is as fundamentally driven as that speech made him out to be which is frustrating (though between McCain, Hillary and himself of course I want him to win)

    I always think that Poltics is so bereft of people of vision at the moment that the first truly inspired politico to get head and shoulders above the trough could clean up- here or America. I’d like that person to be Obama but I’m not holding my breath.

  4. Ravi Naik — on 28th April, 2008 at 9:21 am  

    “After he convincingly wins North Carolina next week there will be zero chance for her to win on delegate numbers. She’ll need to win the remaining states by over 80% in the remaining states to barely catch up in the delegate count.”

    Sunny, there was zero chance she would win the pledge delegate count before the Pennsylvania primary either, nothing really changed on that account.

    However, more importantly, as as it stands, she has to convince 75% of the remaining superdelegates to vote for her. Obama only needs to convince 25% to cling to the nomination – so this race is over.

    I am beginning to think the Rev. Wright issue will hurt Obama to the point that a mediocre politician will once again have an easy path to the White House.

  5. billericaydicky — on 28th April, 2008 at 9:24 am  

    Someone else has picked up on the numbers Sunny has used. 15% of the country black 50% of Democrats black. What is clear is that not only can the Democrats not win with those numbers they also show that how race is, a century and a half after the civil war, still a major political issue party by party.

    We all know about the Clintons, they have a track record and if she is selected or elected it will be, like Livingston,because she is a known quantity. I dont like them and hate Livingstone because of what he has done to London in terms of everything but particularly the racial divisions he and his lackies have fostered.

    But I look at Obama and wonder what is there? Can anyone tell me what his slogans mean? What is the “Audacity of Hope” all about?

    He doesn’t seem to have any policies beyond trust me and it will all be OK. One of his problems is going to be is he a black man first, as Guardian writer Gary Younge seems to think, or is he a man who is half black who will be a president for all Americans? There is a misconception this side of the pond that the rainbow coalition of all the non whites will be supporting him. The only problem with that is that there is no such thing.

    There are other ethnic groups in the States who, interms of the Hispanics, are equal in numbers or just about and Asians who are economically better off and who do not identify with Democratic tax and spend, because it is they who are being taxed.

    These groups also are wary, as is the majority white population, of so called affirmative action schemes which much of the black electorate want extended. This anti white discrimination is one of the reasons why Republicans have made such inroads into traditional Democrat voting blue collar communities in much the same way as the BNP has here.

    Obama has problems, the least of which are slum landlords and racist pastors. It is also no good posters here asking what about whitewatergate? That was then, this is now.

    He will also be faced with, if elected, the biggest economic slump since the thirties, two foreign wars and the expectations of a black electorate which he cannot fulfill. We are in for rough ride on both aside os the Atlantic over the next few years.

    Anyway only four days to go until the London elections, plus the BNP are standing 650 candidates in elections around the country, so its back to the grindstone of leafleting. I,m not looking forward to Friday morning.

  6. Letters From A Tory — on 28th April, 2008 at 10:12 am  

    Actually, the last polls I saw said Hillary had a better chance of beating McCain than Obama – although personally I think that’s rubbish.

    http://lettersfromatory.wordpress.com

  7. Sunny — on 28th April, 2008 at 3:40 pm  

    the Democrats’ base is about 30% of the US population.

    You’re forgetting the independents, where again Obama has better numbers than Clinton.

  8. Hermes — on 28th April, 2008 at 4:43 pm  

    WTF has all this to do with Asians in the Media?

  9. Sunny — on 28th April, 2008 at 5:15 pm  

    bill:
    What is clear is that not only can the Democrats not win with those numbers they also show that how race is, a century and a half after the civil war, still a major political issue party by party.

    Well, you;re the one making it about race… Obama has pointedly tried not to address it for ages and even now refuses to condemn Bil Clinton or others for their remarks. And when he did address race, he did so in an all-encompassing way.

    You can’t have your cake and eat it too. On the one hand you’re complaining about how people can’t move beyond race, and on the other you’re complaining about his pastor. What has the pastor got to do with Obama – who he disagrees with? And what about McCain’s relationship with Hagee?

    Watch the Jon Stewart video!

