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Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Racist voters, R.I.P.?

Liberal blogs and others, such as Mark Halperin's 'The Page,' are highlighting today a recent offhand comment by Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette editorial board. Rendell has long been a big foot Democratic party boss and Clinton backer. Anyway, he said, referring to the key Pennsylvania primary coming up, "You've got conservative whites here, and I think there are some whites who are probably not ready to vote for an African-American candidate."

He allowed that this was a relatively small number, but the black columnist at the paper, Tony Norman, who reported it, and now others, have expressed shock and disapproval. As I have pointed out for awhile, it amazes me that so many Obama backers, and fawning media, seem to act like racism ended in the U.S. at some point in the recent past. They have been carried away by Obama's strong showing so far -- while ignoring the evidence (as I have observed here a couple of times) that, indeed, some whites still are voting against him on the basis of race. I'm not saying that race is the major factor in this campaign but the extent that it is pooh-poohed surprises me. Rendell never said it was a large number -- but a number. Obama himself said in Virginia this week, "Sure, there are some people who will not vote for me because I'm black and there are some people who will vote for me because I am black."

Sometimes I even wonder if one reason so many conservative pundits, such as Bill Kristol, are saying so many nice things about Obama is that secret GOP polling shows that Obama will actually pose a weaker threat in November (for this reason) than Hillary. I feel there is a built-in "ceiling" for each of them: Obama because of race, and Hillary as a woman and someone who is hated by so many. I know that the polls right now show Obama running stronger vs. McCain-- but, as I've pointed out previously, this is what people are telling pollsters, not necessarily what they would really do in private inside a voting booth. If the "new voters" and indies keep flocking to Obama (and actually, for a change, bother to show up at the polls in November) it will indeed be easy for him vs. McCain.

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