Patterico's Pontifications

4/25/2008

Obama’s Plan to Win Without McCain’s Racists

Filed under: 2008 Election — DRJ @ 1:57 pm



[Guest post by DRJ]

The Politico reports that Barack Obama’s campaign manager, David Plouffe, told the National Journal that John McCain already has the racist vote but Obama still has a plan to win:

“David Plouffe tells Linda Douglass that real racists are probably voting Republican in any case:

“[T]he 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,” he says.

Plouffe also made a four-pronged case for Obama’s electability. One, primary-focused, is that Clinton has big problems too.

He also pointed out that Obama’s actually been winning white men and younger white voters.

And looking ahead, he pointed to the issues: “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,” he said.

Finally, the Obama campaign is counting on its ability to change the electorate — a powerful argument, if one with real limits.

“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,” he said.”

It’s fair to call someone who votes against Obama solely because of his race a racist but there are other reasons than racism someone might vote for McCain. There are people like me who will vote for McCain because I don’t like Obama’s liberal policies, his lack of experience, and his questionable character. That doesn’t make me a racist, except perhaps in David Plouffe-world.

The irony is that this was a throw-away line in the interview. Plouffe was conceding that Obama has lost some voters to McCain, and it’s telling that Plouffe thinks votes have been lost because voters are racists. Clearly Plouffe believes that a segment of McCain’s support comes from one-dimensional racist voters.

That’s a sad and one-dimensional view of the electorate Obama craves to serve. As President, I don’t think Obama the uniter will be motivated to connect with racist McCain supporters … unless they happen to remind him of a racist old uncle.

The full National Journal interview is here.

— DRJ

53 Responses to “Obama’s Plan to Win Without McCain’s Racists”

  1. McCain disavows true, vicious, partisan attacks on Obama because he fears Obama will be the next RFK, that is, dead on a podium somewhere from an assassin’s act. McCain doesn’t want the murder blamed on Republicans as the JFK’s and RFK’s murders were.

    A angry Arab Muslim who lived in Saudi Arabia, held Osama bin Laden to be hero, and wrote a diary in which Obama was described as an apostate would still be described in the media as a right-wing, racist killer (c.f. Oswald who lived in the Soviet Union and favored Castro; and Sirhan who was an Arab terrorist).

    McCain doesn’t want the charges of a ‘climate of hate’ similar to that surrounding the JFK assassination (false though they were).

    It is in interests of the ‘uniter’ Obama (and his paid staff) to describe his opponents as racists. The fear and hatred preached by Wright, Obama, Ayers, motivates Obama’s followers. They call their hatred ‘social justice’.

    tehag

    tehag (c9a2e8)

  2. Totally disagree with you, DRJ.

    I think it’s fairly obvious that some people will vote for McCain because Obama is black. I know a couple myself IRL. But what Pouffe is saying is that those people would be voting for McCain for other reasons, and vote for him even if the Democratic candidate was another old white guy. That applies to the people I know IRL. And it doesn’t mean that everyone who intends to vote for McCain is racist, or will vote based on some sort of racist rationale.

    Of course, what Pouffe can’t admit is that a lot of Obama’s support is from people (blacks) who are voting for him on racist grounds.

    BTW, shouldn’t we be calling this interview a Pouffe-piece about Obama?

    kishnevi (5b464f)

  3. “Plouffe was conceding that Obama has lost some voters to McCain, and it’s telling that Plouffe thinks votes have been lost because voters are racists.”

    You’ve got the causation inversed. He said ‘racists will vote mccain’ not ‘mccain voters are racist.’ I suppose obama will also lose the “barack is a muslim and i don’t vote for muslims” vote to mccain. But that don’t mean mccain voters think barack is a muslim.

    stef (b022b7)

  4. White racists will vote for McCain. Black racists will vote for Obama.

    Pablo (99243e)

  5. What a plouffter.

    Racists.

    JD (cc8862)

  6. “David Plouffe tells Linda Douglass that real racists are probably voting Republican in any case:

    “[T]he 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,” he says.

