Michelle Obama Event: Seating Re-Arranged to Showcase Whites

Via The Tartan, the student newspaper for Carnegie Mellon on a Michelle Obama campaign rally in PA:

While the crowd was indeed diverse, some students at the event questioned the practices of Mrs. Obama’s event coordinators, who handpicked the crowd sitting behind Mrs. Obama. The Tartan’s correspondents observed one event coordinator say to another, “Get me more white people, we need more white people.” To an Asian girl sitting in the back row, one coordinator said, “We’re moving you, sorry. It’s going to look so pretty, though.”

“I didn’t know they would say, ‘We need a white person here,’ ” said attendee and senior psychology major Shayna Watson, who sat in the crowd behind Mrs. Obama. “I understood they would want a show of diversity, but to pick up people and to reseat them, I didn’t know it would be so outright.”

The politics of theater. Can you imagine if a similar request for African-Americans was made by the Clinton campaign? It would lead the evening news. [Hat tip Instapundit.]

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    Bush redux.. in every way. (5.00 / 4) (#1)
    by MarkL on Tue Apr 08, 2008 at 08:37:52 PM EST
    I think obama should make sure there are a bunch of dour looking older white women behind him in his PA appearances.

    LOL, dont know about PA, but.... (5.00 / 3) (#27)
    by Maria Garcia on Tue Apr 08, 2008 at 09:23:37 PM EST
    ....weren't there a bunch of older white people behiind him when he spoke in South Dakota recently?

    Michelle Obama's seating arrangements (5.00 / 2) (#69)
    by Leota2 on Wed Apr 09, 2008 at 06:18:05 AM EST
    What gets me is how there are so many "shocked" by this.
    This is standard in ALL campaigns.  All the candidates do this.  Those two African American gentlemen at McCain rallies. . . Those sweet faced African American teens and accompanying multicultural adults (Hispanic, Asian) at Hillary rallies. . . .  Those enthusiastic white coeds and soccer moms at Obama events.
    We truly are naive about the impact of race in this country.
    Well--at least some of us are.
    Stop whining---non issue, unless you want to drag all of the candidates into it.

    Only relevance is TeamO's claim to be against it (none / 0) (#77)
    by Ellie on Wed Apr 09, 2008 at 10:06:09 AM EST
    I wouldn't bat an eye about this stuff no matter who did it but for all the fawning blovi-hours spent holding Obama up as above that type of stuff.

    Every campaign has supporters who'll tweak the visuals by encouraging (eg) cheering or selecting flattering questions from a telegenic audience member at a town hall.

    When a something as mild as a softball question is used to portray Sen Clinton as a grasping "monster" who'll stop at nothing to get elected  -- as the Obama campaign fanned into a news story -- while sending their own plants to heckle and goad fmr. President Clinton, it's something the Obamas indeed need to explain personally.

    This hands-on mendacity in that case should be addressed by any shills who got in a bunch

    Perhaps Keith "Obamann" could make it the subject of his next sputtering rant.


    You'd have to be a pretty dense (5.00 / 0) (#2)
    by cannondaddy on Tue Apr 08, 2008 at 08:39:27 PM EST
    to think she doesn't do this as well...

    Of course (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by Davidson on Tue Apr 08, 2008 at 09:43:07 PM EST
    The point is that Obama, too, is a politician and that Clinton is treated to a harsh double standard.

    As Davnee said (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by Trickster on Tue Apr 08, 2008 at 10:10:57 PM EST

    But that's the point.  All pols do this.  It's stagecraft.  It's typical.  Obama is not the second coming of anything other than politics as usual.  Vote for him if you think he's the best pol running, but quit putting on airs.  That's all I ask.

    Ties in rather nicely (5.00 / 2) (#3)
    by suisser on Tue Apr 08, 2008 at 08:39:33 PM EST
    with the FastCompany cover story on "Obama the Brand".

    This the one? (5.00 / 1) (#50)
    by jawbone on Tue Apr 08, 2008 at 11:01:32 PM EST
    Yes - that's a great article (5.00 / 1) (#65)
    by Josey on Wed Apr 09, 2008 at 01:44:00 AM EST
    Confirms and explains the corporate media's love fest with Obama.
    Obama = The New American Idol = corporate profits

    Yes....Starbucks missed (5.00 / 1) (#67)
    by workingclass artist on Wed Apr 09, 2008 at 04:53:12 AM EST
    A great opportunity at product placement. Lattes for everyone.
    Bur since this is Philly... maybe Regular Joe and Donuts.or better yet bagles? Snickering off the chair.

    They all do this (5.00 / 0) (#4)
    by bumblebums on Tue Apr 08, 2008 at 08:40:01 PM EST
    This isn't news, nor is it shocking.

