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Face to face with white America

  • Oct. 21st, 2008 at 10:44 AM
If Barack Obama is to realise his dream, he doesn’t just need to win – he needs to win big. In the first part of a special report, Matt Bai joins him on a make-or-break campaign marathon through the working-class heartlands of the Appalachians

But can he? Can he really  erode the tired distinctions between red (Republican) and blue (Democrat) states and appeal to disaffected white men who had written off national Democrats as hopelessly elitist. Can he take race out of the election? Read more.


( Comment )
tyrell wrote:
Oct. 21st, 2008 11:41 am (UTC)
This is what Obama is up against.

sophia_sadek wrote:
Oct. 21st, 2008 04:28 pm (UTC)
It's amazing!
So much for informed voting.
greendemqueen wrote:
Oct. 21st, 2008 06:31 pm (UTC)
Yes and God will provide for her if Obama wins too. Poo Poo on her closed minded voting style!
carmy_w wrote:
Oct. 21st, 2008 09:06 pm (UTC)
And those voters are EXACTLY why Palin was chosen.

God-people like that make me wanna go find a clue-by-four & swat them!
keep_dreaming1 wrote:
Oct. 22nd, 2008 11:22 am (UTC)
That's actually painful to watch...
basilwhite wrote:
Oct. 21st, 2008 12:15 pm (UTC)
The Black John F. Kennedy
If he can posture himself to Appalacians as the Black John F. Kennedy, he's in. Those people still have JFK's picture on the wall thanks to the pledge he kept to bring them electricity and water (which LBJ fulfilled.) Which makes Joe Biden LBJ. Not as far a stretch as one might think.
brennakimi wrote:
Oct. 21st, 2008 02:09 pm (UTC)
I'm always amazed that for a liberal to actually win, he has to "win big". It's such a stupid argument. They don't ever say that about conservatives. In order to "realize his dream" Obama needs more than 270 electoral votes and maybe a commanding lead in Congress.

Just like every other president ever.
tyskkvinna wrote:
Oct. 21st, 2008 03:09 pm (UTC)
I was going to say the same thing. Sure, either candidate would prefer to win by a landslide, but once you've crossed the 270-mark, you've won.
brennakimi wrote:
Oct. 21st, 2008 03:17 pm (UTC)

I mean. What is "Obama's Dream(TM)" anyways?
tyskkvinna wrote:
Oct. 21st, 2008 10:27 pm (UTC)
Well, in the full article there is an interview with Obama in it.. and Obama does make a point. He basically said he would prefer a stronger majority than the bare minimum. I was reading something else earlier today... if I could remember which article I would link to it, but I don't offhand. The point was: if either candidate wins by the bare minimum, there will still be an impression of "a nation divided". Especially since people still strongly associate to the 2000 election. (IMO, if either manages to win the electoral vote but not the popular vote, they're going to have hell to pay from 'the other half' for quite a while) But if the win is closer to a "landslide", it sure does give an impression of national unity. Or something closer to it.

But anyway - Obama did cover that principle a little bit in the original article.
(no subject) - (Anonymous) - Oct. 21st, 2008 06:18 pm (UTC)
brennakimi wrote:
Oct. 21st, 2008 06:32 pm (UTC)
But then it talks about polls. Polls are predictive only. Any 270 is uncontestable, as long as we don't repeat Florida 2000. Polls don't tell us whether our election ran right. They just tell us whether what we're doing in a campaign might be working.

But the way the OP is worded, it's like he won't really be president if he doesn't win by a landslide. And that's just a load of crap.
jeffxandra wrote:
Oct. 21st, 2008 02:39 pm (UTC)
W lost the 2000 election and he ruled the country practically by fiat because of Republican control of both houses of Congress. Why should Obama be any different?
princekermit wrote:
Oct. 21st, 2008 03:32 pm (UTC)
Can he take race out of the election?

I don't know. The reporters can't seem to. Seriously, when was the last time someone asked a non-racial question here?