    If Barack Obama is the Democratic nominee, I think turnout amongst African-Americans, ….is going to be a very important piece of the puzzle,” he said.”

    So, if I follow the logic…those white voters who would only vote for Sen. McCain because they identify with him, are different from those African American voters who would only vote for Sen. Obama because they identify with him based primarily or solely upon race.

    In which group of voters is it expected that the “race identity” issue would be strongest?

    In which group is their likely to be greater crossover voting for the “other” race candidate?

    I mean, just in case anyone gets “confused” by the rush to judgment about “racism” and all.

    cfbleachers (4040c7)

  7. their=there….aargh.

    cfbleachers (4040c7)

  8. omeone who votes against Obama solely because of his race

    Or even partially because of his race. That would be racist, too.

    Daryl Herbert (4ecd4c)

  9. “It’s fair to call someone who votes against Obama solely because of his race a racist …”
    Is the same true of those who vote _for_ Obama because of his race? Does the race of the voter matter? If a liberal-guilt-stricken white lefty votes for Obama solely because of Obama’s race, is he therefore a racist? How about the 90%-for Obama vote from blacks in some precincts? Are those voters substantially racist?
    I’d call these phenomena racialist, and reserve the term racism for race-based behavior incorporating overt hatred.

    gp (b1aab4)

  10. Pablo hit it on the head. There is no doubt that there are people who are going to vote for Obama because McCain is white. But in the age of politcal correctness you aren’t allowed to bring that up, it only goes one way. If you are only doing something based on the color of someone’s skin, you are a racist, and it doesn’t matter what color you are. Sadly, it is the liberal left that forces everything to be about race because they can’t look at Obama and see anything but a black man. I see someone whose principles, policies and values do not align with my conservative principles, policies and values. That’s it, there is nothing else.

    Michael M (25ccc4)

  11. Kishnevi,

    I would feel a lot better if Plouffe had said what you said, but he didn’t. Here’s what he said:

    “[T]he 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,”

    He didn’t say based on race and other factors. Maybe he meant that the way you interpret it; Then again, maybe he didn’t.

    Anyway, I think we are talking across each other. Obviously for those voters who will only vote on the basis of race (white or black), those voters are lost to the candidate who isn’t the right color and there’s virtually nothing he can do to win them back. The question is whether there are a significant number of people who feel that way. Plouffe implies there are many whites who would vote based on race alone. I don’t think there are as many whites who would vote solely based on race as Plouffe believes.

    DRJ (a431ca)

  12. Actually, it’s all pretty much nonsense, which is all the MSM seem capable of dealing in lately.

    Their contortions in supporting Obama and trying to appear “non-partisan” while doing so, would make a carnival rubber-man proud.

    Another Drew (f9dd2c)

  13. The exit poll numbers you are quoting are not accurate. The exit poll showed Clinton winning by 5. She won by 10. Either more than 93% of blacks voted Obama or more than 65% of whites voted against Obama. Or both.

    Roy Mustang (7a82d5)

  14. Racist, like fascist, in Demo-speak is simply someone with whom I disagree. Race or political philosophy has nothing to do with it.

    Ken Hahn (7742d5)

  15. There is a school of thought that suggests that only the middle aged white males in the democrat primaries are actually making their choice between Obama and Clinton based on the merits.

    With blacks supporting Obama by 90%, and women supporting Clinton by more than 70%, both groups are clearly engaging in identity politics — voting for the candidate who most resembles them.

    WLS (68fd1f)

  16. This is a relevant rebuttal to Clinton’s argument that she’s more electable because she’s white (She’s never explicitly said that herself, but it’s been strongly implied.)

    To re-phrase with added context:

    Q: “Don’t you think Clinton is more electable because she’s white and Obama’s black?”

    A: “No, the people who won’t vote for barak because of his race aren’t going to vote for Hillary either. Those voters are already lost to the democratic party.”

    Joe (c0e4f8)

  17. There’s the old saying: “Don’t s**t where you eat”

    The Democrats (and the Obama camp in particular) attack the PA. voters as old racists and then expect those same voters to come to their side in November.

