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Thursday, May 8, 2008

Why is Clinton Still Running? “White Americans.”

posted by on May 8 at 8:35 AM

In her own words, via USA Today:

“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.”

“There’s a pattern emerging here,” she said.

Is Clinton really staying in the race to become the candidate of that portion of white, Democratic America that won’t vote for the black guy?

This isn’t a slip. It’s a new Clinton theme. Here’s the audio.


RSS icon Comments


She is aware Blacks no longer get only 3/5ths of a vote, right?

Posted by Andy Niable | May 8, 2008 7:52 AM

This is a losing strategy, but is it really so much worse than "I appeal to black voters"? As uncomfy as it may make you feel, she's just talking about demographics. She's not some white supremacist. Give me a break.

But please, please just drop out so we can get this show on the road.

Posted by twax | May 8, 2008 7:54 AM

Next brilliant campaign strategy for Hillary: Chugging 40s of Shlitz and going huntin' with Cheney to really shore up her new target demographic


Posted by freshnycman | May 8, 2008 7:55 AM

And the 91% of blacks in NC who voted for Obama did so because they supported his health care platform? Wake up Eli. This is the real world. I suppose you'd rather have your leaders continuing to blow smoke up your ass for the sake of political correctness.

Posted by D stands for Dumb | May 8, 2008 8:01 AM
Posted by shane | May 8, 2008 8:01 AM

Make this stop, good fucking shit make this nightmare STOP!!!!!!!!

Posted by Cato the Younger Younger | May 8, 2008 8:07 AM

Her strategy relies on taking the black vote for granted. Now I hate it when Republicans bitch about blacks being reliable for dems because it basically suggests that they're unable to decide for themselves but demographically it's true. On the other hand that doesn't mean the dems should be crowing about it. She said yesterday to paraphrase, well these white working class voters are possible R voters but the blacks are in our pockets.

Unfortunately if the supers kick to the curb a black candidate who won the quasi-democractic portion of the primary based on the principle that blacks will vote for who they're told the shit will hit the fan. If that's the gameplan I will consider staying home.

This isn't pique. That's a fucked up scenario: Hey blacks, your votes in the democratic primaries don't count because who else are you going to vote for?

Posted by daniel | May 8, 2008 8:08 AM

When you put that much emphasis on being the candidate of working-class, hard-working taxpayers, then by implication you're not going to do much to represent rich, lazy tax cheats.

And when you are the candidate of whitey, then you've written off everybody else, and don't plan to do much for them in office.

And still there are superdelegates unsure of what to do next? We will see a lot of racists come out from under their rocks to voice their support; it's already happening on the slog.

Posted by elenchos | May 8, 2008 8:08 AM

Thank god my party is finally back!!!

Posted by Dixiecrat | May 8, 2008 8:12 AM

This has been making me incredibly uncomfortable. I feel much the same as Daniel @7 and Elenchos @8.

Besides, uneducated white people have too much power as it is.

Posted by It's Mark (Elitist) Mitchell! | May 8, 2008 8:13 AM

There's a bit of Heisenberg's uncertainty principle at work here. Without Hillary running this past March and April, telling white working class people that they should not vote for Obama, would we even be talking about the socalled "white working class" ? Would there really even be such a large group of Democratic party voters threatening to bolt to McCain in the general election? I doubt it.

And by staying in a race she cannot win, what exactly is Hillary accomplishing with this group that, say, Edwards was not? Oh, right. Whereas Edwards was about real policies that would help all working class people, and that made CLASS an issue to take seriously, Hillary is saying that the real problem is RACE, in particular, the racial fears of white people. Thanks, Hillary. We needed that.

Posted by Trevor | May 8, 2008 8:27 AM

Strange, I voted for and donated money to Obama, yet I appear to be white. Maybe I'm black and don't know it?

Posted by AMB | May 8, 2008 8:45 AM

That's it. Though I think Hillary would have made a great President, she has been pushed into a political realm of which I want no part. It's time for her to quit this race.

Go Obama! Get this thing over with and move on to Grandpa McCain.

