Looks like Clinton has gotten a lift from the fear-mongering, and is now slightly ahead of Obama in Indiana, and has narrowed his double-digit lead in North Carolina.
Polls in Indiana show Clinton now leads Obama there by four points among likely Democratic voters, 48 percent to 44 percent. Eight percent of voters there remain undecided, according to an analysis by a CNN poll.
Meanwhile, Obama continues to put his money on his belief that the majority of Americans won't cast their ballots on race, but for a candidate who they believe will best represent their interests in Washington.
Despite the racially polarizing events, Obama has not wavered from this belief and recently reiterated his belief that if he loses his bid for the Democratic primary, it won't be because of his race.
I'm still not so sure.
Then, there was this piece by Alan Abramowitz two days later.
Racial attitudes have changed dramatically in the United States over the past several decades, of course, and overtly racist beliefs are much less prevalent among white Americans of all classes today. But a more subtle form of prejudice, which social scientists sometimes call symbolic racism, is still out there -- especially among working-class whites.
Symbolic racism means believing that African American poverty and other problems are largely the result of lack of ambition and effort, rather than white racism and discrimination. Who holds symbolically racist beliefs? A relatively large portion of white voters in general and white working-class voters in particular, according to the 2004 American National Election Study, the best data available on this topic
Almost 60 percent of white voters agreed with the statement that "blacks should try harder to succeed." A startling 43 percent of white college graduates nodded at this one, along with 71 percent of whites with no college education.
Fully 49 percent of white voters disagreed with the statement that "history makes it more difficult for blacks to succeed." Forty percent of white college graduates disagreed with it, along with 58 percent of whites with no college education.
Of course, these results don't mean that Obama won't win over white working-class voters. ... Democrats must hope that disapproval of Bush could lead working-class voters to begrudgingly approve of a black presidential candidate.
Finally, there was this analysis of Hillary Clinton from the Las Vegas Journal.
This sort of pseudo sociological analysis is startling. Abramowitz apparently thinks that because a large number of white see African American problems with poverts as rooted in laziness that must make them racist. Apparently assigning a flaw of their own human condition rather than others racism must make them racist. Mitchell sees Obama as so infallable that the only reason anyone would vote against him is because they are racist. Finally, the LVR claims that when Hillary Clinton mentions that "working voters" go heavily for her, what she really means is that white people aren't going to vote for Obama.
The Clinton racism strategy first became apparent in Nevada, when her struggling campaign began to publicly talk about her "Hispanic firewall" against Obama among the rank-and-file in the Culinary union. It hit the national consciousness soon thereafter when former President Bill Clinton, after Hillary lost the South Carolina primary, dismissed Obama's big win as a race-inspired victory akin to Jesse Jackson's success in that state years ago.
The record clearly shows that Hillary's campaign was the first to use Obama's race against him. The strategy gained an unexpected boost when Sen. Obama's former pastor, the egomaniacal Rev. Jeremiah Wright, cribbed the Obama spotlight only to show the world that racism could be a black thing, too. The opportunistic Clinton campaign shamelessly took full advantage of the tension. They not only raised questions about what the Wright debacle meant for an Obama presidency, they slyly positioned Hillary, like a latter-day George Wallace (the Alabama governor, not the very funny Las Vegas comedian), as the "working-class" candidate.
That fear of the different guy, combined with Obama's pastor disaster, paid off. Not only did it give them late wins in important states, it gave them cover to make a thinly veiled racial appeal to the ruling class of the Democratic Party -- the "superdelegates."
The "superdelegate" whisper campaign goes something like this: Hillary is better built to win in November. Obama is soft and elitist. He's a dangerous unknown quantity. But most importantly, Mr. and Mrs. Democratic Insider Superdelegate, look at the voter numbers in key states. Forget about pledged delegates, wins and losses and overall popular vote. Look deep into the numbers of the key states Democrats must win in November.
Do you see those "working-class" numbers? Those are Hillary people. Those are the people who will win the White House for Democrats this fall. Those are the people who count because, faced with a choice between Obama and Sen. John McCain, "working-class" Democrats will vote for McCain.
What is even more startling is that while these columnists bemoan the terrible "racist" disadvantage that Obama will have, none of them seems to mention the overwhelming number of African Americans that are voting for him. Apparently, they see nothing racist in Obama sweeping north of 90% of the African American vote. The only racist analysis they see is white racism on an African American candidate.
Now, we all know that the MSM has been in the tank for Obama since the beginning, but now they have begun a new campaign. It appears they will try and guilt white folks into voting for Obama. They will create a plethora of pseudo sociological commentaries bemoaning the racism that has been unearthed as a result of this campaign. They will "analyze" about how difficult it will be for Obama to overcome this institutional racism. Furthermore, they might even create the perception that any mention of Reverend Wright will only be done to "stoke racist fears".
Now, I won't pretend that there is no racism in this country. I won't pretend that there aren't plenty of whites that won't vote for Obama because of his skin color. I am also not naive enough to think that 90% of African Americans aren't simply voting for Obama based on qualifications either. That said, Obama's electoral problems have a lot more to do with real political issues rather than race. He has struggled with "white working voters" for many reasons not the least of which were his comments in San Francisco. It is absurd and faulty to blame his emerging demographic problems simply on race.
Here's the rub, as Shakespeare might say. The MSM is likely not necessarily looking to make good sound analyses. Instead, they are actively trying to put Obama in the White House. If that means that they will need to guilt whites into voting for him so be it. If making blanket racist charges is the way to go, then it appears that is where they will go.