Obama not white enough?
"I much want to get on Obama's bandwagon. I do. But I just can't imagine America electing a black president, much less one whose name sounds like Osama, as silly as it sounds. Working in advertising I've learned the hard way to never overestimate people's capacity for simplification."
Ordinarily, I respond to comments on a post with another comment in that post, but I think Alex's trepidations over Obama are commonly held ones, and so they deserve their own spot on the blog.
While I certainly grant that Alex really is worried about the issues of name and race, I don't think that these issues are as big a deal as they're made out to be.
Certainly, race is a factor. One would be foolish to pretend otherwise. But, the likely candidate is Hillary. Is America ready for a female president? Either way, minority issues will be a factor.
Female president, black president ... either way
But I think the fact that Obama's a black man isn't as big a deal as people may think. First, the strongly racist whites wouldn't vote for a Democrat anyway. The days of the Dixiecrats are almost entirely over. There's a few fossils throughout the South who recall the bad old days before Lyndon Johnson, when a good portion of the Democratic Party stood for segregation and intolerance, and many of these fossils still insist on voting Democrat out of some misguided sense of loyalty to a party that no longer represents them. However, to quote the last good Republican president, Dwight Eisenhower, "Their number is negligible, and they are stupid." Eisenhower was talking about far-right conservatives who wanted to end social security and labor laws — at the time, he was right, though that small, stupid group now rules Ike's party. In any case, Ike's phrase can equally be applied to Democrats who would be turned off by a black candidate. Most of the party's David Dukes fled to the Republican Party a long time ago.
And then there's the whole Obama/Osama thing. The problem with this chestnut, I believe, is that the braindead sheep who confuse Obama and Osama probably don't even vote (remember, at best, only half the country goes to the polls).
In the end, I find that most of the people who protest "but America won't vote for a black man" are the very people who wouldn't vote for a black man. (Although I must point out that I certainly don't believe this of Alex's protestation)
Personally, I'd like to give whitey amiss entirely and go with an Obama/Richardson ticket. It combines the domestic issues Obama specializes in with the foreign policy expertise of Bill Richardson. It also swings the Southwest to the Democrats by playing to the Hispanic vote. Yeah, I think that's the way to go. The hell with whitey. Obama/Richardson '08!
The Democratic Ticket -- believe it!