Continuing with the theme, straight from Hillary:
I’d love to carry Texas, but it’s usually not in the electoral calculation for the Democratic nominee.
Ta-Nehisi Coates is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle. More
Born in 1975, the product of two beautiful parents. Raised in West Baltimore -- not quite The Wire, but sometimes ill all the same. Studied at the Mecca for some years in the mid-'90s. Emerged with a purpose, if not a degree. Slowly migrated up the East Coast with a baby and my beloved, until I reached the shores of Harlem. Wrote some stuff along the way.
Continuing with the theme, straight from Hillary:
I’d love to carry Texas, but it’s usually not in the electoral calculation for the Democratic nominee.
Last night the word was that Hillary's moment of graciousness at the end indicated a chance that she might be winding her campaign down. Right. Anyway in the Texas Monthly--which I really need to subscribe to--Hillary shows that there is exactly zero chance that she's backing down. Instead, she claims she'll be pushing to have the Michigan and Florida delegates seated. The Essence:
There’s been a lot of talk about what your campaign would do should it get to the convention. Would you commit today to honoring the agreement made earlier not to seat the Michigan and Florida delegations?
Let’s talk about the agreement. The only agreement I entered into was not to campaign in Michigan and Florida. It had nothing to do with not seating the delegates. I think that’s an important distinction. I did not campaign--
The press seems to have missed the distinction if that’s the case. The talk is that you agreed not to seat the delegation.
That’s not the case at all. I signed an agreement not to campaign in Michigan and Florida. Now, the DNC made the determination that they would not seat the delegates, but I was not party to that. I think it’s important for the DNC to ask itself, Is this really in the best interest of our eventual nominee? We do not want to be disenfranchising Michigan and Florida. We have to try to carry both of those states. I’d love to carry Texas, but it’s usually not in the electoral calculation for the Democratic nominee. Florida and Michigan are. Therefore, the people of those two states disregarded adamantly the DNC’s decision that they would not seat the delegates. They came out and voted. If they had been influenced by the DNC, despite the fact that there was very little campaigning, if any, they would have stayed home. But they wanted their voices heard. More than 2 million people came out. I mean, it was record turnout for a primary. Florida, in particular, is sensitive to being disenfranchised because of what happened to them in the last elections. I have said that I would ask my delegates to vote to seat.
I just don't know what she thinks she has to gain here. Does she really believe the DNC can be strong-armed here? She must know that a straight-seating of the delegates would rip the Dems in half. Further, according to the math, Hillary still can't win, even with those delegates seated. There are those amongst us who believe that we need more of the other sides "Win at all costs" mentality. I think what we're seeing is where that mentality ultimately leads. This is disgusting, and it won't work.
I'm listening to Kathleen Bogle on WNYC this morning discussing her new book Hooking Up. I'll post audio later. To her credit, she's not as foolish as Tom Wolfe or some of the other idiots who've taken this issue on. But I have to say, this has the whiff of BS all over it. One thing that immediately catches my eye--no one seems to be able to quantify this alleged phenomenon. Maybe we're dealing in the limits of sociology here, but when I hear young men and women are more promiscuous today than in the past, alarm bells start to ring. Of course the first question is, are people just more likely to self-report now than they were in the past? Not that it matters, since I haven't seen much evidence to prove the first claim.
Another problem--maybe I'm just missing this. Allegedly, hook up culture (I can't believe I'm even using that term, it just wreaks of adult condescension) originated in the 80s. By the time I got to college in the 90s, it seemed like people would find their way into sex in all sorts of ways. Some would date. Some would study together. Some would spark an El. Others would just be drunk at the club. Usually there some combo of them all. But it's hard for me to sum all of that up into something resembling a culture. Call me daft, but I'd need to see hard evidence that what I saw in 19795 at Howard University, was not the case in 1975. But then I guess I wouldn't know--Bogle limited mostly all of her study to white people.
I think John Dickerson basically nails it over at Slate. Obama basically proved he could dance last night and held his own with Clinton over policy. I think the following point is particularly intersting:
In the end, the attack on Obama as a substance-free orator may backfire. It lowers the bar for him, so that when he offers detailed plans and speaks of his accomplishments, he sounds commanding. The attack also gives him an opening to take umbrage on behalf of his supporters, one of the easiest and effective political postures to take. Obama flamboyantly exploited this opportunity. Noting that Clinton lately had been urging voters to turn from him by saying, "Let's get real," Obama said, "The implication is that the people who've been voting for me or are involved in my campaign are somehow delusional."
I remember this happening to Al Gore in his run at Bush. Basically everyone said Gore was this incredible debater, thus all Bush had to do was look not-stupid and he wins. Obama is superior to Bush, but Dickerson is right. Her own campaign basically lowered the bar for Barack and he exploited the opening.