Posted by Big Sven | May 8, 2008 8:47 AM

@4 - I'm thinking the 91 percent of blacks in NC who voted for Obama did so because the other candidate has said in no uncertain terms that she doesn't give a sh*t about them.

Posted by Georgia Guy | May 8, 2008 8:48 AM

Obama's support among white working class voters increased from Ohio to Pennsylvania to Indiana and North Carolina. Senator Clinton is lying again.

Posted by Bub | May 8, 2008 8:49 AM
This is a losing strategy, but is it really so much worse than "I appeal to black voters"?

Yes, it is much worse, considering every president ever has represented white voters, and no president ever has represented black voters.

Posted by poppy | May 8, 2008 8:50 AM

...I'd also like to ask my fellow Clinton-admirers like 5280 and Rhett and Monique to consider the idea that now is the time to move over to Obama. Maybe if enough of us around the country start to make the move, Senator Clinton will get the message and gracefully end this race.

Posted by Big Sven | May 8, 2008 8:53 AM

" ... Senator Clinton will get the message and gracefully end this race." Too late.

Posted by Bub | May 8, 2008 8:57 AM

@1 get your facts straight.

blacks never got 3/5 of a vote. they got 0/5 -- you really think they got 3/5 of a vote? They fucking didn't get anything, not votes, not access to the free land the whites got, not the ability to create lots of lilly white states with lilly white senators for the next centuires, not access to the land grant colleges, not access to the GI bill, not protection of the laws against assault, basically, not a damn thing.

their population counted 3/5 of a person for the benefit of the white slave owner states relative to the nonslaveowner states. so among white people alone, this rule gave whites in slave owning states more than "one white person, one vote" in Congress and in the Electoral College. This was inequality against (a) blacks, duh, and (b) whites in non slave owning states.

Without this inequality president Jefferson who for some reason is the big hero of the Democratic party even today would not have won against, um, who was it, Adams I think who was actually against slavery (I think) and was from a sstate that either had abolished it or was about it.

They called Jefferson the Negro President because his victory was based on the fact that the slave owners states were overrepresented compared to the nonslaveowner states. This whole power structure is a big reason why most us presidents were slaveowners up to the civil war. The remains of this power structure today are that we have tons of lilly white farmer states that get 2 senators each which is undemocratic, also, btw, but progressives don't seem to care.

It's amazing to me how people who talk about racism all the time don't even know the most basic facts and don't even seem to recognize the full extent of it in distorting power and shaping our nation's history.

Anyway as to the white vote and Obama:

I find it incorrect and likely racist to say or assume all or most of the whites who are not voting fo Obama are racists. Yes, there is a core of racists in the USA -- who knows if this is 3% or 15% -- and I think the vast majority of them are GOPsters -- so yes some are in the Democratic party.

But maybe lots of whites just don't like his policies or don't feel that emotional connection that is what actually moves most voters. OR don't like wright but not becvause of race, because wright is anti american. I mean shit if OBama was white and had a 20 year association with a pastor who was, um, Williaim Ayers or otherwise totally anti american then lots of patriotic feeling people would be against him, for that.

Are all the Latinos racists, too? They're not voting for him either.

I think our candidate Sen. Obama will see that these people are not racist, will not denigrate them as racist as some of his supporters do, will view them as reachable, will remain in a positive frame of mind about them, hopeful, optimistic, building a big coalition fo what unites us not divides us, and not be so overly negative, and divisive.

Posted by PC | May 8, 2008 8:59 AM

How many sharks have been jumped at this point, exactly?

Posted by tsm | May 8, 2008 8:59 AM

big sven, you're asking a lot from people who've basically invested their whole politcal credibility on someone who lost. If they are half as pragmatic as you then theyll come around eventually.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | May 8, 2008 9:04 AM

I'm betting that those African American superdelegates that hung tight with Clinton are feeling pretty vindicated right now.

And she realizes that her senate seat is based around the goodwill of NYC voters, yes?

Posted by R. Jackson, Vengeful Intern | May 8, 2008 9:04 AM

"working, hard-working Americans, white Americans"

the implication that americans of other ethnicities don't "work hard" isn't bigoted?

personally, my ambition is to work SOFT.