The whole situation reminds me of a comic I saw probably 25 years ago. A young waiter and an old waiter were talking in the kitchen. The young waiter says, "Hey! The Rothsteins are at my station tonight!" The old waiter says, "Meh, they'll probably stiff you the tip." Later, the young waiter says, "Hey! They tipped me $20!" The old waiter says, "Of course! They have all the money in the world!"

Yes, it is a sad commentary that there are some people who are unabashedly biased... in both directions. If Obama and Congress pass a "liberal" agenda, they'll be seen as railroading in a fillibuster-proof setting. If they reach across the aisle, the conservative commentators will jump on it like fresh meat in the piranha tank as "weakness and inexperience."
tamrinm wrote:
Oct. 21st, 2008 04:42 pm (UTC)
If Obama and Congress pass a "liberal" agenda, they'll be seen as railroading in a fillibuster-proof setting. If they reach across the aisle, the conservative commentators will jump on it like fresh meat in the piranha tank as "weakness and inexperience."

But, that would be true no matter who the Democrat candidate was. They would say the same if it were Hillary as president, or even Joe Biden. And honestly, they say the same things about Republican presidents. It's all politics.

I agree with you that the media can't seem to take race out of the election. It seems that any time the republicans attempt to criticise Obama, or to attack his position it is considered racist. But, it doesn't work the other way around because McCain is a white man. That wouldn't have been true if the democrat candidate was also a white man.
tamrinm wrote:
Oct. 21st, 2008 04:34 pm (UTC)
Personally, I never look at it as a race issue. If the candidate believes in what I believe in, I will vote for that person. It does not matter if the candidate is black, white, asian, hispanic, male or female.

There are plenty of African American politicians that are Republican that many of you would never vote for. Why? Because they are Republican.

That is what the race is to me. If I believe in what he plans to do with the country I will vote for him, if I don't, I'll vote for someone else.
tyskkvinna wrote:
Oct. 21st, 2008 10:29 pm (UTC)

I'm getting annoyed with the connotation that anybody voting against Obama is doing so because he's black. (And also the idea that anybody voting FOR him is doing so, also, because he's black)
polarisdib wrote:
Oct. 21st, 2008 06:23 pm (UTC)
I suppose anything's possible. Human nature, though, tends to be a tough defense to get past.

carmy_w wrote:
Oct. 21st, 2008 09:18 pm (UTC)
I've never quite understood how the working class folks came over to the republican party anyway.

I guess the first comment probably gives me my answer; the fundamentalist Christians all think the Republicans are THE ANSWER.

These past 8 years are a good answer to the people who want to know why we need the separation of church & state.
akasa wrote:
Oct. 22nd, 2008 12:36 am (UTC)
Here's another story that shows scare tactics being used by people who are against Obama but for McCain.
strapping wrote:
Oct. 24th, 2008 04:22 am (UTC)
The last thing Obama wants is for Race to be taken out of the election. Letting his supporters accuse McCain of racism, however unfounded, is the best thing he can do for himself. He's doing what Karl Rove did for Bush in 2000: inspire fear, hatred. Any legitimate criticism of Obama can be countered by accusing the opponent of making the claim based on race. When McCain calls Obama a socialist, newspapers say that "socialist" is some sort of code word for "scary black person." It doesn't matter how ridiculous the claim is. Comparing him to white women like Paris Hilton? "Racist." Question his judgement? "Racist." Call him disrespectful? The New Yorker says that "disrespectful" is a racist word. Obama has done an excellent job of getting his supporters to fear a McCain presidency. Obama-supporting reporters make up stories about calls for Obama's assassination at Palin rallies. The mainstream media, despite absolutely no facts to back it up, jumps on the story of McCain's supporters being hateful. "KKK" and other hate messages get keyed into the cars of McCain Supporters. A man places a McCain sign on his lawn and hours later bullets have rained upon his house and his sign is gone. A woman holding a McCain/Palin sign on a street corner is beaten up by a larger, stronger man, who justifies it by saying "I don't know what I was doing...it's just... this election, I'm so scared..." right out of Forrest Gump. A woman is robbed at knifepoint, and when her assailant sees the McCain sticker on her car, he beats her mercilessly and carves a "B" for Barack into her face with his knife.

