08 May 2008

B-b-but whitey likes me

"Hi, my name's Hillary, I'm a scorpio, and I like telling people what they want to hear, divorcing myself from reality, long walks on the beach, and, um, playing with fucking fire:"
"I have a much broader base to build a winning coalition on," she said in an interview with USA TODAY. As evidence, Clinton cited an Associated Press article "that found how Sen. Obama's support among working, hard-working Americans, white Americans, is weakening again, and how whites in both states who had not completed college were supporting me."

I don't care how the AP originally framed things, there's very little room to interpret this as anything but drawing a parallel between "hard-working" and "white." Regardless, it effectively rips the veil off what she's been trying to sell all along.

That "white" has always been the unspoken qualifier to Clinton's claims of a blue collar advantage is undeniable. Barack Obama's support among African American voters has never flagged, and it's impossible to claim that that population isn't represented in the working class. It's classic dog whistle politics; a carefully chosen phrase and, wink-wink, nudge-nudge, your point is made without making it.

As such, I honestly doubt this is an attempt to equate blacks with laziness. Even in her current spasm of ego-driven desperation, I don't think she'd go down that road. But there is no doubt, whatsoever, that this very much is her campaign's desire to frame Obama as "the black candidate," laid bare.

And it's ugly.

1 comment:

Suzanne said...

"Barack Obama's support among African American voters has never flagged."

Don't forget that in the early days of the campaign, he had to actually compete relatively fiercely with HRC for the African-American vote. Of course, his lead in this area is unquestionable now, but I think it's relevant that he didn't come to the campaign with an ace in the hole (though that's what he has now, apparently). It seems that HRC has been competing with Obama for her white, working votes since the beginning...and she hasn't moved to landslide victories even among the "hard working racists," so to speak.

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