Obama and Anger

Mark Kleiman posts an email from a friend who thinks that Barack Obama doesn't identify with the poor. Chris Bowers notes that Obama got trounced among New Hampshire Democrats who describe themselves as "angry" with Bush. In both instances, I think, we're seeing the downside to Obama's successful effort to present a persona that's acceptable to white America.

He almost certainly feels that he can't come anywhere near the level of outrage at economic injustice in America that you see from a John Edwards, or give voice to the anger that many of us feel about George W. Bush's malgovernment without losing his status as "one of the good ones." To be the most mainstream progressive black political figure ever, he's crafted a relentlessly upbeat, uplifting message. And it's a good message, but it is a bit out of step with how a lot of us really feel about the state of things.