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Friday, August 24, 2007

OBAMA & BLACK POLITICS

Here is another great post from the good folks at BlackPolicy.org. They point out in the post that "Sadly, in 2007, we are still a nation struggling with "firsts." In a perfect and just world, we would be on our second, third or fourth African American/woman/Hispanic candidate. However, Obama's candidacy should be a signal for more disenfranchised groups and individuals to step up to the plate and make a change. In the meantime, we give props to a brother who has the audacity to try and make history."



Read more below:

Blackpolicy.org: Groff/Ellison Report & SUNDAY Nite Talk
Center for African American Policy at the University of Denver

GROFF/ELLISON POLITICAL REPORT (8.23.07)
YOU PROBABLY WON'T GET IT BOTH WAYS
Black folks seem to think that when all is said and done and all the primaries and caucuses are over and Democrats go marching up to Denver for their quadrennial political coronation and the balloons are falling from the ceiling, Senators Hillary Clinton and her Vice Presiential nominee and Senate colleague Barack Obama will be clasping hands smiling and waving to the joyful delegates with the Obama girls, the real Obama girls dancing in the balloons. But the likelihood of that happening we think is slim. Not just because things have become frosty between Senators Clinton and Obama on the campaign trail as the race has narrowed to a contest between the two. History has shown that for the sake of party unity and a chance at a national victory, primary enemies will become general election running mates. John Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson and Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush show that is the case. But a Clinton-Obama ticket may not be feasible for several other reasons.

The biggest hurdle is America itself. We are already questioning whether America is ready for a women or a black or a Hispanic or a Mormon to be President? Maybe they are for one or the other, but both? It is a tremendous leap to assume that America is ready for a woman and an African American on the same ticket. America has had a woman on the ticket before, lest we forget Geraldine Ferraro - the running mate of Walter Mondale - in 1984. It seems to have come to grips with an African American running thanks to Jesse Jackson's bids. But to combine them even in the 21 century may be a stretch. Senator Clinton would also have to assume that the south - with exception of Florida - is lost to her in a general election, so her gateway back to the White House is winning Pennsylvania, Florida or Ohio and or some combination of western states. Florida and Ohio have let down Democratic nominees in each of the last two presidential elections and there is no reason to color them blue now. In an election where the Vice Presidential pick may actually mean something Mrs. Clinton may have to look west and tap some of the moderate Democratic talent between Kansas and California. Governors Brian Schweitzer of Montana and Bill Ritter of Colorado, U.S. Senators Ken Salazar (Colorado) and freshman Jon Tester (Montana) and even Bill Richardson of New Mexico would have to interest Clinton who may need Colorado, New Mexico, Montana, Nevada and or Arizona to cobble together 270 electoral votes.

PROPS: OBAMA & BLACK POLITICS
The fact that several publications question Obama's black "authenticity" and ask if a white man can still be elected to the presidency is proof that there is something different in the water. Regardless of how far Obama goes in this campaign, his standing as a Democratic front-runner means that our world is changing, and hopefully for the better.

We just hope that the enthusiasm for his campaign is not an illusion, that the folks who were crazy enough to brave a freezing Illinois winter day to hear his announcement speech will also be crazy enough to vote a black man into national office. If Obama does not reach the finish line, we only ask that his supporters will turn their attention to the young African Americans and other people of color who are trying to make history in their communities.

Sadly, in 2007, we are still a nation struggling with "firsts." In a perfect and just world, we would be on our second, third or fourth African American/woman/Hispanic candidate. However, Obama's candidacy should be a signal for more disenfranchised groups and individuals to step up to the plate and make a change. In the meantime, we give props to a brother who has the audacity to try and make history. More HERE

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