    Maybe it was the way it was done (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by Stellaaa on Tue Apr 08, 2008 at 08:42:07 PM EST
    I guess he never wanted to be identified as the Black candidate.  

    You should read (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by Coldblue on Tue Apr 08, 2008 at 09:02:35 PM EST
    this post from bostonboomer at The Confluence.

    Quite interesting.


    Extremely interesting, actually (none / 0) (#92)
    by andrys on Thu Apr 10, 2008 at 05:07:37 AM EST
    And that includes even the comments section

    They? who they? (none / 0) (#18)
    by Prabhata on Tue Apr 08, 2008 at 09:03:51 PM EST
    Is that like "some people"? Any anecdote to the fact that "they" whoever they are do it?

    Wow just Wow!!! speechless at this (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by athyrio on Tue Apr 08, 2008 at 08:41:05 PM EST
    blatent manipulation move....

    So, the event coordinators (5.00 / 0) (#8)
    by MKS on Tue Apr 08, 2008 at 08:47:02 PM EST
    said.....That is news?

    All pols do this (5.00 / 7) (#9)
    by davnee on Tue Apr 08, 2008 at 08:47:03 PM EST
    But that's the point.  All pols do this.  It's stagecraft.  It's typical.  Obama is not the second coming of anything other than politics as usual.  Vote for him if you think he's the best pol running, but quit putting on airs.  That's all I ask.

    don't (5.00 / 2) (#10)
    by miguelito on Tue Apr 08, 2008 at 08:48:08 PM EST
    hold your breath

    I agree (none / 0) (#68)
    by Dr Molly on Wed Apr 09, 2008 at 05:39:00 AM EST
    Clinton obviously does this too.

    it's the double standard, though (5.00 / 1) (#73)
    by Kathy on Wed Apr 09, 2008 at 08:36:35 AM EST
    When an audience member was coached on a question at a Clinton event, there was blood in the street, and not many folks talked about the fact, then, that this was fairly common at campaign events.

    Also, I'd like to point out, it's fairly common at events in general--when I speak (I'm a stahhh in my real life!  Hahahaha!) I always have a plant to get things moving else no one would ever ask questions.


    I think they all do this (5.00 / 4) (#11)
    by stillife on Tue Apr 08, 2008 at 08:48:17 PM EST
    I was at a Hillary rally at Hunter College a couple of months ago, and I noticed that they brought a bunch of young people of various ethnicities onstage to stand behind her.  I can't say for sure, b/c I didn't hear anybody say "we need more XXX people [insert age/race] here, but at the time I thought it was pretty obvious that it was staged.

    That said, it was just my own cynical conjecture and it was unbelievably clunky for the Obama campaign to so overtly rearrange the seating.  The politics of hope and change turns out to be politics as usual.

    They need _fewer_ XXX people. . . (5.00 / 3) (#34)
    by LarryInNYC on Tue Apr 08, 2008 at 10:02:59 PM EST
    I mean, have we learned nothing from Spitzer?

    Larry, I'd give you 100 for that if ... (5.00 / 1) (#62)
    by cymro on Wed Apr 09, 2008 at 01:15:41 AM EST
    .. I could only vote 20 times! Thanks man -- I need some levity at the end of the day!

    Every well run campaign stage-manages these things (5.00 / 5) (#12)
    by ruffian on Tue Apr 08, 2008 at 08:50:05 PM EST
    Obama does have a very well run campaign. He says that being able to manage the campaign well means he can manage the government well.   For a minute I even believe him.

    Then I remember Bush.

    perhaps... (5.00 / 2) (#33)
    by DawnG on Tue Apr 08, 2008 at 10:02:32 PM EST
    ...but a really well run campaign would make this kind of...thing...more transparent.  You wouldn't reveal it in a crowded room thereby pulling back a curtain on the illusion.

    I am amazed - well maybe heartened... (5.00 / 3) (#43)
    by inclusiveheart on Tue Apr 08, 2008 at 10:31:40 PM EST
    On the orange site if one of Clinton's people was heard doing this the news item would generate endless commentary, diaries and likely bleed into the MSM as proof that the Clintons are "racists" - I don't happen to think that is true btw.  

    Meanwhile, here people are being fairly reasonable as you are. It is nice to see people be reasonable.

    Personally, I think the quotation as it is was, was pretty crass and insensitive.  Given the holier-than-thou, "transformational" claim the Obama campaign has made on the issue of race, it does show that they aren't any more clever, sensitive or skilled than most of the rest of us are.

    In fact, the racial engineering they are apparently doing shows that they aren't "above" anyone else at all where it comes to this issue.  They are quite clearly ready, willing and able to use the issue.


