"Mr Obama’s problem, as the candidate of unity and change, is that spats over seemingly innocuous racial remarks remind white voters of the type of divisive politics more usually found on college campuses.(...) It will be unfortunate for the Democrats if television reports from Michigan focus on outraged blacks wondering why they cannot vote for Mr Obama." The EconomistDavid Seaton's News Links
Hillary is playing this race thing smarter than most people think. Hillary knows that nothing makes American white people, especially the liberal type, more nervous than easily offended black people. White, American, liberals live in terror of offending "touchy" blacks and at the same time they resent having to eternally walk on eggshells and there is much suspicion among them that this fear of giving offense is being used to manipulate and dominate them.
Hillary's remarks about Doctor King were unoffensive to white ears, but the Clintons know better than anyone the finest shades of tonality and nuance needed to set off black "rage".
Thus she is seen to be enduring the American white liberal's great nightmare: to, inadvertently, with the best will in the world, have said something that has offended African-American sensitivity.
Of course, Hillary is subtly introducing a subliminal theme here.
Obama gets elected president, but he turns out, like so many have been, to be a perfectly awful president.
- Could we insult Obama the same way we insult Bush?
- Wouldn't that be taken as racism by African-Americans?
- Wouldn't that be rather inhibiting?
What Hillary has done is to temporarily lose some black support that, if she is finally the candidate, Bill will retrieve for her. In return she has caused ultra-sensitive black people (or professionally ultra-sensitive leaders) to rally to him in such a way as to make Obama seem much more black than he has up till now wished to appear. This will probably cause a lot of white people to vote for Hillary in the primaries. I think we'll see this cynical tactic pay off for her on Super Tuesday. Hillary may be "unlikable", but she is plenty smart.
Of course, all this mess really only comes about because until now American "identity" politics was always played with surrogates: WASP men wearing masks.
Thus Bill Clinton was "America's first black president". The whatever WASP whose turn it was to woo Latinos, would eat tacos and say "juntos podemos" with an atrocious accent etc, etc. Candidates would attempt to show that they were "sensitive" to the feminist agenda and so on. Absolutely de rigueur for all white, male and protestant presidentiables was a photo at Yad Vashem sporting a yomulka. This all came with the turf like kissing babies. It was a game.
The problems start when the Democrats decided to use "originals" instead of the traditional, "ballo in maschera". The whole charade begins to fall apart without the WASP surrogates. DS