Sunday, January 27, 2008

Taken for granted...


Senator Barack Obama won the South Carolina Primary yesterday. He garnered a very large percentage of the Black vote. I think the Clintons, Bill and Hillary planned for this to happen. Here is why and how.

After the New Hampshire Primary, in which Hillary won, the Clintons began to make statements that were interpreted or misinterpreted as being racially offensive. Soon after that Hillary Clinton aligned herself with Black Entertainment Television founder Bob Johnson. That alignment angered many people in the Black community.

So why would an astute politician like Bill Clinton not see that all of these events were likely to anger and alienate many Black voters? Well maybe he did see it. Maybe it was a planned strategy in which race would become an issue.

Here is my contention; Bill Clinton knows that no matter what at least 90% of Black voters in a national election will vote for the Democratic Nominee, no matter what. So if that is the case then there would really be almost no risk in alienating Black voters.

Why alienate Black voters?

Many people speculate that if certain White voters begin to think of Barack Obama as the "Black" candidate then they will not vote for him. If that is the case, obviously they are likely to vote for Hillary.

So Barack Obama's win in South Carolina may have anointed him in the minds of many as the "Black" candidate. If this perception holds true then Hillary Clinton is now the undisputed front runner as the campaign now heads toward Super Tuesday.

Black voters will not be the deciders on Super Tuesday as they were in South Carolina. In fact Black voters won't again be an important voting block until the national election.

If Hillary is the Nominee, most Black voters will vote for her. All of the race baiting that the Clintons had engaged in would be forgotten. After all who else would Black voters vote for; the Republican nominee?

Nope that's not going to happen.

So the overwhelming support of the Democratic party by African Americans may have cost Barack Obama any serious chance of becoming the Democratic nominee.

In my opinion African American voters have usurped their own political power by being so loyal to the Democratic party. And the Clintons know that, so now what?

So now African Americans are just along for the ride until the National election.

What do you think?
Have African Americans blown it by being so loyal to the Democrats?


Lisa said...

The Field Negro just posted on this very topic. . . I don't know that we blew it by bring loyal to the Democratic party or not. . . my question would be, how could we have avoided this in South Carolina? I don't know if Obama wasn't seen as the "black candidate" already?

Ehav Ever said...

Interesting analysis. As an outsider looking at this, I find this whole thing like a soup opera. It is exciting at times, and just when you want to act like you are through watching you get caught up in something new. Every once and a while there are bits on Israeli radio about it. Mainly when Obama won Iowa.

It is hard to predict what is going to happen next. When I lived in NYC I knew of a lot of Euro-American and Jewish American women who hated Hillery Clinton's guts, but I don't know how they felt about Obama. It is so hard to tell just how annoyed Euro-American voters are towards the Clintons vs. how they actually feel about Obama.

I think that even if Hillary wins on the women's vote alone, I think the Clinton antics (if they get back in the White House) will affect whether she could ever get re-elected.

I think the Clintons are lucky that Obama hasn't started getting into their antics during the time they were in the White House before. There is enough there to bury them with it if someone really wanted to.

I think Obama needs to get back to his strategy of saying "we" a lot in his campaign and in the debates. I think if Obama were to say, "I" alone can't change the course of the US, If elected I can work with the Congress, the Senate, the States, the local, and you the American people to make change, he would have an easier time beating the Clinton machine. If he were to stress that any candidate can get up on a podium and promise that if they are allected they can do this or that, but that he can't do it without the help of average Americans and politicians he can change the scope of the debate.

I think their (Clintons) strategy was to draw him away from that kind of talk more than anything else. Race, in my opinion, was only a tool to get him away from the talk that made him popular. The "we" can change America talk. Now he is having to deal with the Clintons on their terms, and they are good in that area. Where Hillary is not good is in concentrating on issues that the average American may want to hear.

XJ said...


