On Friday Apr. 25, 2008, the National Journal’s Linda Douglass held and interview with David Plouffe, Barack Obama’s campaign manager. Here is an excerpt from the interview:
Douglass: Well, one of the things to which some Democrats point — the Clinton campaign has not said this publicly at least, but one certainly hears it in talking to supporters in more of a background way. Look at the racial polarization in the last several contests — Pennsylvania, Ohio, Mississippi — is that going to be a problem? Is race going to be a problem for Barack Obama in the general election?
Plouffe: We really don’t think so. I mean the vast, vast majority of voters who would not vote for Barack Obama in November based on race are probably firmly in John McCain’s camp already. And I think if you look at the Democratic voters who are voting for Senator Clinton in some of these states, when you sort of look beneath it and you project how this is going to happen, Barack Obama is going to be the Democratic nominee. He is going to be articulating policies and ideas that they believe in. They won’t agree with John McCain on issues like the economy and health care. And so I think that we are going to get the vast, vast majority of Democratic voters.
And, you know, I think if you look at — we have won white voters, particularly white voters under 60, in a lot of states. We’ve won white men voters in most of the states we’ve competed in, and, you know, again, if you look at our favorable/unfavorable ratings and the characteristics and the traits with some of these voters that have voted for Senator Clinton in recent primaries, you know they are strong and they are going to be supportive of us in the fall.
Now, listen, this is a heated contest. So our supporters, the Clinton supporters — this question of will you vote for the other person in the election in the fall — you know, there’s hard feelings. So a lot of people are saying no, but we seem to forget history. There’s always hard feelings, and then the party comes together. And I think everyone ought to take a deep breath here and understand that the Democratic nominee is going to get the majority of Democratic voters. The question is, who can do best with independents and moderate Republicans, and who can create the best dynamic for turnout. If Barack Obama is the Democratic nominee, I think turnout amongst African-Americans, turnout amongst all voters under 40, and our ability to register new voters is going to be a very important piece of the puzzle.
OK, let’s distill that down to its essential elements. Will race be a problem for Obama in the general election? According to Ploufe, it won’t be – because the White racists are all already in McCain’s camp and so apparently a non-issue. Plouffe also implies that Hillary is unelectable because the Blacks won’t support her like they would Obama.
Face it people, Race and Gender are both going to be factors in the election and the camps are already there and glaring at each other.
- White Racists will vote for McCain. They’re not going to support a Black or the wife of “America’s 1st Black President,” Bill Clinton.
- Black Racists will vote for Obama. He’s the only Black who might be on the ticket. A few would vote for the wife of “America’s 1st Black President,” if she went up against McCain.
- Male Sexists will vote for either Obama or McCain. I’d guess a strong showing for either male candidate.
- Female Sexists will vote for Hillary, period. I’d expect a write-in campaign, if Clinton isn’t nominated.
The question – to me at least – is what about the “crossover bigots” such as Black males racists who also sexists, or White female sexists who are also racists? In an election that is going to put a White man up against either a Black man or White woman who who the multi-vector bigots vote for?
The above is not sarcasm. There’s been quite a lot of vitriol spewed by the supporters of both Democratic candidates. In a general election that is going to be as close as I expect the 2008 elections to be even the minority of voters who vote solely based on Race or Gender could tip the tide.
No matter the outcome though, there’s going to be some very angry and embittered people in America.