    I agree he has run a focused group (5.00 / 1) (#54)
    by thereyougo on Tue Apr 08, 2008 at 11:07:21 PM EST
    campaign but that playbook was written in the GWB administration.

    Remember when that faith based czar who was a democrat left the Bush administration, he said that EVERTHING is done in the White House for political reasons.  Obama reminds me so much of these Rove tactics. Its a change alright from what  what we're used to as democrats.

    I'm not happy that he's got bloggers saturating the internet. His aggressiveness is creeping me out.

    Its too calculated and too staged for me.

    His face is all over and I'm tired of it.


    It's probably good that they do this. (none / 0) (#60)
    by eleanora on Wed Apr 09, 2008 at 12:20:09 AM EST
    I know people who went to both Obama's rally and Clinton's fundraiser in Missoula, and they reported that Clinton's stage had a mix of women and men, with a woman introducing her, while Obama only had men on the stage. Voters notice this stuff subliminally and feel generally good about a candidate when it's done right, but they notice consciously and become uncomfortable when groups are left unrepresented. A little more sublety in finding balance might be good.

    Great point (none / 0) (#87)
    by cal1942 on Wed Apr 09, 2008 at 01:44:27 PM EST
    More (5.00 / 3) (#14)
    by Claw on Tue Apr 08, 2008 at 08:51:38 PM EST
    Groundbreaking politics from the Obama camp.  They're rearranging the crowd...to make it look more attractive to voters.  Genius!  Truly, this man is a maverick.

    Not more attractive to voters (5.00 / 3) (#20)
    by Prabhata on Tue Apr 08, 2008 at 09:08:47 PM EST
    More white voters.  This is not AL where using the word "hoodwinked" will work.  We are talking PA where the whites rule, and the message is: "We need more white voters"

    "Get me more Typical White People" (5.00 / 6) (#31)
    by OxyCon on Tue Apr 08, 2008 at 09:44:49 PM EST

    he's got an ad (none / 0) (#55)
    by thereyougo on Tue Apr 08, 2008 at 11:10:12 PM EST
    showing himself and his gramma, his half sister as if to show, see I don't bite and I am really part white. I'm like you.

    too strange. too deperate.


    I compared his PA ads to Clinton's (none / 0) (#58)
    by nycstray on Tue Apr 08, 2008 at 11:39:17 PM EST
    It's pretty clear to me why he can't crack her base. Having more white folks/women around doesn't/won't change it.

    exactly (none / 0) (#63)
    by Dave on Wed Apr 09, 2008 at 01:22:33 AM EST
    Obama won't/can't crack her base because his backers mostly went to college and aren't ruled by identity politics.  That's part of change....

    exactly (none / 0) (#64)
    by Dave on Wed Apr 09, 2008 at 01:23:21 AM EST
    Obama won't/can't crack her base because his backers mostly went to college and aren't ruled by identity politics.  That's part of change....

    dave, (5.00 / 3) (#70)
    by cpinva on Wed Apr 09, 2008 at 07:02:04 AM EST
    of course they are,

    his backers mostly went to college and aren't ruled by identity politics.  

    their identity is that they went to college.


    Touche (none / 0) (#75)
    by Athena on Wed Apr 09, 2008 at 09:25:32 AM EST
    Brilliant.  Ever run up against Ivy solidarity?  There's nothing more limited than an Ivy-centered view of who's important.

    ...his very private grandmother... (none / 0) (#93)
    by andrys on Thu Apr 10, 2008 at 05:22:49 AM EST
     She's been clear to the press that she wants her privacy because she's not in good health.  Yet he has used her in a way that she is now in our minds solely as an inadvertent racist or 'typical white person' whose response, in this case when pressured by a black male that she must have more money to give him, was "wrong"... and made Obama 'cringe' though he didn't seem to have a similarly strong reaction to Wright's more assertive public expressions of damnation.

     She can be helpful again in this ad.  I'm being unfair here, but his use of her to support why he would not be able to 'disown' Wright any more than he could 'disown' his grandmother for her apparently equally cringe-worthy words -- as if anyone would ask him to disown her! -- that was a low point for me.  


    Speak For Yourself (none / 0) (#98)
    by squeaky on Thu Apr 10, 2008 at 11:44:00 AM EST
     Yet he has used her in a way that she is now in our minds solely as an inadvertent racist or 'typical white person'

    We do not all possess such a limited imagination.


    Well, not being an Obama supporter (none / 0) (#99)
    by andrys on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 10:09:10 AM EST
    all I know of his grandmother through Obama during this long campaign is what he's seen fit to tell us.

