From NBC/NJ’s Matthew E. Berger – MSNBC.MSN.com
PITTSBURGH, Pa. — African-American Republicans told McCain Tuesday not to abandon efforts to court black voters, despite the uphill battle in facing a prominent African-American Democratic challenger, meeting participants told NBC/National Journal.
A small group of black Republican current and former elected officials met with McCain at his Virginia headquarters, carrying a message that McCain and the Republican Party should reach out to black voters through “conversation and engagement” on issues like economic policy and healthcare.
“It’s important, especially with an African American running on the Democratic side, that the party reawaken its relationship (with black voters), no matter how tattered and torn it has been over the years,” Michael Steele, the former Maryland lieutenant governor, said in an interview.
Included in the group were Texas Railroad Commissioner Michael Williams, former Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell — who ran lost to Ted Strickland in 2006 for Ohio governor — and former Rep. J.C. Watts, according to the campaign. Lynn Swann, the pro football Hall of Famer who ran for Pennsylvania governor in 2006, participated by conference call. Continue reading
Presidential Hopeful Apologizes For Comments By Her Husband And Geraldine Ferraro
Democratic presidential hopeful, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., makes a campaign stop at a National Newspaper Publishers Association event at the Washington Hilton in Washington, Wednesday, March 12, 2008. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
(CBS/AP) Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton did something Wednesday night that she almost never does.
And once she started, she didn’t seem able to stop.
The New York senator, who is tight race with Illinois Sen. Barack Obama for the Democratic presidential nomination, struck several sorry notes at an evening forum sponsored by the National Newspaper Publishers Association, a group of more than 200 black community newspapers across the country.
Her biggest apology came in response to a question about comments by her husband, Bill Clinton, after the South Carolina primary, which Obama won handily. Bill Clinton said Jesse Jackson also won South Carolina when he ran for president in 1984 and 1988, a comment many viewed as belittling Obama’s success.
“I want to put that in context. You know I am sorry if anyone was offended. It was certainly not meant in any way to be offensive,” Hillary Clinton said. “We can be proud of both Jesse Jackson and Senator Obama.”
“Anyone who has followed my husband’s public life or my public life know very well where we have stood and what we have stood for and who we have stood with,” she said, acknowledging that whoever wins the nomination will have to heal the wounds of a bruising, historic contest.
“Once one of us has the nomination there will be a great effort to unify the Democratic party and we will do so, because, remember I have a lot of supporters who have voted for me in very large numbers and I would expect them to support Senator Obama if he were the nominee,” she said. Continue reading
Barack Obama is victorious in Mississippi‘s Democratic primary today. It’s a great way to go into next month’s high-stakes race with Hillary in Pennsylvania.
Obama was winning roughly 90 percent of the black vote but only about one-quarter of the white vote, extending a pattern that carried him to victory in earlier primaries in South Carolina, Alabama, Georgia and Louisiana.
Obama picked up at least six Mississippi delegates to the Democratic National Convention, with 27 more to be awarded. He hoped for a win sizable enough to erase most if not all of Clinton’s 11-delegate gain from last week, when she won three primaries.
The Illinois senator had 1,585 delegates to 1,473 for Clinton. It takes 2,025 to win the nomination. Obama leads Clinton among pledged delegates, 1,374-1,226 in The Associated Press count, while the former first lady has an advantage among superdelegates, 247-211. – Yahoo News
Associated Press is reporting that “whites largely shunned Barack Obama…as the Deep South showed once again its reluctance to embrace him across racial lines.” I say to that “Surprise, Surprise” in my best Alfalfa voice. It’s a very interesting article…read it.
The DC Democratic primary is tomorrow and I guess it’s time to stop holding my peace. I’ve sat back and read commentary after commentary about why Obama isn’t black enough, experienced enough, how America isn’t ready enough for a black president, etc. Hello, Negro even asked the question, “Do We really want Obama to Win?” My answer, at least, is emphatically, YES! My question would be, why not and what are we afraid of? (Yes, ‘we’ Black Americans…I said it!). At the beginning of his campaign, Obama probably only had the public (black) support of Oprah and Chris Rock who seemed to have no problem seeing the trees from the forest in deciding to support him in his bid for the presidency. In February 2008, I see how that took courage as it appeared that there wasn’t an overwhelming sense of support from the black community in the beginning. Hell, prominent black elected officials seemed to lead the charge in the disapproval of his candidacy and early support of Hillary Clinton. It seems that as non-black Americans began to support Obama, black Americans gained more and more courage to believe. In November 2007, The Chicago Sun-Times quoted Michelle Obama as saying, “Black America will wake up and get it”. I think she understood that it may be hard for some of us to believe in the possibility of a black American president and given more time, we would find the strength to believe and not be afraid to vote for him. It seems she was right…slowly, but surely.
Maybe it’s me, but I would assume black people would at least give him the benefit of the doubt until he proved himself crazy or at least akin to Clarence Thomas or something… I thought it ingenious to ask black people if they were supporting Obama because he was black. What a guilt bestowed and what timing. What better way to make any of us who respected him as a candidate while feeling empowered as a black person feel guilty and be proud not to support him for that very reason? Were white people equally asked whether they’re voting for any of the other white candidates because they’re white? Better yet, were they asked if they decided not to vote for Obama because he was black? They were largely allowed to make that decision when they voted.
For all the talk of Hillary Clinton having more experience than him, it is very clear that not too much separates the two policy wise. They’ve even admitted as such. At this point in the race, the democratic vote seems to hinge on voting for a woman or a black man. Today, Hillary Clinton visited the National Council of Negro Women’s headquarter in DC to court the black female vote which appears to be the real swing among the division in the black vote. Hello Negro even asked if black women felt more inclined to vote for Hillary because she was a woman. I think Hillary understands that the gender split in the black vote alone could swing the race in her favor. The article addresses the prominent black wives that have decided to vote for her while their husbands support Obama.
In the end, for all the excuses given for not supporting Obama, please don’t miss the opportunity to vote for him because of some underlying fear or guilt. Don’t vote for him if you don’t like him. If you do like him and his vision for America and it makes you smile that his family resembles yours, there’s nothing wrong with that. In the words of Chris Rock, “You’d be real embarrassed if he won and you wasn’t down with it!”
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