Posted by max solomon | May 8, 2008 9:06 AM

At least she was having a go at blacks rather than women. If she had implied that women aren't hard working, or even said words which could be used in an acrostic to indicate that, she would have had to answer to one very angry ECB!

Posted by also | May 8, 2008 9:08 AM

Oh, Hillary. The George Wallace faction left the party years ago. You're not doing us any favors by trying to bring it back.

Could the DNC please put this campaign down humanely?

Posted by youknowitstrue | May 8, 2008 9:09 AM

"president Jefferson who for some reason is the big hero of the Democratic party even today "

For some reason? What you're forgetting is that in his era, slavery was considered acceptable. I'm not defending the fact that he owned slaves, but it seems a little hard-nosed to excoriate a guy who was so progressive in the rest of his political views for something that, at the time, was taken for granted as the way things are done.

The fact is that they wrote the Constitution so that it could be amended and changed, and when society as a whole recognized the crime of slavery it was abolished. It's easy to judge through our 21st century perspective, but life was very, very different back then.

Posted by AMB | May 8, 2008 9:10 AM

M. Solomon, I was about to type the exact same thing.

*concurs wildly*

Posted by Jeremy | May 8, 2008 9:12 AM

Hicks and racists for Hillary!!!

Posted by Clint | May 8, 2008 9:21 AM

The race for race!

Posted by -B- | May 8, 2008 9:21 AM

as ecb predicted on her piece, she is now embarrasing herself.

the race is over, she lost. turn the cameras off.

Posted by SeMe | May 8, 2008 9:31 AM

The whites who are voting for Clinton on the basis of race are voting AGAINST a black man. The blacks who are voting for Obama on the basis of race are voting FOR a black man. The former is racist, the latter is aspirational. They are very different things.

Posted by cmaceachen | May 8, 2008 9:37 AM

@17 you and your fellow clinton supporters are not welcome to vote with us. no glory for you. you blew it, now take a hike. ya dig?

Posted by cochise. | May 8, 2008 9:55 AM

Every day in every way she goes further off the reservation ...

Posted by Will in Seattle | May 8, 2008 9:56 AM

Hey Big Sven:

Try goggling Paul v. Clinton, and then tell us all how much you admire Hillary...

Posted by KeeKee | May 8, 2008 10:00 AM

@PC- The loudest person suggesting that people who aren't voting for Obama are racists is Hillary herself. She's downright encouraging it as a political strategy.

Posted by steve | May 8, 2008 10:00 AM

How out of touch can you be?! She has to see that everyone out there is saying the same thing; I feel like my head is going to explode.

I think it's funny she tells so many people that Obama is an elitist, yet she's the one pouring millions into a losing campaign.

Posted by Homo Will | May 8, 2008 10:02 AM

@Big Sven: I left the Hillary camp a while ago. I can't remember when exactly (maybe a month or so?). I really wanted her to gracefully drop out, and start campaigning for Obama, VP slot or not.

Though I still hate that people think Obama isn't using shitty campaign tactics (because he is, he is just better at hiding it). This doesn't mean I am against him, I just don't have rosey glasses that think he is "above" all the politics as stated by some on Slog.

Posted by Original Monique | May 8, 2008 10:04 AM

You know, as an AA, I really admired the Clintons. Well, after this campaign, I can no longer say that. I have so many feelings right now, it's difficult to put into words. Let's just say I'm hurt. I expected this kind of talk from the GOP, not the Dems. Maybe it's wishful thinking that this country has moved beyond race.

Posted by Tony | May 8, 2008 10:10 AM

I gotta admit it:

It's a real big turn on to see all the Clinton supporters go done in flames.

Posted by Jethro | May 8, 2008 10:13 AM

Now she's just embarrasing Chelsea. She'll now no doubt start showing up with the six others at KKK rallies.

Posted by Jersey | May 8, 2008 10:15 AM

She'll do anything to avoid having to spend more time with Bill.

Posted by michael strangeways | May 8, 2008 10:51 AM

It's pretty obvious Hillary is angling for the VP slot. She's says Obama is losing the "white vote" - and the rejoinder is "but I can bring them back."

