Hotline’s Blogometer has a good roundup of liberal blog reaction to the race war between the Clinton and Obama camps.
I found this Noam Scheiber post particularly astute:
On Friday I said that, if you were cynical, you could argue that the Clintons have an interest in polarizing the nomination fight along racial lines–the idea being that, even if it hurts them in the short-term (with African Americans in South Carolina), Obama can’t win if he becomes the “black candidate,” which is what racial polarization accomplishes.
Well, I no longer think you have to be cynical to make that argument. This is just despicable stuff.
Say what you want about Obama, but one of the truly positive aspects of his campaign is that he is running for office not as a black candidate, but as a candidate for president who happens to be black. He has simply not played the race card the way Clinton has played the gender card. While Hillary integrated the fact that she would be the first woman president into her standard stump speech, Obama does not emphasize race. A gender/racial civil war has broken out in the Democratic party, and the Clintons should be the ones to blame for this ugly spectacle.
UPDATE: Way back in December, 2006, I made the following observation on this blog:
One thing to keep in mind is that to win the presidency, Hillary Clinton, like all Democrats, will have to count on strong turnout among black voters. If she’s seen as using dirty tricks to torpedo the candidacy of a black candidate who is perceived as having a chance to win, it could really turn off a lot of black voters in the general election.
One parallel I can think of is the NY mayoral race of 2001. Mark Green won a bitter primary against Freddy Ferrer, who had a chance to be the first Hispanic mayor. The tactics Green employed during the primary angered many minority voters–and enough of them sat home on election day to help elect Michael Bloomberg.
It seems like things have the potential to work out this way.
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