      Seeing, through some other reading, that she brought him up for part of his young life and was a rather loving grandmother, I also noted the picture at bottom left, in which she has her arms around him and he is looking at the camera.  This is the woman he would use for his speech, equating her actions to Wright's and saying he'd not be able to disown either of them.

      Then the next day he explained her more cringe-worthy (for him) responses as those of "a typical white person" -- the responses coming out in the 'wrong' way (despite the situation that bothered her as described in his book).

      These are the introduction of his grandmother to the election audience at a time he was in need to repair damage to the campaign.

      There's also more about the past and some contradictions in Chicago Tribune's The not-so-simple story of Barack Obama's youth.


    I stage manage the events at work, but all I get (5.00 / 2) (#15)
    by jerry on Tue Apr 08, 2008 at 08:57:30 PM EST
    are nerdy looking guys. :(

    You ask (5.00 / 2) (#16)
    by lentinel on Tue Apr 08, 2008 at 09:01:15 PM EST
    Can you imagine if a similar request for African-Americans was made by the Clinton campaign? It would lead the evening news.

    I watched the video as Chris Rock, introducing Obama at a rally at the Apollo, referred to Senator Clinton as "that white lady". The crowd giggled. Obama said nothing.

    I thought the same thing as Jeralyn, above.

    Can you imagine if someone introducing Senator Clinton at a rally had referred to Senator Obama as "that black guy" - with Clinton standing by and saying nothing about it? It would lead the nightly news that night and would still be in repeats.

    I can imagine (none / 0) (#35)
    by marcellus on Tue Apr 08, 2008 at 10:03:55 PM EST
    Because Clinton was there when Bob Johnson called out Obama as a Sidney Poitier pretender who was doing something in the neighborhood way back.  It was worse than Chris Rock's comment, Bob Johnson apologized, Clinton didn't get involved. Not much coverage on the nightly news for that one either.

    Not much coverage? (5.00 / 1) (#39)
    by Trickster on Tue Apr 08, 2008 at 10:15:37 PM EST
    Do they get cable on Mars?

    On this planet a google of ["Bob Johnson" "in the neighborhood"] got 5570 hits.

    ["Chris Rock" "that white lady"] = 1150 hits, or about 21% of the play that Johnson got.


    View from Mars (none / 0) (#46)
    by marcellus on Tue Apr 08, 2008 at 10:41:15 PM EST
    well the comments were 411% worse, so you could prove that Clinton gets 21% more negative coverage than Obama.  This is a point I actually agree with if it weren't couched in such hyperbole :)

    Seriously... what I was responding to was...  Obama didn't get involved.  Clinton didn't involved.  Their actions and treatment were similar.  

    Clinton received more negative coverage because of a combination of sexism from the Media, Clinton hate from the right wing, and race-bating by her personally and her campaign in the previous weeks.  Chris Matthews et al. are sexist pigs, and that is a factor, but not the driving factor for negative Clinton coverage.


    True (none / 0) (#48)
    by Trickster on Tue Apr 08, 2008 at 10:48:24 PM EST
    In fact, I (kind of almost) give the candidates a pass.  These celebrities were introducing them, for free, as a favor, and trying to do their thing by being entertaining or insightful or whatever they thought they were being.  Tough to expect somebody to totally pillory somebody who was just trying to do them a free gratis favor.

    Hillary Clinton engaged in race-baiting? (none / 0) (#57)
    by Nigel on Tue Apr 08, 2008 at 11:33:13 PM EST
    Personally? What did she do/say?

    Hmm, I'd rather not rehash on this thread (none / 0) (#59)
    by marcellus on Tue Apr 08, 2008 at 11:49:24 PM EST
    It ventures into off-topic, and I try to stay cognizant of the fact that this is a pro-Hillary blog.  I did outline some of it on a previous thread.

    Do you really think Hillary didn't get involved? (none / 0) (#79)
    by ChrisO on Wed Apr 09, 2008 at 10:30:11 AM EST
    You think Bob Johnson apologized because he just felt remorseful? I don't expect Hillary or Obama to say anything at the moment something like this happens. They're not going to embarrass a major fundraiser or high profile celebrity supporter by calling them out. But I feel pretty certain that the Hillary cmapaign had a conversation with Johnson before he apologized.

    We might also consider the possibility that these candidates are getting introduced by someone every day, and they may not always pay much attention to what the introducer is saying.


    Do you have a link for this video? (none / 0) (#52)
    by jawbone on Tue Apr 08, 2008 at 11:04:42 PM EST
    Now, I'm not ticked about Chris Rock saying that, but you are so right that if the situation were reversed the Clinton campaign would be destroyed in the MCM and howls for firings would be heard throughout the land.