I think that is one way to look at it but from my perspective, when 80% of the black population votes for the "black" candidate then it is about race. Just like when 90% of the black population were happy when OJ was found not guilty. Yet now there is at least one black comeidan who jokes about OJ getting away w/murder. I think comedy is all about the truth - but this one just isn't funny. White people are not just voting for the "white" candidate and women aren't just voting for the "female" candidate. I don't know who I am voting for yet - I was leaning toward Barack until he spoke about Hillary voting to continue to support the troops - at least she went and voted! He didn't cast a vote - so he can't say what he would have done and I thought it was CS personally. I think they are paid to cast a vote and that really disappointed me. Don't talk about something that you weren't a part of. I also like Edwards and what he says he will do - but I don't know if he is just saying what people want to hear. He also talks about being against the war but he wasn't in a position to have to vote so I don't believe him when he states how he would have voted because he wasn't there.
It seems I have gotten off topic but I do think you break it down pretty well. My opinion - none of these are really good choices - the best choices are everyday folks that are honest, hard working, ethical people - I don't think these people get into politics. Interesting side note - the word politics is derived from the word "poly" - meaning many and the word "ticks" - meaning blood sucking parasites.

Miriam said...

MDC, I know I keep saying this but I really think you found your calling. What an analysis! That's like right out of left field.

*whew!* this game of politics just ain't this black woman's game.

Villager said...

MDC --> I agree that Bill & Hillary Clinton made a calculation as you've laid out. However, I think that they made a mistake. Did you see Barack's victory speech last night? He appeals to *all* voters ... not just Black voters. He won Iowa, barely lost New Hampshire and whupped her in South Carolina. Difficult for me to see Hillary winning when she keeps losing states...

peace, Villager

Anonymous said...

I feel this way: African American voters may be in the process of maturing. And that is a good thing. That our vote isn't automatically thought to go to a certain person is a victory.

Barack Obama, even after Iowa, was still the underdog. Do not allow the Clintons to hoodwink you into believing her gameplan of low expectations.

If he loses it was always in the cards, not because Black people supported him in South Carolina.

Besides, White people in Iowa knew he was Black and so did everyone else before the "blackening" of Obama.

He was behind Clinton in almost ever state before the whole race brouhaha.

Anonymous said...

If Hillary is the Nominee, most Black voters will vote for her. All of the race baiting that the Clintons had engaged in would be forgotten. After all who else would Black voters vote for; the Republican nominee?

This is how we damage our political power. I won't vote her.

A lot of the fears Black people have can't be done solely by the president. All those Democrats in the Senate have a vote. Hell, all they do is play defense anyway.

Jackie said...

You make some very good points. I always consider myself an Independent for that very reason. The Clintons know that Obama won 81% of the Black vote but that didn't give him his 55% landslide. He had to win a big percentage of the white vote too. Of, course Clintons Bill and Hill will downplay that aspect of their loss. And I don't think they anticipated the "landslide" part either. I hope Americans are smart enough to see through all the tricks.

jjbrock said...

Mes Deux Cents. that is a good analysis you laid out there. Maybe black America are seeing the Clintons for who they really are and don't trust them. We will see what Alabama thinks about the O on super Tuesday which is Feb 5.

Mango Mama said...

MDC, I understand your argument, and I agree with your analysis of the Clintons strategy, but I also think some of the above comments regarding Obama's landslide are also true. Obama did not win by such an extensive margin solely with the Black vote in South Carolina. It's important for people to listen to Obama's message of inclusiveness of all people vs. the Clintons coded messages delivered by their Steppin Fetchit surrogates.

I was also surprised to see Caroline Kennedy's recent endorsement of Obama in the NY Times, and I agree with her assessment that this could be the dawn of a new era and instead of looking to the past as to how this process may play itself out, I'm going to be an active part of the movement to make a shift in this failing paradigm.

Fat Lady said...

I agree that the Clintons have been trying to mark Obama as the "Black Candidate." However, I think he keeps coming up as a good Candidate of any color. Honestly, I believe that with his charisma and message of hope and change if he were white, there would be no question that he would be the Democratic nominee.

Also, I'm not so sure that Black people are that loyal to the Democratic party. It's just that most of us don't feel like there's any alternative. The Republicans aren't paying us any mind - no matter what they might say from time to time.

