Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

September 28, 2007
By: Kevin Drum

OBAMA UPDATE....Barack Obama held a rally in New York City last night and wanted to make sure everyone knew it was big:

His staff had a scissors lift (a.k.a. a cherry-picker) and was taking photographers — and, by the end of the evening, print reporters as well — up in it to get crowd shots.

I guess that's pretty clever. Or is it old hat, but I've just never heard of it before?

In other Obama news, Bloomberg reports:

When the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation takes up the topic "What's at Stake in '08" at its annual legislative conference today, the group's only presidential candidate, Senator Barack Obama of Illinois, won't be leading the discussion.

Top billing will go to New York Senator Hillary Clinton, who will be joined by Caucus leaders in the main ballroom of the Washington Convention Center. Obama will speak later in the day, on climate change, in a much smaller conference room.

"I was shocked" by the program, said Ronald Walters, a political science professor at the University of Maryland in College Park who advised Reverend Jesse Jackson's presidential runs. "Environmentalism is important, but it's not one of the headline issues in the black community."

The rest of the story is a gloss on what's apparently become the newest buzz in Obama reporting: the belief that because Obama is black, he can't afford to be seen as too close to the black community. "He has to run what I would call a deracialized campaign," said Bruce Ransom, a political science professor at Clemson University in South Carolina. This has all the makings of being the latest Hot Topic™ on the campaign trail. Expect a Newsweek cover story soon.

Kevin Drum 1:27 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (25)

Bookmark and Share
 
Comments

A scissor lift and a "cherry picker" are not the same thing. A scissor lift is typically capable of only a straight up and down vertical lift. Various size platforms are available for workers to stand on as they work, usually held in by metal rails. A cherry picker is a bucket (although sometimes a small platform) on the end of either an articulated arm or a straight telescoping arm. Scissor lifts have a lift height inferior to that of cherry pickers, usually peaking at 50 feet while some articulated or telescoping lifts can reach 130 feet or more. Just so you know.

Posted by: steve duncan on September 28, 2007 at 1:44 PM | PERMALINK

'De-racialized' or 'un-racialized'?

Sound like accounting terms? In this context, they are.

Posted by: wishIwuz2 on September 28, 2007 at 1:54 PM | PERMALINK

Shut up and post some cats!

Posted by: absent observer on September 28, 2007 at 1:55 PM | PERMALINK

"Environmentalism is important, but it's not one of the headline issues in the black community."

Mr. Walters summed it up why Obama may be running a deracialized race. We all want a candidate to identify with, and if Obama is publically seen to be casting the majority of his focus toward the needs of the black community, the non-black community is going to drift away, not out of anger or racial bias, but out of disappointment in not feeling part of the dialogue.

Blacks do have specific issues; Obama can either include them as a vital part of the wider scope of his vision or make them his vision, in which case his popularity could predictably drop off. Folks want to be a part of something bigger than themselves, and if Obama can include the sticking points and worries of as wide a circle of America as possible, he can get the votes.

To be inclusive, not exclusive, would be 180 out from the current administration. I would love to see a candidate gather this nation together, under decent and visionary leadership, as one people again. And that of course over the protestations of Rush Limbaugh.

Posted by: Zit on September 28, 2007 at 1:58 PM | PERMALINK

The story behind the story regarding the CBC is that one co-chair is a Hillary supporter and the other is undecided but rumored to be in her camp as well.

Posted by: Geek, Esq. on September 28, 2007 at 1:59 PM | PERMALINK

A cherry-picker is someone like Glenn Reynolds, who ignores all evidence that refutes his premise and just makes shit up.

See also, Bush Administration, any member of.

Posted by: edgirt on September 28, 2007 at 1:59 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin, I think you're right Obama's campaign is in trouble. Although he is very articulate, his current obsession with global warming only appeals to his liberal base and not to the broad mass of independent and centrist voters. Obama needs to show he is not uppity and out of touch with mainstream America and talking about global warming does not do that.
If he wants to start appealing to the mainstream he should talk about terrorism and how he would defend America against the terrorists. But when he does that he just comes off as very angry and Bush bashing. So I don't see much hope in Obama's campaign right now. If Democrats want to choose someone electable, they need to choose someone who breaks from the mode of the typical Democratic candidate, but I don't see that happening which means Hillary will probably be chosen because she is good at feeding red meat to the left wing base and bloggers.

Posted by: Al on September 28, 2007 at 2:02 PM | PERMALINK

"Obama needs to show he is not uppity...."

Posted by: Al on September 28, 2007 at 2:02 PM | PERMALINK
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Yeah, don't want to be electing any uppity negroes, do we?

Posted by: steve duncan on September 28, 2007 at 2:12 PM | PERMALINK

Is that the real racist cracker Al or is it Bill O'Reilly using a screen name?

Posted by: Alpo on September 28, 2007 at 2:13 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin, I think you're right Obama's campaign is in trouble." Posted by: Al on September 28, 2007 at 2:02 PM

Al. Darlin'. Kevin said nothing about Obama's campaign being in trouble, sweetheart. Are you the kind of boy who stares fixedly at frozen orange juice because it says "Concentrate"?

Posted by: Al's Aunt Clara on September 28, 2007 at 2:15 PM | PERMALINK

Ah, Kevin.

"...he can't afford to be seen as too close to the black community"

Is any Democrat?

Posted by: egbert on September 28, 2007 at 2:33 PM | PERMALINK

egbert shoots & scores with that one.