    Obama has a new ad out with a brief view of (none / 0) (#53)
    by jawbone on Tue Apr 08, 2008 at 11:05:43 PM EST
    his "typical white person" grandmother Dunham.

    Saw it on Abrams' show tonight.


    Grandma (5.00 / 1) (#76)
    by Athena on Wed Apr 09, 2008 at 09:27:42 AM EST
    His grandmother, who was a bank vice president, and should be noted for a little more than retro views.  Some grandson.

    Chris Rock... (none / 0) (#74)
    by workingclass artist on Wed Apr 09, 2008 at 08:40:20 AM EST
    Should have used the regional term I prefer...Cracker...LOL from Texas... Official Typical Cracker Region.

    No, no - this is all about (5.00 / 3) (#22)
    by Anne on Tue Apr 08, 2008 at 09:10:17 PM EST
    Obama's fear that he cannot win if he is "the black candidate."  But the question is whether that fear is one that comes from what the electorate is saying, via polling, or from the candidate, who is still afraid to be authentically and unapologetically, himself.  A black man.  With a black wife, and black kids.  For all of what seems like arrogance and superiority sometimes, I think there is a deep level of insecurity that has had him denying who he is - possibly, and ultimately, to his detriment.

    I truly think he has no idea what to do.  He knows he needs those urban blacks who have in some measure propelled him to victory, but on the other hand, he's been pretty successful in states where no one thought a black candidate could be successful.  Does he see a price to be paid for the support of African Americans?  Is the price that he is being nudged into a frame that he doesn't want to be in - thinks he can't be in - if he wants to be a general election winner?  

    I don't know - I'm a white woman in her 50s - what do I know about being bi-racial?  I just find this anecdote disturbing, and it makes me uncomfortable.  Is Obama packaging himself?  I don't know.

    I just can't seem to find the authenticity that I think a candidate has to have in order to win.  And I am really kind of cold to the idea of someone using the presidency to find out who he is; by the time you get to this stage of the game, I think you really ought to know who you are.

    Biracial (none / 0) (#40)
    by bjorn on Tue Apr 08, 2008 at 10:16:22 PM EST
    Obama has self-identified as Black, which is his right and perogative. There are a lot of multiracial and biracial people like him, who prefer to identify as biracial, e.g., Tiger Woods.  I think his insecurity comes from this in part.  He choose a Black identity.  I guess I will have to read his book to find out why he decided that over a biracial identity.  Maybe it is just easier because he "looks" Black or maybe it was a political decision.  I think it would have been more interesting for him to identify as biracial and talk about what it is like to straddle two worlds, finding it hard to belong to either one at times.

    If you're interested (none / 0) (#49)
    by marcellus on Tue Apr 08, 2008 at 10:58:48 PM EST
    It had a lot to do with the way his mom raised him as an anthropologist, almost like a pseudo-feminist (yes, I know, there's vehement disagreement on this site.)  Obama explains his identity well in his book, and not fitting into the dominant culture has a lot to do with it.  If you don't get time to read the book, you should at least check out the youtube of his sister explaining it especially at the 5:55 mark.

    We are the last to 'know' ourselves well ... (none / 0) (#94)
    by andrys on Thu Apr 10, 2008 at 05:41:48 AM EST
    That concept is explored in this really interesting exploration of Obama's search for his black identity and the obvious issues that would arise from his background as described by him and expanded upon and sometimes contradicted by those who knew him.

      He is more 'white' than he is 'black' since he was raised by whites in primarily white areas but he was and felt different, he was ultimately raised by older people (one that could make him cringe) rather than his mother, and his father was not only not what he'd thought but also didn't care.  Not the most secure background.  

      The Exelon lie he made, which had a colorful expansion within it, is one item (of many) that has made me wonder about him, just as Clinton's Bosnia lie has in her case, and I think they originate from similar strange desires to please and seem larger than life than they are, though they both know others would be aware that what they said wasn't so.

      That he continues a similar syndrome of exaggeration about the extent of his participation in current legislation with statements made that involve current colleagues in the Senate is bizarre to me, but the Washington Post had an article about this and the raised eyebrowse that resulted among his colleagues.  Of course MSNBC et al left that alone.


    I don't know why... (none / 0) (#41)
    by DawnG on Tue Apr 08, 2008 at 10:19:06 PM EST
    ...but I'm reminded how early in his candidacy, all these prominent african american figures were going out on television declaring that Obama isn't really black becuase he's not decended from africans brought to this country as slaves.  One even said he's not african-american, even though is father is actually FROM africa, no he's african-african-american.

