Wednesday, February 07, 2007

The "Difference"

When I first caught sound regarding Joe Biden's flap about Barak Obama, I shook my head like everyone else and lamented to myself about the subtle presence of racial bias in all aspects of society. Then (like we all should do before we start to talk about things) I thought about it a little more & drew it up, if you will. The "Obama factor" is one that will play a large role in this election (There's been so much discussion about the 08' election that you forget it's early 07). Below are some of my thoughts on the Flare-up & the larger ramifications of Obama in the race:

- Upon further evaluation, Biden's comments weren't as disrespectful as they seemed to be; he just got tripped up saying it and came across wrong. What he really said was that Obama's the first candidate who's not an "activist candidate" (aka not a rabble-rouser a la Jesse or Al Sharpton). The key will be to see how everyday Black people respond to someone who doesn't speak like a Baptist preacher

- It will be interesting to see how Obama positions himself with respect to the developing Demo field. It's obvious that he can't look to be seen as the "minority" candidate for 2 reasons: 1) He doesn't have those "Credentials" (Demonstrations, food strikes, etc..) 2) We're in a much more moderate America than we were 20 years ago, & being the Black candidate just won't cut it

- Speeches & family life notwithstanding, I still have yet to see what worldview Obama has regarding the myriad of problems that impact America.

- Obama entering the race has the potential to siphon millions of votes from Hillary, who would have gotten most Black peoples' vote on the strength of name-recognition alone

- 3 out of the last 4 presidents have been from the south; How Obama will connect with the hicks in Tennessee is anybodies guess

- Question: Will the established Black leadership come out in support of Obama, or will they fall back for fear of pissing the Clintons off?

- If he doesn't get the nomination, he would be a very strong candidate for VP, depending on who the nominee is. In my view, a Clinton-Obama ticket would ruffle the feathers of 3/4 of white America

- Obama has an interesting conundrum: being moderate b.u.t. not too moderate; ethnic b.u.t. not too ethnic. It's going to be one hell of a ride!

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