  10. Leon — on 28th April, 2008 at 5:40 pm  

    WTF has all this to do with Asians in the Media?

    Eh?

  11. soso — on 28th April, 2008 at 5:50 pm  

    Obama is toast.

    Had he been Caucasian and direct comments at blacks similar to those directed at white voters in rural Pennsylvania, and had he surrounded himself with such an odious entourage, such as the ‘reverend’ Wright (a black David Duke), the media would have raked him over the coals and cast him out months ago.

    Furthermore, American Blacks have been shrinking as a total percentage of the U.S. population, and their staus as priority minority has been ceded to Hispanics who now form the largest visible minority in the country.

    Hispanics are of a much different mind-set, have risked life and limb to illegally enter the country, have a daring, go-getter attitude and display signs of self-reliance and independance that are more in tune with republican thinking.

    Because of history they feel they are already an integral part of America, and with their growing demographic, their rising economic and social profile, they are not here to *overcome*, but to overwhelm.

    With their attitudes and ambitions, they have common traits with the increasing numbers of East Europeans moving to the UK , in fact.

    I sincerely believe these elections will be the last in American history where so much energy is always focused on Black/White issues.

    Any 20-something Americans harbouring presidential ambitions had better bone up on their spanish.

  12. Leon — on 28th April, 2008 at 8:02 pm  

    Jon Stewart is fucking funny!

  13. razib — on 29th April, 2008 at 5:59 am  

    They also form around 50% of the Democratic party’s base and are seen as its most loyal constituency.

    that’s too high sunny. about 2/3 of black americans are identified democrats. most of the rest are dem-leaning independents. dem part identification is around 35% of the pop last i checked. you can do the math.

  14. Elaine — on 29th April, 2008 at 2:36 pm  

    In reply to Hermes, here are two direct links.:)
    Firstly, when the Obama campaign called Clinton the Senator from the Punjab (June 2007). A summary and links are at:
    http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=132×5692877
    I think they also circulated a picture of her in a sari around that time as well.

    Secondly, the day after Bhutto’s assassination, Axelrod’s first response was to say how this was a product of Clinton’s poor judgement. (December 2007).
    Two links for that:
    http://thepage.time.com/axelrod-on-bhutto-assassination/
    http://marcambinder.theatlantic.com/archives/2007/12/does_axelrod_think_hills_vote.php

    The first link dissects the race card issue as well.

    Some of us have noticed and documented how the Obama campaign has been utterly negative from its very beginning.

    BTW I think that Wright is becoming a bigger and bigger problem for Obama. I don’t think this should be an important issue, but since Obama made his campaign foucus on ‘judgement’ (and not just on policy), it is inevitable that this will matter.

    Sunny – the links were very close for over 20 years: he was his mentor, was initially part of his campaign team; his family regularly attends that church, etc. etc. To top it off, Oprah (!!!) left the church because she disagreed with the preaching. It is difficult for Obama to brush it aside as an occasional encounter in church.

    Clinton has made only one statement about it – at the PA debates – and has attacked the Republican ads, as well as saying it is time to move on. But I am sure Obama supporters will find some way to put it all down to her negative campaigning. Sigh.

  15. Elaine — on 29th April, 2008 at 4:15 pm  

    Oops. I meant the picture reference as a joke -snarky admittedly- but cutting and pasting put :) in the wrong place.

  16. billericaydicky — on 30th April, 2008 at 9:19 am  

    Sunny,

    Don’t really understand your last one. Race has always been an issue in America that it isnt here. It’s an issue either by people voting for Obama because they are black and are supporting the Bro, whites who are voting for him because he is black and they are liberals and whites who will not vote for him because he is black.

    He can say he will be a President for all Americans as much as he likes but race is playing a huge part in this and he is having to distance himsself even more from Wright this morning. There are voters who are saying, quite rightly, how come he didn’t know what this guy was saying when he attended his chuch for twenty years? I am afraid Wright is turning out to be his Lee Jasper.

    Thanks to any of you who tuned out for the mass anti BNP leaflet of all London tube stations, there was a good reponse and most were covered. Fingers crossed for results on Friday morning but judging by what has happened in Italy there is a lurch to the right across Europe.

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