I thought Breitweiser's piece was divisive, harsh and intended to spark resentment and split the party.
She's basically telling Democrats that she is voting for McCain over Obama and wants others to join her:
Clearly, Obama cannot run on "change" since McCain corners the market on "change" and being a "maverick outsider". More to the point, McCain, unlike Obama, actually has the long and very real record proving that he is, indeed, an outsider and a maverick bucking the system. Flatly, Obama does not have that same record or proof.
Will it be the economy? Given Obama's lackluster appeal to the lower-income and working class, I sure hope not. I can see the commercials now--it will not take a lot of effort to get the disenfranchised lunch-pail liberals to identify with a hard-worker like John McCain as compared to the elitist, Starbuck-drinking, RedBull swilling, arugula-eating, Blackberry-carrying Obama.
I don't see how that get us anywhere.
Alegre, how can you have the privilege of being on a recorded conference call with HRC and Peter Daou and then turn around today and valorize an Op/Ed that is basically telling people to vote for McCain if Obama is the nominee?
That's a real question for you and Peter and Senator Clinton. Is this the message Hillary Clinton wants to send?:
McCain has his real record, history, and even his family to prove his sound leadership and true patriotism. And Obama merely has his words, hope and the video of his wife sounding unpatriotic which will be used over and over and over again.
tens of thousands of Democrats got off their duffs and registered new voters all over the country today inspired by the campaign of Barack Obama.
Yes, a Congressperson said something idiotic which he reportedly apologized for. So did Hillary Clinton...let's leave it at that.
Here's the real story from today. Tens of thousands of Democrats, within the structure of a campaign, registered new voters across the nation in MAY of a Presidential election year.
I registered seven. Four had never voted before. 1 was a young Latina who had just turned 18 and was so proud to be a registered voter. 2 were young, African American men. 1 was an immigrant Filipina senior citizen. 1 was a white senior citizen. and 2 were an Asian/white married couple with kids.
That's what change means. That's what working hard for it means.
I read on some websites that folks are trashing their Democratic registrations.
That's a very small minority view; a miniscule, negative, cynical view. All over the nation today a massive voter registration drive got underway...it's not stopping anytime soon.
must include the strong and vibrant participation of Latinos as stakeholders in the party at the highest positions of leadership, including the White House and our Governors mansions and the Congress.
I attended the well-attended Latino Caucus at the CA State Democratic party convention in San Jose and that was clear.
Luis Valdes made an empassioned speech in support of Obama but praising Clinton as well. His point was that we have to rally together behind a winner.
There are pragmatic reasons for Latino activists to rally behind Barack Obama, and many in Calfornia already have, especially in our State Legislative caucus. There are also very real pragmatic reasons for the Obama campaign to reach out to Latino voters and not simply "symbolically" but as stakeholders in our party and as power brokers in the campaign.
The core thing I'd like to convey to Obama supporters and Democrats reading MyDD is that Democratic issues are Latino issues and black issues and white issues.
They are the things we all care about. To talk simply about immigration or ICE raids, though these are important,is to miss the point that we all care about issues like health care and access to education and solving the huge environmental and energy challenges we face. Not to mention the war in Iraq, where Latinos are over-represented in our armed forces.
However, the most important thing is that Latino leaders be true stakeholders and partners at the very highest level of our national and state party. Pandering and vote getting is not enough. People want to see true power-sharing...and a fully vested seat at the table at the BEGINNING of the process.
There is a chance, as the Obama campaign begins its drive to seal the nomination of our party to work to bring together the support that some Latino leaders gave to Clinton around our nominee...that should be done with an offer of power sharing and outreach.
Coalitions only work insofar as the leaders of the members of the coalitions are stakeholders with a real say in things.
This is an opportunity, right now.
Feel free to email me at kidoakland"at"comcast"dot"net
and just because you and prominent others keep repeating does not make it true.
Now, President Bill Clinton, in a WHYY interview, made that same claim, "that the race card was played on him."
