Fear of Fear of a Black President: ObamaMedia for 12/22

Jason Clayworth looks into to a concern that I’ve heard from a lot of people– particularly from Black people, but have rarely seen expressed in mainstream punditry:

Mildred Otis won’t caucus for Barack Obama for president largely for one reason: She wants to save his life. Otis, 87, remembers America’s violent civil rights movement 40 years ago when Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated.
And, having lived through those events, the Des Moines woman and others fear that Obama’s nomination could end in tragedy. “I think there’s a lot of people not ready for an African-American to be a president,” said Otis, a black woman…Valeria Sinclair-Chapman, an assistant professor of political science at the University of Rochester, said she’s careful not to dismiss such fears because many times they’re grounded in relevant history that is central in the African-American experience.”The strength of the Obama candidacy, I think, is an indication of how far the country has come,” said Sinclair-Chapman. “If, in fact, voters are sincere when they say that they won’t support a candidate because they fear for his or her life if they win the nomination, then that really completely undermines the progress that we think we see.”

Would a repeat of the 1982 Tom Bradley campaign (in which many white folks  apparently told pollsters they would vote for Bradley, but changed their minds when the curtains were drawn), also undermine that progress?

In TNR, Sean Wilentz responds to the Fareed Zakaria and David Brooks ObamaLove.

[A]fter seven disastrous years of the Bush experience, otherwise rational editorialists and commentators are insisting that instincts basically are good enough–and are actually more important than what they consider prosaic credentials such as knowledge, experience, and sound policy proposals. The pundits have vaunted good vibes and gut-thinking as the crucial qualifications for the nation’s highest office. They have turned the delusional style into a rallying cry–in support, at least for the moment, of the candidacy of Barack Obama and his allegedly superior intuition…..There is also the troubling possibility that what a senior Bush official once cheerily described as the downfall of “reality-based” politics, including “reality-based” reporting, and commentary, has in fact come to pass, and that fantasy has taken over.

Also in TNR, John Judis asks if Latinos, particularly in Nevada and the Feb. 5 Super Tuesday states, will be “Hillary Clinton’s Firewall”. Judis attributes HRC’s Latino support to:

evidence of growing hostility from Hispanics toward African Americans. Some of this hostility is the result of conflicts, or perceived conflicts, over politically controlled resources in cities and states. But as Tanya K. Hernandez, a professor of law at George Washington, has argued recently, it may also be a legacy of an older Latin American prejudice against blacks that has been transplanted to this country…

(Judis doesn’t explore the possibility that Obama’s status as a first generation American will lead to Latino support.)

Joe Conason on Why conservatives love Barack Obama.

Hillary’s lead in California is apparently narrowing.

Now for the serious stuff:
James Oliphant declares Obama “the absolute King of Facebook” and notes that Obama knows “The Score:”

[He] laps the field at 168, 513 friends…. Obama is also the only candidate who lists the Fugees as a favorite performer.

Apparently, the National Enquirer is reporting that

Stedman admitted he felt “very jealous of [Oprah’s] relationship with Barack Obama. It seemed to him as though she was always pushing him away, posing with other powerful men and ignoring him.”

Obama blames the Chicago Bears’ 2007 collapse on injuries and a porous defense (nary a mention of Cedric Benson, play-calling or the offensive line– I think he left Team Clinton an opening.)


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