Stud essayist/historian and friend of the room Jelani Cobb makes the case. The essence:
Apparently none of the high-profile black leaders who are backing Hillary Clinton have been able to prohibit the kind of cynical race hustling that marked the South Carolina primary. (This recalls the old saying that the problem is not that black leaders so often sell out, but that their asking price is so pitifully low.)
But in the wake of the Sister Souljah episode (not to mention Bill Clinton's stiff-arming of his black nominee for the Justice Department (Lani Guinier) and his short-lived Surgeon General (Jocelyn Elders) it must appear that there is nothing the black community won't forgive you for provided you show up at one of our churches and hum a spiritual every so often. As a matter of principle, no candidate, no matter how deep their alleged ties to the black community, should be allowed to race-bait a black politician and still receive the majority of our vote.
I can't vote for McCain. I just can't. But I probably won't vote for Billary either. I don't know how, in conscious, you support a race-baiter. There is also another problem. Should Billary win, the Democratic congressional ticket in red and purple areas, where Dems made gains in '06, will be hurt. Remember this?
Across Missouri, I heard similar fears. At a breakfast fund-raiser for McCaskill in Kansas City, Katheryn J. Shields, a Democrat who is the chief executive of Jackson County, which encompasses Kansas City, said of Hillary Clinton, “She’s great.” But when asked if Clinton should be the Party’s nominee, Shields said, “That would be a hard one.” The outgoing executive director of the Greene County Democrats, Nora Walcott, was more direct. Though she said she was to the left in the Party, she feared that Clinton’s liberal credentials would alienate Missouri voters. “You’ve got to tell the people in Washington not to nominate Hillary,” she told me. “It would do so much damage to the Missouri Democratic Party.” Clinton’s obvious shifts to the center frustrate Walcott on two counts, she said: “I disagree with the way she’s going to the right, but my biggest problem with it is that it’s not working. People don’t believe she’s a moderate.”
This was written pre-06, when Dems were plotting on Congress. I think the whol "it isn't working" is the biggest problem with Clinton. People outside the party just don't buy what she's selling. But that quote--"You've got to tell the people in Washington not to nominate Hillary--is going to haunt us if she wins.