Elizabeth Edwards says:
"In some ways, it's the way we have to go," Edwards says. "We can't make John black, we can't make him a woman. Those things get you a lot of press, worth a certain amount of fundraising dollars. Now it's nice to get on the news, but not the be all and end all."
Her complaint reminds me of something I hear a lot of Democrats say: to wealthy donors and to the metropolitan press corps, Obama represents the great fulfillment of liberalism. But I've never heard anyone suggest that he is somehow advantaged in this process and a rich white guy in the South is oppressed by his race or gender.
Although, re-rereading Edwards, it seems that she's making a less incendiary (still debatable) point: that Obama (and Clinton) get too much press (unearned media) only because of their race and gender.
Per an Edwards aide, here is what drives Elizabeth Edwards's frustration: last weekend, you might not know, if you weren't there, that John Edwards forced Hillary Clinton to defend lobbyists, and not Barack Obama. Not some nobody. John Edwards. But the press (in Elizabeth Edwards's view) has apparently decided that it's a two person race, and that if someone else drives a storyline, it's irrelevant to the story. Hence, the campaign has turned to less traditional outlets.
Still, it is hard to see what Obama's race or Clinton's gender have to do with the perception that either has a better shot to win the nomination than Edwards.
Also: Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are two different creatures of history. Clinton's gender and Obama's race (actually, he has a black father and a white mother, and what is race, anyway) are not identical in terms of their relevance to their campaigns.
Using Edwards's logic, one could easily say (just as reductively), that without his Southern accent, John Edwards would be just another wealthy trial lawyer.
Clearly, folks aren't supporting Obama because he's black or Clinton because she's a woman.
By the way: what does Elizabeth Edwards think of this story?
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