    And yet no where in this whole ridiculous escapade did any white people go out to declare that Obama isn't white.  I mean, technically his mother is white.  half of his family tree is white. He is every bit as much white as he is not white (by whatever definition you chose to go by).  Heck, he's a VERY distant cousin to Dick Cheney even.

    But I never saw a white person go out into the media to declare that Obama isn't white.

    I don't know why, but just now I thought about that and had to wonder.

    As far as being bi-racial.  The absolute strangest and most bizaare and most tragic racial story I have ever heard was about a boy who was black...but he was also white.  It's not that he was bi-racial or of mixed heritage.  his entire family was black.  He, however, was an albino.  A white sheep if you will  If you looked at him you'd never think he was any less than very nordic.  platinum blond hair, light blue eyes, and pink as a newborn pigglet. I can't imagine what that must have been like, growing up.  People who don't know you thinking you're white, and your black family treating you differently because you are different.

    He had very deep psychological disturbance that led him to kill his mother and baby sister and hold his brother at gunpoint out in the street in front of his house where, after a standstill with police, was shot in the head by them.

    Somehow I can't imagine Obama having that problem.  He's spend his entire life relating to white people, and by all accounts has done a very good job at it.


    Yeah.... (5.00 / 0) (#61)
    by Alec82 on Wed Apr 09, 2008 at 01:15:18 AM EST
    ...I find this interesting.  Senator Obama was long considered "too white" for black voters.  You need only read "Dreams from my Father" to disabuse you of the notion that he is, as he likes to state, "a brother."  On the other hand, Senator Obama does, by virtue of his racial make up, have to convince white voters that he is not a black radical.

     It would be faceitious for Senator Clinton's supporters to deny the opposite.  She has some double standards, i.e, she must convince racial minorities as well as men, and populists (being from NY is not the boon that one might believe it to be).  But she routinely uses Rendell, Brown, etc.  For some reason on this blog that is considered "good politics" while any use of racial minorities is pandering.  The fact is, though, that if you are going to criticize overt displays of multiculturalism on behalf of Senator Obama you should at least be consistent.  Senator Clinton surrounds herslef with hawkish and populist male politicians.  Good politics? Sure.  Just remember that the opposite holds true.  Unless, of course, we have finally reached the position on this site that while racial pandering is to be condemned, gender pandering is to be approved.  


    Good grief (none / 0) (#96)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Apr 10, 2008 at 09:01:29 AM EST
    But I never saw a white person go out into the media to declare that Obama isn't white.

    I don't know why, but just now I thought about that and had to wonder.

    Because that would have been judged racist.


    Seriously? (5.00 / 0) (#23)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Tue Apr 08, 2008 at 09:13:44 PM EST
    This is a big issue?  Good lord.  I hope you people put half as much thought and energy towards attacking McSame someday soon.

    This has happened before (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by DeborahNC on Tue Apr 08, 2008 at 09:17:23 PM EST
    I read that the Obama campaign did this in South Carolina to minimize the perception that Obama supporters were primarily African American. I can't remember the source.

    He got around (none / 0) (#97)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Apr 10, 2008 at 09:02:49 AM EST
    80% of the black vote in a state with a very large black population.

    Where's karl? (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by pluege on Tue Apr 08, 2008 at 09:20:09 PM EST
    the parallels between the Obama campaign and the bush regime are frightening.

    parallels between obama and bush? (5.00 / 0) (#44)
    by johndeerereal on Tue Apr 08, 2008 at 10:33:10 PM EST
    what parallels?

    Potemkin audiences (5.00 / 3) (#56)
    by echinopsia on Tue Apr 08, 2008 at 11:20:15 PM EST
    The crowd reaction was hilarious (5.00 / 2) (#28)
    by OxyCon on Tue Apr 08, 2008 at 09:35:12 PM EST
    All of these Obama supporters are so idealistic that they are totally shocked when they realize they are nothing but props to the Obama campaign.

    Eh... (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by nell on Tue Apr 08, 2008 at 09:38:26 PM EST
    I went to the Oprah show once and they were rearranging people left and right, not just by the color of one's skin, but also by the color of your shirt. I was blue, my sister was red, so we got to stick together.

    Everyone does it.

    Though I totally agree that there would be a HUGE double standard if the Clinton campaign were cherry picking African American attendees to stand on the stage.

    God forbid the Clinton campaign (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by inclusiveheart on Tue Apr 08, 2008 at 10:37:57 PM EST
    was looking for "more white people"...

    She would be pilloried.


    For all of you shmoes wondering why this is news (5.00 / 2) (#32)
    by Edgar08 on Tue Apr 08, 2008 at 09:54:59 PM EST
    It's in Jeralyn's post, if this was Clinton it would be news.

    So now it's Obama.

    And it's news.

    That's the thing, folks.

