Patterico's Pontifications


Michelle Obama analyzes the Black Vote

Filed under: 2008 Election — DRJ @ 11:26 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Via Newsbusters, Michelle Obama has an interesting theory about the black vote and her husband’s candidacy:

“The “Morning Joe” panelist [Mika Brzezinski] went to Iowa over the weekend and scored an in-depth interview with Michelle Obama that elicited a highly-controversial suggestion from the candidate’s wife.

According to Mrs. Obama, her husband isn’t polling better among African-Americans because in the back of their minds, many blacks think “others” are better.”

Video here.

I’m not black so I can’t speak directly to this point but I think a similar phenomenon occurs in the gender area. Specifically, there are some women who prefer male candidates to female candidates just because they are men.

In other words, she may be right.


10 Responses to “Michelle Obama analyzes the Black Vote”

  1. To any black readers who happen to be lurking, it was all white men who voted in James Buchanon, Franklin Peirce, and Warren Harding.

    Vote your gut man.

    papertiger (f6198c)

  2. Michelle Obama isn’t giving African-American voters credit for being smart enough to realize that her husband doesn’t have enough experience to be President and that the office is about more than just skin color.

    daleyrocks (906622)

  3. DRJ,
    If you get the chance to read Bill Cosby’s new book you will see some statements and explanations that are very similar to what Michelle Obama said in this interview. I have the sense she recently read the book as well.
    In short I think she is alluding to the idea that some in the black community are resigned to the belief that a black will never be elected to president.
    There are many white readers who are taking the comments a completely opposite way. I’d recommend Cosby’s book to anyone because it explains how many blacks feel and the reasons why.
    It is NOT a book that points fingers outside of the black community.
    I’ve also seen some comments in which some blacks feel that Obama’s background doesn’t really make him “one of them” in regards to growing up in the US.

    voiceofreason (1fb82e)

  4. Michelle Obama is full of it. I have had my say about her husband here, and here.

    African-Americans are votign for Hillary Clinton becuase they knwo her as much as they do her husband. The Clintons number among those exceedingly rare white politicians who actually like black people and are more than comfortable being around them. Add actual political experiece to that and your’ve got a winning combination.

    Obama is a PR parade float for white Americans obsessed with To Kill a Mockingbird.

    And little else.

    David Ehrenstein (5411c5)

  5. There is something patronzing in her assumption that its some sort of ingrained fear keeping them from backing her husband. What a low opinion of others she evidences and perhaps an inflated view of Barack himself.

    Does it not occur to her that perhaps these could be people who think independently and for themselves and are not still bound to a historical or community perception? What if those not coming out to support him simply don’t agree with his politics, or his social stands, or his views on Iraq, or any other issue that the next POTUS will be facing?

    Why doesn’t she give this community the benefit of the doubt instead of yet another negative assumption – but then that would entail having to admit her husband might not be the best candidate….

    Dana (b4a26c)

  6. I can see how she might see that given her husbands public statements and qualifications. Even Goofy has a more impressive resume. Eaxctly what is it that qualifies Osama to be president?

    Thomas Jackson (bf83e0)

  7. Is her comment shallow? Sure, but the politics of choosing presidents is necessarily shallow, because there aren’t that many choices.

    When analyzing the reasons people might choose Hillary over Obama, Edwards over Hillary or Obama, or Gulliani over Romny, one necessarily has to look at shallow motivations because the choices are so damn identical on everything but the shallow stuff.

    Party nomination contests are essentially a popularity contest. Republicans fight to see who can sound tougher on crime and terrorism and taxes; Democrats fight to see who can sound the most populist yet electable.

    None of them really disagree with each other much at this stage; it’s all about attempting to distinguish themselves at all.

    Phil (6d9f2f)

  8. Is her comment shallow? Sure, but the politics of choosing presidents is necessarily shallow, because there aren’t that many choices.

    Phil – Not many choices? Count the candidates. How many do you think is an appropriate number?

    daleyrocks (906622)

  9. As long as politicians and news media keep referring to the ‘black community’ instead of the black voter, there will be these problems.

    When you start thinking of anyone as a part of a group, you take away their individualness and place them in the ‘herd’ of your choice.

    There is no ‘black vote'; there are black voters who are individual people like everyone else and entitled to be treated as such.

    Lord Nazh (899dce)

  10. I can’t remember the source right off, but I recall seeing an article some years ago about the decline of black business ownership in the South after desegregation. One soon to be former business owner was quoted as saying his business had declined “because the white man’s ice is colder.”

    In context, it was an indictment of sorts. In reality, it’s the behavior of the herd. Novelty for the sake of novelty, not an actual quality comparison drives some behaviors that are seen as low risk. The overwhelmingly positive press reaction to Obama’s run is a prime example. The black community, on the other hand, has been hearing most of Obama’s spiel from people named Jackson and Sharpton and [insert your favorite black politician here] for over forty years. So a white woman mouthing the same platitudes becomes exotic and enticing in comparison.

    kaz (cad490)

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