Hillary As The Bard Of Beer Track

Robert George advances the laughable notion that Hillary Clinton could cobble together a winning coalition of Latinos and working class whites, at the expense of African-Americans:

I have long had the belief that, in the back of the Clinton's mind(s), there exists the ultimate "nuclear option": They are willing to risk the Democratic Party's long monolithic grip on the black vote (by denying Obama the nomination). Indeed, they may be willing to sacrifice as much as 25 percent of the black vote with an eye toward cobbling together a new general election coalition of more working class whites -- and Latinos. As my erstwhile colleague Ryan Sager has noted, the fertile ground for Democrats right now is the Mountain West states --Colorado, Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico. Hillary and Obama split those four states -- but she has consistently done better among Latinos (that fact alone probably explains poll numbers showing her doing better than Obama against McCain in Florida).

The problems within this analysis are numerous, most of them springing from a need among right-wingers to inflate the powers of the Clintons.  It's amazing to me how, even though Hillary Clinton has had her ass handed to her by a freshman senator, how her team has been repeatedly outmatched and outwitted, she's still thought of as this dominant political force. Folks need to listen to Bill Parcells on this one--You are what your record says you are. Clinton is the loser of a campaign in which everything favored her--that's who she is. Not the second coming Roosevelt.


A.) To the extent that "Working Class Whites" even exist (what an incredibly lazy term), they have about as much of a beef--I would argue more of one--with Latinos as they do with African-Americans. Immigration is the big fear these days, not Affirmative Action.

B.) George's analysis assumes that Hillary Clinton somehow naturally has more appeal than Barack Obama to the WCW, in a general election. Folks I just don't buy it. More likely, in a general election, the same people who wouldn't vote for a black guy wouldn't vote for a woman anyway. And that group was probably going to go Republican anyway.

C.) Hillary Clinton's standing amongst Latinos isn't based on any great natural affinity--it's based on familiarity. John McCain has a much more concrete claim to Latino votes. Clinton's dominance of the Latino vote is an expression of her political muscle and the deep roots of the Clinton machine. The loyalty there is vastly overstated.

D.) Clinton's dominance of the WCW is overstated and distorted. In fact, in key states like Virginia and Wisconsin, she showed no such dominance. Her claim is mostly based on Ohio and Pennsylvania. But Barack Obama has been dominated the black vote in every state.

Hillary is a woman without a real country, and that really has been her problem from jump-street. Her pose as working-class heroin and her incessant race-baiting is actually a reactive measure, that came about after black voters abandoned her campaign. Not that any of this even matters. George asserts "that Democracts though who are confident that 'this is over' had better think again." But why? I demand that people who still hold on to the thought that Clinton will be the nominee show me tangible proof of how that's going to happen. Don't just make naked assertions. Back it up.  

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Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle.

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