October 19, 2007

Is Hillary More Black Than Obama?

It’s the nadir of ethnic politics and at the same time a repudiation of them, but Barack Obama somehow has managed to come across to African-American voters as less black than Hillary Clinton. CNN’s Roland Martin delivers that analysis, which scolds Obama for his emotional “detachment” and focus on policy rather than engagement in exploitative histrionics that Martin apparently believes black voters want. According to CNN’s poll, Martin has it correct that something appears to be missing from Obama’s campaign.

At Heading Right, I question the entire basis for Martin's analysis. He seems to disregard entirely the notion that black voters might consider Hillary Clinton the better candidate for rational reasons unrelated to emotional appeals. Martin doesn't give these voters any credit for making rational choices, which seems doubly strange since Hillary isn't exactly a model of empathy and emotionalism on the stump, either. Perhaps Martin has a fear of what applications rational decision-making will have in the general election?


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