Category Archives: blue collar

>REACT: Take me home country road …

>Hillary Clinton must be singing the West Virginia theme song these days — hoping that West Virginia’s country road will take her home to the White House. There once was an adage in presidential campaigns that claimed “as goes Maine, so goes the nation.” This year, I think the vision of things to come may be seen in West Virginia, where Clinton crushed the all-but-crowned Barack Obama by some 40 points.

How is that possible?

Pundits point out that West Virginia has a lower percentage of black votes – around five percent. There you have it. Obama is having a hard time winning over the non-black working class – and that includes Hispanics and Asians. If Obama, the perceived winner of the Democrat nomination, cannot beat Clinton in a Democrat primary, how can he beat McCain in a general election, where the demographics work against him to a far greater extent?

Ever since Obama first played the race card (and yes, as I noted in earlier blogs, he started it in order to push his margins up in the all-important primaries of South Carolina and Louisiana.) Unfortunately for Obama, you cannot rally one special interest group without alarming the other — polarizing the general atmosphere. The more Obama pressed for racial solidarity, the more he lost non-blacks who initially gave him some benefit of the doubt on the race issue.

Obama did what he had to do to win the nomination. His strategy was brilliant, and well executed. It seems now that he has gained his victory on the field of political battle. But, like the mortally wounded general, he will leave victorious arena only to die in another venue.

West Virginia is more like the nation demographically than is South Carolina. If this had been a close election, then Obama could have claimed some appeal across the socio-economic spectrum. But, he was not only beaten, he was smooshed. How can the pre-emptive candidate explain getting beaten so-badly?

A lot has been written about Ron Paul winning descent percentages in his hopeless race against the already designated GOP standard bearer, John McCain. Paul, however, is only getting impressive percentages – no victories, and he certainly has not slam dunked McCain in any contest.

Now that Obama has played the racial card, and allowed others to respond in kind, it is inevitable that the General Election will be dominated by the race issue. Obama’s elitist white supporters will see virulent racism in any opposition. If he falls behind in the campaign, his black base will claim they are being denied their “right” to a president of their race. All this, of course, will only exacerbate Obama’s non-black, working-class problem. Now that Obama has played the race card, he cannot withdraw it. It is face up on the table to be trumped. Though they may put on a happy face, the outcome in West Virginia has to privately scare the bejeezus out Obama and his strategists.

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