By Joe Sims
Something is happening. Over the last few days, there’s been a shift in policy on the part of the ruling class regarding the Obama campaign. At first it was subtle, but in the last day or so, it’s become full blown. The first sign was the attempt to cast Obama as “the Black candidate” as against, “a candidate who happens to be Black.” This may have been an offshoot of Hillary Clinton’s now infamous comments in New Hampshire, comparing him to King and implying he's no President Johnson.
Ruling-class pundits and ideologues are using it to pick apart the universal “all-people’s appeal” Obama's campaign acquired in the lead up to Iowa. Certainly the reaction to the pitting of race against gender, along with the broad criticism of the Clinton’s when the race card was played contributed significantly to the problem which continued to work itself out in Nevada and in the lead up to today’s primary in South Carolina.
Bill Clinton has been an instigating factor, injecting himself bodily into the contest using the bully pulpit as an ex-president to influence the national campaign.
I kept thinking, what was Mr. Clinton up to? Why were he and Senator Clinton making such a big issue of the Reagan thing? (Particularly when both have said similar things about Mr. Reagan). Scratch Obama and you’ll find a Clarence Thomas? Please! African Americans in South Carolina would hardly go for that. And then it dawned on me. African Americans were not the target. In fact, it wasn’t even the good citizens of South Carolina. The aim, rather, was the rest of the country: and more precisely it was the February 5th primaries. The goal: undermine trust and credibility; Obama is dishonest; you can't trust him!
Coupled with this tactical assault is the newly emerging line that even if Obama wins in South Carolina, it’s only because he’s “the Black candidate.” Even if he wins, he loses. As the “Black candidate” he’s lost his “universal” appeal. In other words, the coalition’s contracted and with it his “electability."
Isn’t it ironic that prior to New Hampshire, Obama wasn’t “Black enough" and couldn’t marshal the votes in the African American community, who were said to be favoring Clinton. Now after the Iowa win and the scoring of impressive votes in largely white states like New Hampshire and Nevada, he’s too Black, i.e., he’s got too much support among South Carolina’s African American citizens who encouraged by the white vote in other states, see him as electable.
But most insidious is the new “spinning” of the race in yesterday’s and today’s papers like the Wall Street Journal who now project that Obama’s South Carolina win will be a loss.
It’s hard out here for the would be president from Illinois!