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Noonan on HRC's Comments About the "White" Vote

From the WSJ:

In a jaw-dropping interview in USA Today on Thursday, she said, "I have a much broader base to build a winning coalition on." As evidence she cited an Associated Press report that, she said, "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."

White Americans? Hard-working white Americans? "Even Richard Nixon didn't say white," an Obama supporter said, "even with the Southern strategy." If John McCain said, "I got the white vote, baby!" his candidacy would be over. And rising in highest indignation against him would be the old Democratic Party.

Read the whole thing.

UPDATE: Here's the Daily Show's take on Hillary's comments:

 

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AP has an analysis by Nedra Pickles of the issues Hilary cited athttp://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080509/ap_on_el_pr/hillary_democratsAs far as I can tell, the only language Hilary added was "hard-working" in place of working class or blue collar; "white" is from the polls & AP.There is an issue here. In Indiana, white vote split 60/40 Clinton/Obama and blacks 10/90. In NC whites were 61/37, blacks 7/91. The difference was not in either group, but that NC had a higher percentage of black voters. Nationally, the percentage of black voters is much closer to IN's 9 % than to NC's 30%.

Bob Herbert's column today is a full body slam at the Clintons evoked by this comment. Hearing it repeated on the talk shows is disturbing and seems to be rightly called divisive if not not so subtly racially sensitive and even prejudicial. However, is there a way for a candidate to talk about these obviously racial demographics? Or should this be just a back room discussion or demurred from if brought up by the press?

I think your last couple of questions are incredibly important David, because let's be honest folks, this is a serious issue this campaign. Demography is everything in these elections and consequently there's no small reason to think it will play a role in the the general. So it needs to be talked about and not called racist. Stating the facts should not be considered racist.I don't understand how bringing up the racial divisions in the elections necessarily makes someone racist or implies that they are trying to incite racist thinking. I've felt this way whenever political commentators talk about how Barack is drawing 90% of the African American vote and I feel the same way when they (or Hillary herself) talk about the majority of white votes that she tends to get (and in increasing numbers as the election moves on). Obama supporters, in my opinion, are not making the right move in trying to brush aside this important demographic problem that he has had in the primaries. Both candidates have serious demographic issues and they ought to be discussed.

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About the Author

Eduardo Moisés Peñalver is the John P. Wilson Professor of Law at the University of Chicago Law School. He is the author of numerous books and articles on the subjects of property and land use law.