    Not this year!

    JEC (d671ab)

  18. Which begs the question, what is racism? How can one know he or she is racist? Is there a cure for racism? Is racism a psychological, spiritual or social problem? Most important of all, is there a cure for racism?
    Note; Racism has been defined as the prejudice that members of one race are intrinsically superior to members of other races. It is also described as discriminatory or abusive behavior towards members of another race.
    So, feel free to comment.

    love2008 (d2a57f)

  19. love2008 – go here and check out #6. Many want to argue about all sorts of things mixed together (genetic, cultural, ideological, geographic differences) and have a simple term to describe it, i.e. ‘race’. But IMO, this over-simplification is the cause of the intractability of the ‘problem’ of ‘race’. Until people are encouraged to untangle their confused associations and lazy conclusions, there will be no progress. The problem isn’t ‘racism’, it’s education.

    Apogee (366e8b)

  20. Excellent post, DRJ. I wish I could comment further but I need to go bleach my sheet.

    nk (284b49)

  21. nk – take my advice and that of my opthalmic surgeon – remove the sheet before you cut the holes.

    Apogee (366e8b)

  22. This is what the election is about. Nothing else.

    nk (284b49)

  23. WLS,

    Call me naive but I don’t think many people vote on race or gender alone. I think lots of people identify with a candidate because of their race and gender and, because of that and other factors, they support a candidate.

    The proof that voters don’t vote solely on gender or race is the fact that they don’t uniformly support persons of the same race or gender. For instance, few blacks support Alan Keyes or Thomas Sowell, and women don’t turn out to support Ann Coulter or Condoleezza Rice.

    I understand that race and gender impact how people view candidates but what I object to is the characterization that it is the sole factor that determines how some people vote.

    DRJ (a431ca)

  24. It is also described as discriminatory or abusive behavior towards members of another race.

    That’s discrimination, not racism. The first part of your definition is correct, the second isn’t. Discrimination may be motivated by racism, but they’re different things.

    Pablo (99243e)

  25. Oh, and that second part has been floated to shield minorities from charges of racism. Sorry, no sale here. Racism is what it is and anybody can do it.

    Pablo (99243e)

  26. Pablo, when youn use the word “minorities” I am guessing you belong to the class outside the minorities. Right? And yes, racism is not synonymous with a particular race. Everyone is guilty of it. Anyone can be racist. Point is, is it a natural, genetic behavior and can one be free from it?

    love2008 (d2a57f)

  27. I understand that race and gender impact how people view candidates but what I object to is the characterization that it is the sole factor that determines how some people vote

    But it is the sole factor for some people. Some people will vote for a black person before any white person. Some will never vote for a black person.

    His statement clearly says he’s only talking about one very particular demographic: People who won’t vote for Obama because of his race.

    I’ll bold it for you.

    “[T]he 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,”

    Joe (c0e4f8)

  28. Everyone is guilty of it.

    No, everyone isn’t. I deal with people of all stripes quite regularly and I regard each of them based on my interaction with and observation of them. I know useless white losers and fantastic, smart, hard working black people. And vice versa. And lots of brown people who, like everyone else, fall along the same spectrum.

    I believe in meritocracy and I don’t really give a damn about the pigmentation of someone’s flesh.

    Pablo (99243e)

  29. Point is, is it a natural, genetic behavior and can one be free from it?

    No, it isn’t and yes one can. Free your mind and your ass will follow.

    Pablo (99243e)

  30. To Pablo, Impressive. When I said “Everyone is guilty of it” I meant no race is free from it. Whites do it, blacks do it, hispanics, Asians too. No one is innocent of it. By “Everyone” I was not refering to individuals. That said I think you gave a good testimony of yourself. Keep it up. But you failed to address the core issue, how can people get themselves cured of racism? Is their a cure?

    love2008 (d2a57f)

  31. But you failed to address the core issue, how can people get themselves cured of racism? Is their a cure?

    Yeah, and it’s easy, though it might go against one’s upbringing or indoctrination, in which case the odds of it happening drop dramatically. But it’s simple, and I can write the prescription in 4 words: Treat people as individuals.

