Jasper Smith

Commentary on politics, economics, culture and sports.

Obama and the race factor

with one comment

Mark Ambinder ponders the appeal of Barrack Obama:

I asked David Axelrod, Obama’s chief strategist, to explain the Iowa victory, and he said, “People wanted change.” Well, yes. Maybe that’s where Axelrod’s curiosity ends, but mine goes deeper. For example: there is something about the Clinton brand that a younger generation of Democrats does not buy. Younger votes in Iowa did not choose Hillary Clinton. There is something about Obama’s appeal that eluded previous process-oriented reformers (Babbitt, Hart, Tsongas, Bradley). It’s not just his race — that seems to me to be a marker for liberals of generational change. It’s not just the amount of he’s raised. It’s not that he’s a man of the world.

Much of it is his race, let’s be honest. The moment Obama won his Senate seat, people were talking about his presidential prospects in an excited way they wouldn’t be were he white. Not that there’s anything unfair about this. I mean, for three centuries being black held you down in America. It’s only poetic justice that finally, being black helps you. Combine the race factor with his youth, charm, looks, beautiful family, and unequaled speaking style, and it all puts the sizzle back in politics in a way that hasn’t been done since Bobby Kennedy’s day.

When you put all this up against a candidate who is widely loathed by millions of Americans (unfairly in my view, but my view doesn’t change things), it’s no contest.


Written by Jasper

January 6, 2008 at 2:39 pm

One Response

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  1. I think it is sad that today, a person’s race is still a factor that is commented on, discussed and highlighted rather than soley their policies and ability to do the job. And it is even sadder if voters are going to vote for him because of his colour, rather than his policies…


    January 6, 2008 at 5:41 pm

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