Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Some Perspective on ‘Bitter’

Bill Kristol should take lessons from Bob Herbert.

Except for people who have been hiding in caves or living in denial, it’s pretty widely understood that a substantial number of those voters — in Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia and elsewhere — will not vote for a black candidate for president.

Sometimes the most obvious truths are the ones the Kristols of this world deny most vehemently.

Senator Obama has spent his campaign trying to dodge the race issue, which in America is like trying to dodge the wind.

Somewhere his message changed, or he went off-message, in the current parlance. In part it was due to the relentless attacks from the Clinton camp; in part due to naivete, or over-confidence, if not arrogance.

He danced all around the truth. Unless you’re Fred Astaire, if your dance steps get too intricate you’re bound to make a misstep. This was a big one.

Race is a central issue in America. Obama started off perfectly: speak above it. Clinton forced into the gutter, where the Clintons are most comfortable. Not to minimize or ignore Reverend Wright's impact, and Obama's own stupidity in not going full-tilt into the race issue. Then again, if he had concentrated on the race issue from the get-go, he would've been easily marginalized.

If I were advising him, I would tell him to confront the matter head-on, meeting as often as possible with skeptical, and even hostile, working people in Pennsylvania and elsewhere. Let the questions rip, and answer them honestly.

I agree, fully. Let people know, especially his most vociferous (Democratic) critics that he has the guts to go toe-to-toe with them, and he will show all others that he has the right stuff. He will not win over those that won't vote for him anyway, but he will score a big gol.

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