    Pablo (99243e)

  32. love2008 – how can people get themselves cured of racism? They can’t obtain a cure from outside themselves (see Pablo #29)

    Is their a cure? Yes. Re-read #19. When you avoid lazy thinking and consent to educate yourself as to what you, not others, mean by the terminology you use to describe people, then you’ll have a chance at breaking repetitious patterns of thought.

    Apogee (366e8b)

  33. Pablo, #31: Bravo (Which Pablo is this, exactly?)

    Apogee (366e8b)

  34. Joe,

    Okay, if race is the sole factor for some people, then do you think black people who vote solely on race would vote for Condoleezza Rice or Al Gore? How about Condoleezza Rice vs. Hillary Clinton?

    DRJ (a431ca)

  35. Apogee, the regular. 😉 Though I wish the other would drop back by because he was making good sense.

    Pablo (99243e)

  36. DRJ – How about Condoleezza Clinton? In a strange twist of fate, Bill divorces Hillary and on the same day in a quicky Vegas ceremony, marries Condoleeza Rice, making her Condoleeza Rice Clinton.

    Condi jumps on the independent ticket, taking supporters of McCain, Obama and Hillary all in one fell swoop.

    How would people vote then?

    Apogee (366e8b)

  37. Pablo – and you could take a break.

    Apogee (366e8b)

  38. For Hillary. It would be a sympathy vote.

    Or maybe a congratulations, ‘you’re finally rid of him’ vote.

    DRJ (a431ca)

  39. Perhaps if the Obama campaign wants to back up it’s claims that it is above the “racial” divide it should not have used a reference to the hate mongering Rev. Wright in a Philadelphia flyer after it was learned that Senator Obama doesn’t have much use for those who believe in the First and Second Amendments.

    http://www.politico/blogs/bensmith/0408/Not_disowning_Wright.html

    So while the left wing has been bashing President Bush for his conversion to Christianity, Obama now touts his while bashing PA residents for being religious.

    retire05 (1055d6)

  40. Pablo, you are the blogger of the year! Excellent representation. “TREAT PEOPLE AS INDIVIDUALS” Couldnt have said it better. and Apogee, I think you are refering to the mental disposition, not helped by lack of education, that makes certain individuals react to due process as discrimination. Instead of taking responsibility and doing their best, they prefer to cast the blame on someone as being racist. I think that is nonsense. So to add to Pablo’s recommendation, “Treat people as individuals” I would add ” Dont expect to be treated differently because of your color. Stop looking for special treatments. Dont demand to be treated with respect, earn it. Mediocrity thinking is a breeder of racism. A true champion never complains about racism, he sees it as a challenge to exceed certain expectations. Its a question of attitude.

    love2008 (d2a57f)

  41. Pablo – and you could take a break.

    I just got the peanut butter cookies out of the oven. I’m addicted to multi tasking.

    Pablo (99243e)

  42. Chocolate chip here.

    DRJ (a431ca)

  43. love 2008, that’s very kind. Thank you.

    Instead of taking responsibility and doing their best, they prefer to cast the blame on someone as being racist. I think that is nonsense. So to add to Pablo’s recommendation, “Treat people as individuals” I would add ” Dont expect to be treated differently because of your color. Stop looking for special treatments. Dont demand to be treated with respect, earn it. Mediocrity thinking is a breeder of racism. A true champion never complains about racism, he sees it as a challenge to exceed certain expectations. Its a question of attitude.

    Exactly right. “The soft bigotry of low expectations” comes to mind. It’s ugly racism and buying into it is poison.

    Pablo (99243e)

  44. DRJ, I did these, though I think I made ’em bigger than they’re supposed to be. They’re pretty yummy, though.

    Pablo (99243e)

  45. I think I made ‘em bigger than they’re supposed to be.

    There’s actually a federal statute requiring that course of action as far as cookies are concerned.

    I’m with DRJ on the Choc-Chip thingy.