    You get what you give.

    Got it?  Good.  

    Second time for the learning.

    You get what you give.

    Three times for the learning to love it.

    You get what you give.

    Tell me that if you heard Clinton was doing the same thing in reverse, you'd be spending time on Dkos telling people "it's not news."

    That's what I'd like to hear.


    Hypocracy is hilarious. (5.00 / 1) (#47)
    by rnibs on Tue Apr 08, 2008 at 10:42:58 PM EST
    I too am enjoying the hypocracy of BHO's campaign.  His pastor of 20 years rails against white people, but he wants as many of them in the pictures as he can get.  Very strange.

    He wants the black voters to vote for (5.00 / 1) (#51)
    by FlaDemFem on Tue Apr 08, 2008 at 11:02:56 PM EST
    his black half and the white voters to vote for his white half. The black half is somewhat obvious, and declared, and the white half is evoked by the white people around him at rallies. He wants to be seen as all things to all people of all colors. Unfortunately, the reality of Obama falls far short of that goal.

    That's a bit of exaggeration. (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by DawnG on Tue Apr 08, 2008 at 10:04:25 PM EST
    But he is supposedly representing himself as NOT "business as usual".

    Richardson can't figure out what it is (none / 0) (#66)
    by Edgar08 on Wed Apr 09, 2008 at 02:22:16 AM EST
    But he sure is special.

    well, no this isn't (5.00 / 1) (#71)
    by cpinva on Wed Apr 09, 2008 at 07:16:48 AM EST
    "news" news, that's kind of the point. i have no doubt that this sort of thing happens all the time. frankly, it isn't really that big a deal, in the grand scheme of things except, it's merely another chink in the "i am a new kind of politician" armor that sen. obama has pretty much made the cornerstone of his whole campaign.

    in fact, that's pretty much his stated reason for running in the first place: he is the agent of a sweeping change on the political landscape. take that out of the equation, and, well, he's just another politician running for another office.

    not that there's anything wrong with that! :)

    Next you'll be telling me... (5.00 / 0) (#72)
    by mike in dc on Wed Apr 09, 2008 at 08:26:03 AM EST
    ...he has questioners "planted" in the audience to ask softball questions.

    Where, oh where, did they learn all this cynical stagecraft fr...

    oh, that's right.  Never mind.

    Obama doesn't need to plant... (none / 0) (#78)
    by Marco21 on Wed Apr 09, 2008 at 10:28:50 AM EST
    softball questions. That's all he ever gets. Texas was the only time he was questioned hard and he looked like he was going to break down.

    But I guess you admit Obama is your everyday politician who is game for maneuvers seen in almost every campaign. He only walks on water on the weekends, I guess.

    Political theater it is and nothing new about it.


    I admit... (5.00 / 0) (#81)
    by mike in dc on Wed Apr 09, 2008 at 10:47:55 AM EST
    ...that he's a much better politician than the more "experienced" Clinton.  He's run a better campaign, has raised a lot more money from small donors, and gives better speeches.  But apparently these are all negatives in Clintonland.

    No, good for him. (none / 0) (#82)
    by Marco21 on Wed Apr 09, 2008 at 10:51:00 AM EST
    What are is negatives, if he has any? I wouldn't know if he does because most Obama supporters accept anything he says and when a Clinton supporter points out a discrepancy, we're racist Archie Bunker-types who hate change and whine.

    So, I'd love to hear about Obama's negatives from an Obama supporter. Please share. We know Hillary is the root of all evil, so if you could keep it to Obama, thaat'd be great.  


    He says "uh" and "um"... (5.00 / 0) (#91)
    by mike in dc on Wed Apr 09, 2008 at 03:54:21 PM EST
    ...too much, and sometimes he equivocates on things he should be direct about.  He hasn't figured out how to pitch more effectively to blue collar and low information voters yet.  He has had some effect, just not enough.  Of course, it's not like he's running against a pushover, either.

    He's not immune to being gaffe-prone, like all the candidates, and there are circumstances where the media will be more forgiving because of who he is, but also circumstances where it will not.

    He does need to be a stronger defender of "brand Democrat", or at least find a way to link his message of unity and change to support for a progressive agenda in the minds of swing and independent voters.

    There's probably more, but my time is limited.


    His growing worry is high-information audiences (none / 0) (#95)
    by andrys on Thu Apr 10, 2008 at 05:54:36 AM EST
    His growing worry should be high-information audiences who know to look further when after 5+ months he is giving the same stump speech over and over again.  When my tube news starts showing the latest one, I can actually say it right along with him.  Even in his long interview with Matthews and in his answers to student questions, he used the same long paragraphs.  The same meaningless buzz words.