Posted by crazycatguy | May 8, 2008 10:57 AM

Sorry, but for a passably progressive party in the 21st century, an "I can attract racist voters" line is a non-starter.

Posted by K | May 8, 2008 11:35 AM

With the strength of Obama's coalition of those he inspires (of whom African-Americans are only a fraction) and the party's activist base, I have confidence that he can win the general election and doesn't need the racists to do it. I recently visited my parents, who live in Arizona (I am Mexican-American) and was heartened to see plenty of Obama bumper stickers and road signs even in a largely disconnected part of McCain country. It's not just out here in Seattle that he's affecting the climate.

Also, hello Big Sven! It's good to have you back, and with good news. Some of the Obama supporters on this thread are being very ungracious, though some are appropriately appreciative of you. I'm sorry for what they've said-- it's not anything close to the campaign philosophy, which is that building a broad coalition to get things done and working together is a good strategy. I'm thrilled to have you working with us.

Posted by V | May 8, 2008 11:58 AM

As someone who knows more than a little about family-wide this the flip side of the Clinton ambition? To be standing in a shallow hole and pick up a shovel to see how deep you can make it? If she had stood up in Indiana Tuesday night, when they all KNEW it was over, (if Chelsea wasn't crying she sure was just about to) and said, let's pool our strengths to win this, I am not the candidate, the karma on her would have been huge, people demanding on both sides she get the VP slot, canonizing her and pretty much guaranteeing that in eight years she would still be seen as viable for following (hope, hope) Obama into the White House. Now it's just all going to be ashes, just like hubby. What a waste.

Posted by Grant Cogswell | May 8, 2008 12:48 PM

Obama supporters need to wake up. The type of voters who would read and write to SLOG are a tiny, tiny fraction of the country. The vast silent majority of Americans are middle class white people. They won't follow the issues - they will vote in November based on "gut" feelings. Democrates need to win some red states this fall where Gore and Kerry did not succeed. It won't be hard for the GOP to label Obama as an inexperienced, weak, smiling, indecisive conciliator who will "want everyone to get along" while McCain is a tough-minded Washington maverick who will get things done and "do the right thing" despite controversy. The GOP will give people other excuses to vote aginst Obama besides race, to help the silent majority red state voters not feel racist, but race will continue to be a huge unspoken issue for a lot of them. I just hope Obama has a plan for those red swing states besides loud mouthed fringe people (i.e., SLOGGERS)who will just laugh at them, or we will have another GOP president.

Posted by Adiabatic Man | May 8, 2008 12:54 PM

The difference is that Obama isn't basing his campaign on black supporter. He's not saying 'I should be the candidate because black voters support me' or 'Clinton shouldn't be the candidate because she doesn't appeal to black voters.'

Instead he's reaching out and having a lot of success with all sorts of voters. The exception being older uneducated redneck whites, some of whom are quite vocal about the fact that they won't vote for a black candidate.

Posted by | May 8, 2008 12:57 PM

Why does she have to do this? She's lost so much respect and support from me. I was not a Hillary for President supporter, but I was a supporter of her campaign for the Senate in 2000. If I still lived in NY, I would not vote for her again.

Posted by Deacon Seattle | May 8, 2008 1:18 PM

@4 - For several reasons, the black community tends to vote as a monolithic bloc. In just about every Presidential election since at least the mid 1960's, once the black community coalesces around a candidate, that candidate tends to get the vast majority of their votes. Bill Clinton, Al Gore, and John Kerry all enjoyed 85% to 90% vote totals from the black community in the years that they ran. Therefore, race is clearly not an issue.

However, as long as we're on this subject, how about the fact that the VAST MAJORITY of Hillary Clinton's base are white women? Why is that NEVER an issue, whereas the voting habits of the black community are constantly being scrutinized and cited as evidence of black "racism"? Double standard much?

Posted by Jason E | May 8, 2008 1:27 PM

Mo@37: once again, you are two steps ahead of me...

Posted by Big Sven | May 8, 2008 7:09 PM

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