    Apogee (366e8b)

  46. The apostate angle tehag mentioned is interesting. Obama is definately one and yet many Muslim leaders endorse him, including apparently the leader of Hamas. Barracks religion indeed.

    TomH (ce8fee)

  47. We are witnessing “the soft bigotry of low expectations” becoming the cultural norm.

    Neither candidate would ever admit to it but does anyone doubt both campaigns know it to be a valuable and unfortunately, viable tool in promoting their cause candidate?

    Dana (8118ae)

  48. So, basically, unless we all vote for someone of the opposite skin color–unless we wanted to vote for that person anyway, a highly suspect racialist inclination that should spur us even further to vote against our color and perhaps our first choice of candidate, regardless of his/her skin color–and instead vote for the candidate our color opposite, we are all hopeless racists. And please, don’t get me started on sexism.

    Maybe we should just call the whole thing off.

    Patricia (f56a97)

  49. “Neither candidate would ever admit to it but does anyone doubt both campaigns know it to be a valuable and unfortunately, viable tool in promoting their cause candidate?”

    People don’t expect much from the white guy. never have.

    stef (1754b1)

  50. #34 DRJ:

    Okay, if race is the sole factor for some people, then do you think black people who vote solely on race would vote for Condoleezza Rice or Al Gore? How about Condoleezza Rice vs. Hillary Clinton?

    You’re forgetting something.

    Condoleezza Rice, Thomas Sowell, Larry Elder, Walter Williams, et al, aren’t black! Nor is Ann Coulter a woman!

    They have lost whatever tenuous identification they had with those groups by allowing their individuality to trump their physical characteristics!

    #40 love2008: Had I seen your response to Pablo earlier, I might not have been as brusque in another thread.

    Among my friends you’ll find hotshot DC lawyers, a convicted bank robber or two, Wall Street stock analysts, Panamanians still living in the neighborhood that Rev Wright mistakenly claims the US bombed the crap out of, world class surgeons, drag racers (the automotive type), drag queens (not the automotive type), rich and poor heroin addicts, a couple of guys who are masters at blowing things up, a few boyz from the ‘hoods of Baltimore, Chicago commodities brokers, and some assorted other who defy any classification at all.

    Perhaps the only thing they have in common is me. Because I treat them all as individuals.

    Pablo & DRJ: Peanut butter chocolate chip.

    EW1(SG) (84e813)

  51. stef, you missed my point.

    Its a valuable and viable tool because people who are resistant to thinking through issuues and prefer to rally with a group around a prescribed cause are possibly more easily manipulated by political machinations and candidates who are saavy enough to understand that its less about issues and policy and more about striking a chord, the right chord inside a group of people – sympathy to their plight, a collective rage against The Man, etc.

    That in your’s and Nora Ephron’s eyes white males are unreliable or people you expect little of is perhaps a more personal reflection of yourselves, rather the men themselves. Me, I tend to give anyone the benefit of the doubt until I see a need to no longer do so.

    What those who promote the low expectation bigotry count on is that people are equally as shallow and witless and can be manipulated to get riled up and jump on their bandwagon without too much effort. It has very little to do with thinking through issues, logic, or a committment to a belief system. We were all young once.

    Dana (8118ae)

  52. The campaign manager for the candidate who has transcended race … doesn’t hesitate to play the race card when it suits him.

    Pathetic.

    What do you think will be the main excuse given for Obama’s defeat in the general, as well as being the ONLY excuse given if Clinton steals the nomination at the convention?

    This claim by David Plouffe is just a preview of things to come. The campaign is pre-spinning the reason behind the defeat of its candidate: it’s not his policies, it’s the color of his skin; or, in other words, the candidate is great — it’s the voters who were found lacking. THAT is a typical liberal view for you: you NEED us in the government because the people CANNOT be trusted to do the right thing.

    Missed It By THAT Much (8349ff)

  53. #50
    “Perhaps the only thing they have in common is me. Because I treat them all as individuals.”
    You were a little “brusque” and maybe I too. I guess thats part of the whole fun in blogging. But your last post proved something I already knew: you are cool. Keep up the “good work”.

    love2008 (d2a57f)


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