So, all too often, when Black people are faced with a Democratic candidate they don't like, the answer isn't to vote for the Republican (who's usually even worse). The answer is to stay away from the polls. Which, generally, is almost as bad as voting for the Republican - because that's who winds up winning.

So alienating Black voters now is running a BIG risk for Hillary, in my opinion. Because if all the Black folks who are annoyed with her now stay home in November, this time next year we'll be saying President McCain. And that just makes me feel a little queasy.

wisdomteachesme said...

here is a link to a very good article that i read before i read this post.
it fits well.

by leonard pitts - (miami herald)

Ensayn said...

MDC, I think you're right in your analysis. Actually I don't think the Clinton campaign is putting much effort into the South in general. When she is not in SC for the primary, when she does not come to the King Day celebration in Atlanta, she is conceding defeat in these states out right. So far the Clinton campaign is spending no money here in Georgia. On the other hand I hear too much media driven talk by people. We really need to do as you did and analyze this thing from our own minds and understanding. For instance somehow we have let the media guide our thoughts, and giving the impression that Bob Johnson just came to Hillary's aide. In fact Bob Johnson met with Hillary Clinton on a Caribbean island to discuss plans on the campaign in late 2006 not when he took the stage a couple weeks back, this is a deeply planned process not fly by night. I saw just this morning where Barak says no one in either camp is injecting race, but immediatly follwing that, a news reporter started talking about race, humm makes one wonder.
Lastly, I am hating how this matter of "attacks" on Obama. are being portrayed. These are politicians and they know the game. The media is making Obama out to be a weak and whiny candidate by their sayings and we have to be careful not to repeat what they say. For instance, when Hillary brings up Obama's stance(s) on the war or his voting record the media calls it an attack on Obama (not his record) and question whether Hillary will alienate Black voters like we're stupid. But, on the other hand when McCain speaks about Romney's stance(s) on bringing troops home its not portrayed as an attack (on him) and no questions fly about who will be alienated! We cannot buy into the media hype concerning the Clinton/Obama contest. We cannot allow them to "shape" our thoughts and we should hesitate when we begin to talk or write and it echos the media. I love the fact that you didn't echo the media noise in this post.

poitou said...

No they did not. Don't forget that 70% of White men voted against Hillary Clinton yesterday.Many democrats at the national level are upset with the Clintons. Their strategy seems to have backfired. And if they secure the nomination,and especially if McCain is the Republican candidate, Blacks, young,White men,Independents will not be keen to vote for her.And I am sure that against McCain she will lose.And Billarry will go down in the Democratic Party history and remembered as the people who by ambitions destroyed everything.

And the good news for Obama is that Edwards stays. The majority of the white vote would be split between him and Hillary and he's going to ease the polarization between Hillary sorry Billary and Obama. He is the best ally of Obama.

tasha212 said...

I think that you are right MDC. The Clintons, perticularly Bill, are very polically astute. Everything that they do is planned. And the sad part is that i will probably work.

Mes Deux Cents said...


I don't think it could have been avoided because the Clintons were in attack mode.

I just hope that the reaction to what they did is strong enough for a shift in how African Americans select a candidate.

Maybe now some will look at John McCain? Especially if Hillary wins the nomination.


I think you are right about what Obama needs to do, being inclusive.

The Kennedys are endorsing him (Ted and Caroline) so that might give him a boost as well.


Lol I think that 90% figure might be a bit high, about OJ, but I get your point.

I think that they all have a few skeletons in their political closet. I don't usually pay attention to the smokescreen stuff.

I like to hear concrete policy statements, and then back them up with what you have already done.

What do you think of McCain? I'm wondering if he might not be a viable alternative to the Democrats.



Thanks :)


Super Tuesday is upon us! It's going to be very exciting, don't you think?

I think it's going to be a different story in the flyover states for Hillary. I think she'll do well there.

I think Barack has a chance on the left and right coasts, which includes California and Florida. Also a nice bonus would be for him to win Mass, with the Kennedy endorsements that may be possible, and New York would be a nice slap at Hillary.