That makes it very difficult for me to refute it given the words of an ex-President, however counter factual and irresponsible they were. (He now claims he did not say that, even though it is on tape!) Here's a couple things:
a) Hillary Clinton had the lead among African American voters all through 2007.
b) I've done extensive GOTV in African American communities and met many voters who were Clinton supporters and did, and still do have, good feelings for the Clintons. The exit polls bear that out.
c) Barack Obama's 2007 campaign was about Unity and coming together to Make Change and it has kept that theme to this day. Obama's campaign was NEVER invested in divisive, race-based rhetoric...that kind of rhetoric hurt him more than it helped.
d) Barack Obama's win in Iowa among white voters created a massive change in perception of him in the black community.
e) Barack Obama's win in Iowa also created a fundamental change in strategy from the Clinton team (who finished third)
First, Clinton left the "Ready to Lead" slogan and moved towards talking about her ability to bring change which morphed into "Real Solutions"
Second, Bill and Hillary Clinton and their surrogates DID USE potentially racially divisive language (Mandela, "fairy tale", LBJ/MLK) over that weekend that prominent neutral African American Democrats objected to and perceived as unfair to Obama.
f) Chief among the neutral African American leaders who objected to this rhetoric was Jim Clyburn, House Whip and the leading Democrat in South Carolina. In a New York Times interview printed on January 11th, Clyburn expressed his dislike of the perceived slights coming from the Clintons. Privately, Senator Kennedy made much the same argument to the Clintons.
g) Post New Hampshire there was also a flurry of reporting on race. Jesse Jackson Jr. made a stupid comment that was roundly condemned and...was not seen or heard much from again. A memo written by a South Carolina Obama staffer that was simply a list of press clippings of attacks on Obama was later opportunistically and counter-factually portrayed as "playing the race card" by Clinton partisans. (The memo does NO SUCH THING) Sen. Obama, despite the fact that the memo contained nothing BUT the press clippings, refuted and apologized for it at the Las Vegas debate and promised to move beyond that kind of rhetoric. He and his campaign have kept that promise.
h) The Clinton campaign, headed into South Carolina, conducted a hard fought but increasingly less successful campaign to win African American votes. (Bill's listening tour of L.A. churches, HRC and WJC visiting churches in South Carolina.) However, those two factors: One, sincere African American support that swung to Obama after Iowa. Two, the Clinton campaign's increasingly hard ball and hard edged demographic campaigning in South Carolina led to a situation that Bill Clinton's comment, the day of the South Carolina primary using "Jesse Jackson" to characterize Obama's win there was perceived as an EXAMPLE of the very attitude that Jim Clyburn and Ed Kennedy had warned him about. (In point of fact, Obama ran strongly with young white South Carolinians against BOTH Clinton and Edwards)
That "Jesse Jackson" clip of Bill Clinton was first featured on TPM and was roundly perceived and reported as a racially tinged slight.
i) Since that time HRC has won a smaller and smaller share of the African American vote. While she did appear at the Tavis Smiley summit in Louisiana, Clinton's campaign has tended to run, more and more, towards events where there are fewer and fewer African Americans around to attend...ie. whiter and whiter areas. (though Clinton still does draw racially diverse crowds when she appears in cities) Bill Clinton, in particular, has been seen as an ambassador to small town America which in most states is largely white.
That has not helped win over Af-Am voters. And it's easy to see why.
Inevitably, hard fought campaigning will cause people to take sides. Seniors have stuck with Clinton, but Obama does make inroads with middle aged white women and men in some states, and with some rural voters West of the Mississippi and the African American rural South.
Young voters have, in OH and PA, given more votes to Clinton, but African Americans have over the course of this campaign have not.
The question is not the counter-factual distraction of "race card" it's whether, given the enormous pull towards Obama post-Iowa, what did Hillary Clinton do to reach out win back even a percentage of the African American vote?
That vote, in my experience, is not monolithically opposed to Clinton. (Though opinions about her divisive tactics have hardened somewhat.) In fact, in my canvassing, questions about a Unity Ticket among African American voters ranked as the number one question voters had.
If Bill and Hillary Clinton had run a different campaign and she had won 20% of the AF-Am vote, this would be a much different nomination cycle.
However, as an Obama supporter, I am also convinced that if Obama had been able to continue to make the Unity/Change argument that won him Iowa, without some of the divisive and demographically targeted negative campaigning of the Clinton side, it would have been a different nomination cycle as well.
The key change, however, was the the change in African American support for Obama and Clinton strategy post-Iowa. Everything else flows from that.
That's not "playing the race card" which DID NOT happen. That's American history.