Posted by: junebug on September 28, 2007 at 2:56 PM | PERMALINK

Here is the deal from one middle aged, middle class white guy. I really do not like Hillary Clinton--she strikes me as GOP light just like her husband without the charm. I think Obama is incredibly eloquent and is likely the smartest guy or gal in the race, but seems overly timid in his positions--the whole dust up about talking to hostile foreign leaders should have been shoved right up Hillary's butt. I understand the need of Dumbya to want to prove he has the biggest dick in the room but Hillary?--and I remain turned off by his jumping on the lets get Imus bandwagon a few months ago. I want someone who will be president of America--not Black America or White America or Rich America or Poor America. The GOP does not--they want a president of White, Rich America-and will not get my vote, but unless Obama convinces me that he will not just be the president of Black America he will not get my vote either. And while I do not get to vote in a primary until it will likely be over, Hillary does not have my vote and I think Obama's strategy of deracializing his campaign is sound.

Posted by: Terry on September 28, 2007 at 2:58 PM | PERMALINK

Are you now saying that the media spin has gone from Obama not being black enough to his being too black? What's next, when he does start attacking Hillary, will he then be vilified for being a black man attacking a white woman in public?

Posted by: altongary on September 28, 2007 at 3:31 PM | PERMALINK

Q. What is the mistake most black politicians make?

A. They don't support white issues. A totally selfish perspective gets the black vote, but no real power.

Posted by: Luther on September 28, 2007 at 3:39 PM | PERMALINK

I'm confused, what does any of this have to do with poser mall-goths?

Posted by: Mark on September 28, 2007 at 4:32 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin: "Expect a Newsweek cover story soon."

I think it at least merits a column by Time's Joe Klein -- or perhaps even an anonymously authored novel, Primarily Colored, in which the hilarious opening chapter has the "fictional" black presidential candidate being mistaken by invited guests for a valet at his own fundraiser, while his wife debates the merits of a capitalist society with UCLA Prefessor Angela Davis.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on September 28, 2007 at 4:55 PM | PERMALINK

Mark: "I'm confused, what does any of this have to do with poser mall-goths?"

That's so passe! Nowadays, it's like totally cool to be a young dreadlocked member of the Beverly Hills Rastafarian community, and hang out on Sunset Blvd.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on September 28, 2007 at 5:08 PM | PERMALINK

That's so passe! Nowadays, it's like totally cool to be a young dreadlocked member of the Beverly Hills Rastafarian community, and hang out on Sunset Blvd.

Ever notice how many of the "Rastafarians" you meet are casually eating chicken nuggets? I always want to tell them, "You know, it's okay to admit you're just a stoner who likes the hats."

Posted by: shortstop on September 28, 2007 at 5:36 PM | PERMALINK

Are you now saying that the media spin has gone from Obama not being black enough to his being too black?

Not to worry. He's hired Goldilocks as a media consultant, who's explained to him how to make his blackness "just right".

Posted by: frankly0 on September 28, 2007 at 5:38 PM | PERMALINK

His staff had a scissors lift (a.k.a. a cherry-picker)

A scissor-lift is a scissor lift. A "Cherry picker" is a boom lift. Now you know.

I suppose someone could make an all-terrain scissor lift, but I've never seen one. Not sure I'd want to get on one, off a concrete floor, anyway. Not the most stable devices in the world, to start with, once you get 'em up in the air...

Posted by: Doozer on September 28, 2007 at 7:41 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin asks: "Or is it old hat, but I've just never heard of it before?"

They probably didn't have cherry pickers or scissor lifts in her day, but Leni Riefenstahl did something similar when she filmed the crowd scenes in Triumph of the Will.

Posted by: Paul Woodford on September 28, 2007 at 8:18 PM | PERMALINK

A weak equivalence drawn between Obama and Leni Riefenstahl. Wow. Hats off to you, sir.

Posted by: Allen K. on September 28, 2007 at 10:48 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin quoted: "Obama will speak later in the day, on climate change, in a much smaller conference room. 'I was shocked' by the program, said Ronald Walters, a political science professor at the University of Maryland in College Park who advised Reverend Jesse Jackson's presidential runs. 'Environmentalism is important, but it's not one of the headline issues in the black community.'"

Climate change should be a "headline issue" in the black community, since among other things it portends a global failure of agriculture leading to skyrocketing food prices, which will most severely impact economically disadvantaged people, who in the USA are disproportionately black.

People need to stop thinking about climate change in terms of vague notions like "environmentalism" and start thinking of it in concrete terms like "mass starvation".

I am glad that Obama will be addressing the black community on the subject of climate change. It is an existential threat not only to the "black community" but to the entire human community of this planet.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on September 30, 2007 at 10:08 PM | PERMALINK

shortstop wrote: "Ever notice how many of the 'Rastafarians' you meet are casually eating chicken nuggets?"

A friend of mine used to spend a lot of time in the area around Negril, Jamaica before it became popular with tourists. He told me that there were always a lot of young Jamaican guys around who called themselves "Rastas", wore braided "dreadlocks", and smoked pot, but they ate meat (including pork) and drank alcohol and chased the North American tourist girls, and impressed him as basically poseurs.

Then one day he was in the general store when some guys came to town to stock up on provisions -- Nyabinghi Rastafarian elders. He said that unlike the lighter-complexioned Jamaicans of the town, their skin was African jet-black and they had massive matted dreads down to their knees, and their eyes were deep red. They ate a strictly vegan, salt-free ital diet and consumed no alcohol. They live up in The Hills in a remote rural area where they grow ganja, which they don't smoke, but make into ganja cake which they eat all the time. They are pacifist farmers, and live an austere life of religious devotion, and only come into town a few times a year to buy supplies.

You are not likely to encounter Rastafarians like that in malls in the USA.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on September 30, 2007 at 10:24 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

Read Jonathan Rowe remembrance and articles
Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

Advertise in WM



buy from Amazon and
support the Monthly