This is what I suspect. He's in an interesting position. Basically, it's the ninth round and he's up on points. But she's a ferocious brawler--think Ricardo Mayorga in his prime--who really could take him out. Thing is he doesn't know how she'll come out, and Obama, I believe, is basically an inferior debater. He doesn't speak in soundbites. He rarely throws the killer right hook. I don't think he can just dance away from her. He's gonna have to fight. He can't just defensive. Tonight we learn if the boy can throw down.
So I'm sitting here writing with Bjork's live Vespertine album playing in the background. My seven year old son son, whose drawing super-heroes with colored pencils, looks up and asks "What's this song about?" That would be Pagan Poetry, one of my all-time favs. At any rate, I'm on some new, highly-educated isht, so we went to the dictionary and looked up "pagan." After pushing through words like polytheistic, and irreligious, I think he got it. So I played the song again and told him to tell me what it means at the end. I figured it'd be fun, because, hell, I don't even fully know what the song's about. Anyway at the end, I asked him and he says, "It's about someone whose irreligious." Heh, can't win em all, I guess. Or maybe I did. At any rate, in honor of the boy, here's Bjork live from Harlem/Morningside Heights.
Oh screw it let's make it a two-fer. Here's All Is Full Of Love
Speaking of the New Republic, my old buddy Mike Schaffer (sorry Mike, you can't make me say "Michael" or "Currie," no matter how big time you are!) weighs in on Pennsylvania politics and what Obama and Clinton can expect, should the primary stretch past March 4. The Essence:
While Iowans trumpet their nerdy earnestness by asking detailed policy questions of presidential wannabes every fourth winter, Keystone State politics are entirely un-self-conscious. This is an old example, but a relevant one. The last year the Pennsylvania primary mattered, in 1984, one of the more memorable moments came when Walter Mondale met with the ward leaders who ran Philadelphia's Democratic machine. When the former vice president took questions, one of them rose to ask ... how much street money he could look forward to on Election Day. Not the sort of thing you usually hear in Cedar Rapids.
And so the plot thickens. The Times isn't looking good in this one. The Essence:
Beyond its revelations, however, what's most remarkable about the article is that it appeared in the paper at all: The new information it reveals focuses on the private matters of the candidate, and relies entirely on the anecdotal evidence of McCain's former staffers to justify the piece--both personal and anecdotal elements unusual in the Gray Lady. The story is filled with awkward journalistic moves--the piece contains a collection of decade-old stories about McCain and Iseman appearing at functions together and concerns voiced by McCain's aides that the Senator shouldn't be seen in public with Iseman--and departs from the Times' usual authoritative voice. At one point, the piece suggestively states: "In 1999 she began showing up so frequently in his offices and at campaign events that staff members took notice. One recalled asking, 'Why is she always around?'" In the absence of concrete, printable proof that McCain and Iseman were an item, the piece delicately steps around purported romance and instead reports on the debate within the McCain campaign about the alleged affair.
I'm not sure I buy McCain's categorical denial. Having said that, I really really don't get this. In a perfect world, this would dead all talk of liberal media bias. This story will do nothing but unify conservatives against the hated liberal New York Times. I consider the McCain scandal to be of the same species as the attempted weak hit piece Barack Obama piece on drugs.
But this McCain business is worse. What the piece basically concludes is that a bunch of former McCainites, too scared to be named, thought he was trading favors for success. THERE IS NO ON THE RECORD ATTRIBUTION FOR THIS SCURRILOUS CHARGE. Now, it may turn out that McCain was doing just that, but if you're going to say something like this, you can not mess around playing footsie. You need someone on the record, or some sort of paper documentation, something that would convincly show that your charge isn't just the mumblings of disaffected ex-friends. I mean seriously. Come correct, dog. Or don't come at all.
This, I think, spells trouble for Hillary. The Essence:
In a state where half the voters were white women, where only one in ten voters were minorities, and where more than half were from households that made less than $74,999 annually, Wisconsin should have comported with Clinton's strengths. But the exit polls, conducted by Edison Media Research and Mitofsky International for television networks and the Associated Press, offered scarce news of encouragement for the New York senator.
He basically beat her on her home-field. What I want to know is by what logic do you decide to cede ten primaries to a guy? Worse, the Clinton folks had already seem this strategy bomb for Guiliani. Why try to repeat it? I think this really shows that what folks have been saying is true: There simply was no Clinton post-Super Tuesday strategy.
This is not some dreamy prediction. Obama won Wisconsin last night by 17 points. You guys are news-savvy so I'm not going to repeat what's been said repeatedly already. Suffice to say the base in Wisconsin was more Hillary than Obama. More to the point, we are starting to get to a point of mathematical impossibility. Basically for Hillary to win, she needs to carry every state in the fashion that Obama carried Wisconsin. Remember, no one predicted Obama would win by 17, so the idea that Hillary will rise from the dead and pull this off, well...don't just take my word for it...
