Saturday, May 10, 2008

What should Hillary Clinton say?

The New York Times tells the latest Clinton version of the race card like this:

Clinton told USA Today in an article published Thursday that AP exit polls ''found how Senator Obama's support among working, hardworking 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.

Clinton's remarks were widely and quickly taken as the most blatant version of the race card that she has played in a campaign full of winks and nods from Senator Clinton and President Clinton. The remarks were widely criticized in the press and by political leaders. It is hard to read her remarks as anything but a calculated attempt to claim that white working class voters, if they can't have her, will move their support to John McCain. There's no knowing what Hillary Clinton actually believes about race, but is there nothing else that she could say at this point that would be less obviously destructive of both her own reputation and of Barack Obama's chance to win the election in November? Would it not be possible for her to say that though she seems to appeal to one demographic and Obama to another, she has no doubt that white working class Americans would support Senator Obama rather than Senator McCain since it is in their interest to do so, and better for the country? Is that such a hard thing to do?

Why should she in effect give her blessing to fence-sitting working class voters to abandon the Democratic Party if it nominates Barack Obama?

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