As long as Obama is able to convince people that hurting innocent people on the behalf of a political idea is not only justified, but admirable, he's got this race-er, election-in the bag.
bajoelarbol wrote:
Oct. 26th, 2008 02:28 am (UTC)
I live in Cali, and it seems to me everyone here is very much unprejudiced. However, I think it would be quite amusing to do an interview of the KKK after he wins. Oh the irony!
bajoelarbol wrote:
Oct. 26th, 2008 02:31 am (UTC)
oh and another thing, about his race. He's half black. It's the one drop rule that makes us reflexively label him as black, but he's not. He's biracial.
divia wrote:
Oct. 28th, 2008 08:32 pm (UTC)
Thank you for stating that! I myself am biracial and I find it absolutely appalling that he only refers to himself as "Just Black". I find it incredibly disturbing that most of America only needs to hear 'I'm black' and instantly hands over their vote. I wish, for once that most of America would take a step back and really hear the man's words and get past his skin color. Personally, if I were to refer to myself as one race, I would consider that racist.
kellyowns wrote:
Oct. 30th, 2008 04:18 pm (UTC)
You should get your facts straight because someone like McCain would love to hear a 'biracial' talk against Obama because McCain and his entire party has a underlineing problem with other races. Obama stands for americans not just a race.It seems like you hear what you want to hear and therefore say what sounds good to you and I do not think that's wrong, after all everyone is entitled to your own opinion. But if you think people are handing him over votes because he's black your mistaken. Thats like saying woman are handing over votes to McCain because of Palin, which we are not (shes an idiot and a disgrace to women). This country is covered in racism and has been and will always be. Why? because unfortunaly no one can change opinions and racism is a disease that cannot be won. Why hasnt this country gotten past his skin color and focus on the words? Well because majority of the past 55 elections have been controlled and manipulated by elite groups of white racist men who only want money and power and I hope the entire would will see this and take action. Its well over just having money problems, its to the point where people in high positions will kill people for power.Half these politicians are no better than axe murderers and pedafiles if you can only see half the shit that do, get away with and plan on doing. Its to the point where people in charge use the lower classes to get what they want and then dispose of them. I hope you vote for Obama because I find it incredibly disturbing that a candidate ,McCain, can stand up for his supporters who chant that Obama is a terrorist while he might potentionally be the next president who will preside over America which happens to be the most diverse country in the world. Who wants a racist, stereotyping mentally disturbed war vet running this country. We do not need another boy who needs to prove to daddy what he can and cant take over. I pray to any higher being that Obama wins.

Id like to add that McCain only went into the navy because of his poor grades and very bad behavioral problems. Also, think about this. How many army recruits do you see in private high end high schools?.. ok
And how many army recruits do you see at public, low budgeted schools?
Army does not necesarrily represent the real men and women of America, it reps whoever doesnt have a place to go, angry kids, or perhaps truely honest and loyal and brave men and women. I'm just saying don't give McCain all the credit just because hes a vet, thats like iven Obama all the credit just because hes black. Of Palin just because shes a woman or Biden just because... just because.

This election is extremely important and crucial to the future.
Vote Obama.
divia wrote:
Oct. 30th, 2008 09:04 pm (UTC)
I agree that not everyone is handing over votes because he's black. But there are people out there that are like that. That is the point I'm trying to make and that is what makes me angry. I've seen and heard about people voting for another candidate because of their race or gender. Anyone that uses that power is wrong to do so.
I also agree that politicians are just as bad as pedophiles and murderers. They lie. They cheat and they steal. But that's the life of a politician. I agree with you about Mccain as well.

Neither candidate is getting my vote. Third party is where mine will go.
kellyowns wrote:
Oct. 30th, 2008 04:19 pm (UTC)
I dont mean to affend anybody whatsoever, just an open discussion
kellyowns wrote:
Oct. 31st, 2008 05:22 pm (UTC)
I still say vote Obama. He will help turn this country around for the better. Enough rich racists running our United States.
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