Friday, May 16, 2008

Obama's "White Problem"

Barack Obama handed Hillary Clinton another stinging primary defeat in a predominantly white state this week.

What's that, you say?

Oh, no, I'm not talking about West Virginia.

I'm talking about 92% white Nebraska, where Obama downed Clinton 49-46 on Tuesday night.

You probably didn't hear about it, because it wasn't widely reported. In fact, do a Google news search for "Nebraska Primary" and you only get local tv and regional newspapers mentioning it.

Why the media silence? Well perhaps, as Omaha's Channel 3 News put it, "today's presidential primary does not mean much in the scheme of things. Nebraska Democrats already gave Obama a solid win in the February Caucuses."

So, basically, since it doesn't change the dynamics of the race at all, there's no real point in making a big deal over it.

Unlike West Virginia, where Hillary Clinton picked up a whopping net gain of 12 delegates, narrowing Obama's lead to a mere 180.

No, no, the "real story" is that Obama has difficulty winning white voters, as clearly illustrated by the way he won Nebraska.


I'm afraid when Hillary says that Obama can't win the "white vote," she's talking about these people.

Clinton argues Democrats can't win the White House in November without white people who are afraid of black candidates and those who insist Obama is a Muslim, all evidence to the contrary.

Well, can we at least try? Please?


Anonymous said...

Obama had cruised into Nebraska in early February...and in the Feb. 9 caucuses picked up 16 of the 24 delegates at stake while Clinton got eight. Obama won 68% of the vote, taking 26,000 of just under 39,000 votes cast. In addition to the 16 delegates, the state’s six superdelegates...have endorsed Obama. Three more delegates will be decided at the state convention in June.

On Tuesday, more than 93,000 Nebraskans voted in a primary...Obama barely eked out a 49%-47% victory, within 2,600 votes of Clinton – and less than the total garnered by former Alaska Sen. Mike Gravel, who earned 3,852 votes for 4% of the total.

Is this an early sign of Obama fatigue?

Andy said...

Okay, wait a're arguing that because Obama won 46,500 votes in the Nebraska primary, he was beaten by Mike Gravel, who won 3,852?

And what is this talk of "eking"? A win is a win. You don't hear me claiming that Hillary didn't win West Virginia or Indiana. But it doesn't change the fact that Obama is way, way ahead. 2008 is not 2004. One of the great things to feel good about this year is that our nominee really was chosen by the majority of the country. In 2004 we were caught up in "electability," and we took the first winner that came along: Kerry in Iowa. I still believe Dean could have whupped Bush. (Actually, Kerry could have, too, if he hadn't had Bob Shrum as campaign manager.)

Clinton has run a great campaign. No, wait, that's not true. She's run an awful campaign. I still believe she'd make a great President. She's qualified, and she's right about a great many things. But the fact of the matter is, the way the rules of the nominating process go, Obama has won. A close 2nd counts for nothing. It's winner take all, when all the chips are down. The people have spoken, and it's Obama.

Neel Mehta said...

Clinton argues Democrats can't win the White House in November without white people who are afraid of black candidates and those who insist Obama is a Muslim, all evidence to the contrary.

What a horrible argument! But it's also a winning argument. You better believe that grassroots Republican organizations unaffiliated with McCain will do the same this fall.

The secret Muslim thing, while patently false, is a significant barrier. Even some Christian folks who don't normally vote might do so just to ensure that Obama's rise to power doesn't happen.

Make no mistake: the media may not talk about it, but this is a huge deal.

Andy said...


This is why "End Times" eschatology is so wrong and so dangerous. It's passed off by people who truly don't know what they're talking about, inevitably saying this is what the Bible "says." It wouldn't be hard to find someone who believes precisely that Obama is "the Antichrist" and will insist they believe in the inerrancy of Scripture. But of course, any "Biblical literalist" worth the name (there aren't any...) would be able to tell you that there is no such entity as "the" Antichrist; they are multiple, they are already in the world and always have been, and the one characteristic we know of them is that they deny the message and divinity of Christ.

These people are so infuriatingly uncerebral. If this is the "prophecy" of the "inerrant" Scriptures, then what does anyone propose to do? If the Bible "says" Obama will take over the world and destroy it, who's to stop it? And if you vote for McCain and deny Obama that opportunity, how the heck is Jesus supposed to come back?

Anonymous said...

My comments were from a condensed WSJ link:

What me, the WSJ & neel mehta are trying to tell you is Obama is flawed since Rev. Wright. Hillary has gotten 148,000 more votes than Obama since the pastor diaster. This Tuesday she will add to that when one combines KY & OR.

Andy said...

Hillary has gotten 148,000 more votes than Obama since the pastor diaster.

Alas for you, the primaries began in January, not with Reverend Wright. Obama is just competing by the rules of the system as they were agreed to by all participants, and he is ahead in the only metric that actually counts. He is also ahead in all the metrics that don't count. I am surprised that a Hillary supporter, for all her talk of "disenfranchising" Michigan and Florida, even though she supported doing exactly that when they flouted the DNC and moved their primaries, that you so lightly disregard all these other voters. You can't move the starting line and say, "Hillary's gotten more votes!" If you go right back to Real Clear Politics, you'll see that Obama leads Hillary by 593,610 votes.

Which I remind you does not matter, because he's ahead by 180 delegates.

Anonymous said...

The Last Debate is an apt title. Both you & Obama have your minds made up. No more debates. Enjoy your nomination & don't complain when FL, MI & Hillary supporters vote McCain in Nov. You can blame it all on racist white people. You & Obama are perfect and have better judgement than anyone else. fini

Andy said...

Well, if in fact Hillary voters defect to McCain, they'll get what they deserve and it will be their fault. Seriously, are complaining about the candidate who has won the nomination, fair and square. Get a grip.

Andy said...

I mean, Anon: what's your beef? What am I supposed to think? You advance bogus, baseless arguments for why Hillary is "ahead," when she's not. You cite nothing substantive for why Hillary is the superior candidate. And then you threaten to vote for McCain? That's just petty and silly.

Neel Mehta said...

What me, the WSJ & neel mehta are trying to tell you is Obama is flawed since Rev. Wright. Hillary has gotten 148,000 more votes than Obama since the pastor diaster.

Huh? I never said that! But I will say this: this fall, despite having 2 candidates that try to remain above the fray, the politics are going to be ugly. Uglier than Swift Boat ugly.

sexy said...