What alternative reality did Cornell Belcher live in during the 1970's-80's? This is what Barack Obama's pollster says about Ronald Reagan, via TM:
"Now, it is blasphemy for Democrats," Obama pollster Cornell Belcher said of Reagan, "but that hope and optimism that was Ronald Reagan" allowed him to "transcend" ideological divisions within his own party and the general electorate.
I am not necessarily saying Reagan wasn't able to brand himself as such through the mainstream media, but Reagan was an extremist in both rhetoric and action; and during the run-up to his presidency, he was an rapid partisan Republican. In short, the myth of Reagan lives only in the aftermath of the Reagan's multiple candidacies and his Presidency. Besides the historical ignorance, how can Obama's pollster saying this help Obama win the Democratic nomination?
This is correct:
Obama's greatest challenge in winning South Carolina is wooing black women, who are swaying between him and Clinton. "When you talk about the broken politics of Washington, the people who are most affected by it are single women, working moms," Axelrod said.
From my limited perspective, Obama is doing well in South Carolina. He was the only one with a strong volunteer presence outside the SC YouTube debate. In talking with a few of his on-the-ground staffers there, I was impressed by their gains in the state. I went and watched a Clinton post-debate rally, and it was not that well-attended, with about 200 people, filling half the room. This being a early primary state, that's not a bad number, and the room was predominantly black women.
Obama's staff invoking Reagan as a model for his campaign is more than just "blasphemy for Democrats" is suicidal for Obama among older black Americans and white liberals. I'd suggest Belcher and Obama do a little historical reading and find out just how bad the 1980's were for the African-American community. Maybe Belcher can poll how many Reagan-Democrats are still around too.
Look, I'm not anti-Obama, but praising Reagan as a model of hope for Obama? That's gotta rank up there with one of the most stupidest things I've ever heard a consultant be quoted on in a Democratic primary.