I'm still wondering of the whole caucus thing may have worked in Baracks favor. After all he has not won the White vote in the Primary format.

When people go into a booth things are different than what they will say in public. Don't you think?

Are you considering McCain?


I hope so too. But the bad part is that the Clintons are playing to the lowest common denominator.

All of the White people who were looking for an excuse to not vote for Barack and not seem racist may have an out now.

They can say that he has transformed into the Black candidate and that was the Clinton plan.



Yep, Super Tuesday is going to be fun! I have my popcorn all ready.

And we'll see in the next few days how Black people al over the country are going to react to the Clinton strategy.

Mango Mama,

You're right he does have a message of inclusiveness. I just hope that he does not get bogged down in the mud with the Clintons.

I heard about Caroline's endorsement and today I heard Teddy is endorsing Barack. That's big!


You are so right about the risk of Black people staying away if Hillary wins the nom.

I just think many will forgive and forget at that point.

Forgetting would be a no win situation for us.


Thanks for the link. It was an interesting article.

When I read the article it made me wonder if African Americans should bit the bullet and vote McCain should he win the republican nod.

He would be the least objectionable republican candidate to come along since Gerald Ford.


No we shouldn't buy into the hype but we need to be aware that some of it isn't hype.

Mainly we need to pay attention to what Bill is saying. He is the attack dog.

I wonder if the Clintons will cut line with Bob Johnson if they make it to the general election.


That figure sounds a bit high, 70%, but even so the majority of them did not vote for Barack.

You make a good point about Edwards taking votes from Clinton, but I don't think it would be a significant amount.


Actually it's already working. I just wonder if Hillary is going to need this much help from Bill if she became President.


Anonymous said...

No I'm not ready to support McCain. He's got some issues too. No one lines up with me 100% so I need to rank my issues.

But, hell, seriously just because someone thinks like I do that doesn't mean they should be president. Probably means they are just as dumb as me!

Overall I just think we're putting too much stock in this Southern strategy because Clinton was leading Barack Obama before race became an issue. So if he loses it won't be because suddenly race became an issue and Blacks overwhelmingly voted for him in SC.

Mes Deux Cents said...


Well I know one thing; we are in the middle of a historic race that our ancestors would not have imagined.

XJ said...


You asked me what I think of McCain - well I do believe that he speaks what he really means but I think he is too old for people really to vote for him - I like you am more along a Dennis Kucinich but he doesn't have a chance - I don't want a republican in there - we really need more parties - that way the dems can't count on the black vote and maybe the republicans will start listening to all minority groups and doing something about changing it.
I didn't vote for Bill but I thought he did a good job and I really liked his strong economic policy but does that work for Hillary. She is very smart but I think she is just talking the talk too.
Obama - very intelligent, charismatic, charming and I feel truthful - but I think he is weak and I don't like that!
I'll vote for you - how is that?

Liz said...

I don't think they had a definite race-baiting strategy but I don't think the Clintons counted on the Kennedy endorsements. That throws a definite monkey wrench into the mix.

Oh and now Toni Morrison's ditched them too.

Don said...

Mes, so what did you think of the zeitgeist video? Forgive me if I am worrying you to death. I really wanted to know your thoughts, especially on the 9/11 portion of the video.

Whenever you get the chance to sit down and really watch, hit me up on email.

Monica Roberts said...

I can't and WILL NOT vote for a Republican. John McCain is not a viable candidate for me. The man has earned F's on the NAACP report card.

And once again peeps, may I remind y'all this is not your grandmother's GOP. This GOP of the 21st century is the home of Dixiecrats and racists who left the Democratic party after the Dems started embracing civil rights in 1964. Do not forget that.

The reason 90 perscent of African-Americans vote and support Democrats is because many of us did the same hard historical analysis that many independents and came to the conclusion that the Dems are the right fit for us.

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About Me

West Coast, United States
African American, Poet?, Vegetarian, Music lover, Agoraphobic, Social Phobic

My Favorite Poet

My Favorite Poet
Staceyann Chin

My Favorite Track Athlete

My Favorite Track Athlete
Christine Arron