Bitter About Race, Not Class?

Bob Herbert, the conscience of modern liberalism, rebukes Barack Obama for his San Fransisco Treat, but not for the reasons cited by Ross (Obama is empirically wrong), by Republicans (Obama's an elitist) or by Hillary Clinton (Obama's an elitist). No -- Herbert is concerned that Obama was dancing around the real answer as to why white working class voters had trouble to Obama: his skin color, of course. Occam's razor: racial prejudice more persuasively explains the problem than Obama's own argument (for which the data is equivocal), and so racial prejudice it must be. Unfortunately, the data on racial prejudice in this context is scant because the context is so new, and what data does exist is subject to any number of interpretations. I also think that Obama did mean to suggest that racism accounts for some it -- he speaks of "antipathy to people who aren't like them." Herbert counsels Obama to stop lecturing and start "appealing to the better angels of the working class." It's hard to listen to an Obama stump speech and not hear that appeal. The problem is that it doesn't resonate all that well, which means that Obama is back to square one. Finally, the unstated corollary of Herbert's argument is that voters like Clinton because she's white. Which simplifies her appeal a bit too much.