You know, I see a lot of people flipping over Michelle OIbama's statement that for the first time in her adult she's proud of America. Meh, I know she will likely have to put out a statement of apology today, but I have to say I agree with her. It's wrong to infer from there, that I, or anyone else, is ashamed of being American. I'm not. I think this is the greatest country in the world. Michelle herself is fond of the "only in America" line. But pride comes from a country, or a person, mobilizing to do something. I can't think of a single thing which this country has done--in my lifetime--that's made me feel pride.
Now let's put that in context. I can only think of one thing that black folks have done that filled me with pride--the Million Man March. Besides that, I got nothing. Of course there are black people who I am proud of as individuals, but I don't walk around with my chest out because I'm black. Hell, I can only think of about two or three things that I've done as an individual that have made be proud. People really need to calm down, and chill with the psuedo-patriotism.
OK, so let's just state from jump that I am against ANYONE questioning ANYONE else's blackness. I was against it when folks did it to Obama last year (how quickly we forget)and I'm against it now. That said, how can you not appreciate the irony here. Let's go:
Obama has swamped Clinton among black voters in each of the 20 contests that had exit polls and large enough samples of African Americans to be meaningful. Just to put that kind of shutout in perspective, black voters represent the only demographic group that the New York senator has not carried at least once during the Democratic primary campaign. Obama now has such a lock on the loyalties of African Americans -- 84 percent of the black vote in Alabama, 87 percent in Georgia, 84 percent in Maryland, and on and on -- that the black vote is no longer contestable.
Which brings us back to the dilemma facing some of Clinton's high-profile black supporters -- those with titles and constituencies of their own. They are feeling some kind of crazy pressure. Last Friday, about 25 of them held an hour-long conference call to discuss what one described as an effort to "pester, intimidate, question our blackness" for not supporting Obama.
I am sorry, but this is rich. Last year, you couldn't pick up a newspaper, read a blog, or watch a news show without someone questioning Obama's blackness. Now it's Clinton's endorsers whose blackness is now being called into question, Amazing, That said, I am always skeptical of anonymous claims like this. Who are these people who are questioning your blackness? Call them out please. Beyond that, contrary to popular belief, the black political class has always been subject to the same forces that any other political class was subject to. A lot of these guys forgot that they ruled with the consent of the people, and with the people going the other way now, well....
Nice piece on this in the Post. As you guys know, I disagree with Tavis on this one, but I don't believe it was ego, as much as a misjudgment of the mood of black folks. That said, man its shocking how hard people are jumping on him. I also think that this has more to do with the excitement around Obama, than a beef with Tavis.
If you've got a second, check this out. Pretty entertaining. It clocks in at almost an hour, though. You know me though. I'm such a geek that I watched this while making home fries and eggs for me and my son this morning. Great quote from Hitchens--"I don't need two minutes to finish with this religion, but thanks." LOL. Classic Hitchens
I make no bones about my opinion, I think the decision to run some sort of neo-Southern strategy was foolish in a Democratic primary. I was kind of skeptical that that's what had happened until Clinton--amazingly--compared Obama to Jesse. The longer this thing goes on though, Bill is finding we all don't look alike. Anyway, here is a nice piece breaking down Clinton's campaign via HuffPo.
A Clinton superdelegate who served in Bill Clinton's administration said the former president "has screwed this thing up for her big-time. They need to send him out of the country for a long, long time. I am angry at Bill Clinton and I think there are other Hillary people who are angry at Bill, who felt that she was running a very good, solid campaign - she wasn't the exciting one, but she was the solid one - and then he came in and made it nasty, and single-handedly pushed away black voters."
Yeah it's tokenism, but it does prove the point. I have a hard time believing that a church that said it was "unapologetically white" could find a black person to speak on its behalf--at gun-point doesn't count.
I watch a lot of MSNBC, and I've gotta say that Chris Matthews hates Hillary's guts. I'm not sure that's even debatable. I don't know about wider press bias in this campaign, but I can certainly see the case for it. Here is an interesting piece analyzing said bias. The thing that scares me the most about Obama is his church, which people charge is racist. Frankly, I don't buy it.
The church, on its site, claims to be "unashamedly black," and people have charged that no church in America could call itself "unashamedly white." But this only shows America's elementary understanding of black folks. Let's put the ignorance of history and culture aside. Blackness isn't just race, its ethnicity, on par with Irishness, Jewishness or Italiness. A better angle would be to ask could a church call itself "unapologetically Irish" and yeah it certainly could. It might sound bizarre, but it wouldn't be particularly racist. Anyway, I'm not confident that in a general election, people will be able to see the difference. I think at some point, Barack--who has been going to this church for decades now--is going to have to come out a defend that joint. As a matter of morals and politics, he can't run away from this one.
Sign up to receive our free newsletters
Pardon my French
As a candidate, Barack Obama said we needed to reckon with race and with America’s…