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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Why Clinton Lost: Francis

Note: This is the third and final part of a three-part series focusing on why Senator
Clinton lost in her bid to be the democratic nominee for president of the United States. This piece was written by
organizer and blogger Francis at I find his emphasis on the color-arousing behavior of Senator Clinton as a key reason she lost to be very interesting.

Why Blacks Voted FOR Obama, Why Blacks Voted AGAINST Clinton

by Francis

Clinton would have won if she had just held onto half of the Black vote, and she entered the race with 80% to 90% of the Black vote.

There are a lot of reasons that Clinton lost the Black vote, and you'd have to divide these reasons into two lists that are not the same: (a) the reasons Blacks voted FOR Obama and (b) the reasons Blacks voted AGAINST Clinton.

Let's look at the reasons Blacks voted FOR Obama:

1). He's obviously a genius intellect,

2). He's a US Senator with the institutional position from which to run for president,

3). Whites voted for Obama first, in Iowa and New Hampshire, which meant that Obama had a real chance to win if Blacks switched support from Clinton to Obama,

4). Obama ran a very principled and directed campaign with a very positive message of hope and change,

5). Obama said, "This is our time for change," which was a subtle enough message that it was Blacks' time to pull together and do something as one.

6). The same Black bloggers and Black online organizations that organized the Jena March also called on Blacks to go to the polls and vote for Barack Obama.

Now, let's look at just a few of the reasons why Blacks voted AGAINST Clinton, in no particular order:

1) Clinton failed to understand, in spite of warnings that she received, that Blacks would identify with Obama and would feel insulted every time Obama was insulted,

2). Clinton engaged in a horde of color-arousal strategies intended to convince Blacks and whites not to believe in or vote for Obama because of his skin color, each of which strategies infuriated Blacks and caused us to identify more strongly with his struggle against Hillary,

3). When Hillary's people told Iowans that Obama was a Muslim, we realized that argument could be used against any of us, and so Clinton really must never have felt any real solidarity with Black American,

4). When Clinton suggested that America's only Black member of the US Congress should be suspected of having been a drug dealer, we realized that was based on his skin color, which meant ALL Black people who had ever used marijuana should be suspected of having been a drug dealer. This was the first time ANY presidential candidate had been so accused and it was clearly based on skin color, since no information was ever offered to support this accusation,

5). Clinton's attempts to convince Blacks not to vote for Obama were inept, whether they came from white surrogates or Black surrogates. These efforts were all based on Obama's skin color instead of any substantive aspect of Obama's plan for America.

6). Even though most of us agreed that Clinton had more experience, we were willing to overlook this when Obama became viable AND we became furious with Clinton for trying to color arouse the public against Black people.

7). In South Carolina, Bill Clinton's comparison to Jesse Jackson demeaned Obama ON THE BASIS OF SKIN COLOR. If Bill had instead compared Obama to Gary Hart, with Gary Hart's "New Ideas", that would have been much more effective, both with Blacks and with whites.

8). The more Blacks heard Clinton argue against Obama, the more convinced we became that we would never vote for Clinton, but instead that we would vote AGAINST her. Even those of us who were not completely convinced about Obama nonetheless became completely convinced AGAINST Clinton by what she said. She would have gotten more Black votes if she had said nothing about Obama at all, or if she had argued against him using traditional arguments that were not aroused by Obama's skin color.

For white politicians, the message is to give Black competitors the respect to run against them the way you would run against any white candidate. This way, you can win white votes while keeping your Black base.

Instead, Clinton proved that she was unscrupulous and would use the Southern Strategy nationwide before even trying others at her disposal. Good riddance to her!


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