Monday, May 07, 2007
Republicans defect to the Obama camp - TimesOnline
While time and the electorate will decide if Obama can be president, he is playing it smart so far. He is really an immigrant-minded politician who happens to be black, rather than a man vying to be the first black president. The distinction is very important.
The background and the behavior model that lead him to his current spotlight is one of assimilation and competition, not redress for past sins. This has put off many blacks who remain steeped in outmoded civil rights strategies and tactics. But, it has also has invigorated blacks and whites who are looking for someone pushing something other than the familiar black is good, white is bad rhetoric.
Of course, there is a potential downside to his approach. Conservative whites entering Democratic politics can also purposely push Hillary to second place, thereby leaving the eventual Republican candidate to a one-on-one with the ‘black guy’, with all the race-card politics that are available for play by the Lee Atwater note-takers. Call this getting 'Bushwhacked'.
Finally, the leadership of current President Bush has left the whole political landscape in such rubble that the entire electorate may just be as disenchanted as his approval rating suggest. In that case, it could be a real ‘horse race’, where people honestly vote their hopes for a leader who will pull up on the stick.
James C. Collier
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