      Yes, you can speak about low-information voters as much as it pleases you to explain why they don't "get" him the way you might, but his real problem is with those getting more information on him instead of those who smile while projecting their Hopes to 'believe' on him and blocking out that which might disturb those hopes.

       The word 'pitch' is used accurately though, since it's usually used with marketing.


    I've said it before (none / 0) (#83)
    by cmugirl on Wed Apr 09, 2008 at 10:59:28 AM EST
    Obama is a better candidate. Clinton will be a better president.

    The Obsession with Hypocrisy (5.00 / 0) (#88)
    by PTCruiser on Wed Apr 09, 2008 at 01:50:36 PM EST
    I think folks on both sides of the Obama vs. Clinton dustup need to recognize and understand a few important facts about political candidates especially ones who have decided to run for president and, in particular, those rare few who actually survive the winnowing process. Successful politicians are not like the rest of us. This does not, however, make them unique in terms of intelligence, physical appearance or a dozen other attributes that we find admirable in people we like.

    What we appear to have some problem admitting is that all of them are opportunists. The most important question, however, is not their opportunism but whether they have any talent or not. Accusations of hypocrisy go with the territory. Real political talent occurs much more rarely and its appearance in a candidate tends to drive that candidate's opponents into a state of frenzy.

    I think that Hillary Clinton's supporters are simply in a state of denial regarding the reality that Barack Obama is much more politically talented than their candidate. Accusing the press and others of giving Obama a free ride and not sufficiently vetting him etcetera is like complaining about the weather.  

    Obama and Clinton are both opportunists but he is clearly better able to leverage his attributes than she has been able to exploit her own. People who support her may not like this state of affairs but that's how the prune wrinkles. Clinton supporters need to find some other selling points for their candidate. In politics the supply line for hypocrisy stays well above the demand line for the unvarnished truth. All of us are aware of this fact especially politicians.

    Well the danger with student newspapers (none / 0) (#19)
    by lilburro on Tue Apr 08, 2008 at 09:06:04 PM EST
    is that one rarely gets follow up, since people don't usually read student newspapers if they are not a student of the school.  I am sure there is a debate raging somewhere on the campus about the article's characterization of the event.  It's like Obama using the Iowa student newspaper in one of his fliers - completely absurd.  Lucky for that paper it had a very respectable newspaperly name.  The Daily Iowan I think.

    So it goes.  Politics is screwy.  This is a kind of interesting account though.  Manipulation and democracy...if Obama is campaigning on authenticity (see his foreign policy speech) his image being so delicately handcrafted by so many people is certainly...well notable.  And important to remember.  

    I understand it......And noticed it. (none / 0) (#25)
    by BarnBabe on Tue Apr 08, 2008 at 09:17:28 PM EST
    BHO wants it both ways. He wants the AA vote but he does not want people to notice that he is AA. That is why no show in NO or DC. Have you ever noticed that people start to get annoyed every time they see Jessie or Al looking mad up on a podium. They have been less visible lately. Yes, Hillary probably uses younger, and more ethnic people and women behind her and BHO uses a lot of white people behind him. Not to say Bill didn't add more black people behind him  to try and get the AA vote. It might not be kosher but it is a general fact.  

    Edwards in '04 (none / 0) (#37)
    by Ben Masel on Tue Apr 08, 2008 at 10:09:27 PM EST
    Was the first to set a longhaired guy in the 'picture of America' shot, always in a Union jacket, and invariably behind the heavyset 55ish black woman.

    Obama (none / 0) (#42)
    by johndeerereal on Tue Apr 08, 2008 at 10:27:55 PM EST
    be patient with me...this is my first blog.

    Obama acts deep, but seems shallow.

    Making the picture here somewhat larger (none / 0) (#84)
    by gabbyone on Wed Apr 09, 2008 at 11:07:08 AM EST
    I have heard not only white but black commentators say that the reason Senator
    Obama didn't attend King's Memorial Service
    in Memphis or Tavis Smiley's Conference in
    New Orleans was that he didn't want to be seen
    surrounded by black people. There seems to be
    a real concern in this campaign that white
    people will be turned off if they see him
    in a fairly all black environment.  The polls that came out in PA yesterday as documented on
    this site say that 61% of the white vote is
    holding tight for Hillary so they may want to alter that perception too.  I did want to add to the person who said that all candidates do this that I attended a Clinton rally and no one organized that crowd. It was bascially dignitaries were alloted the first row behind her and the rest were first come first seated.

    I know you don't like OT comments (none / 0) (#85)
    by OxyCon on Wed Apr 09, 2008 at 01:14:41 PM EST
    But I just wanted BTD to see these Salon.com posts from an Obama supporter named Camille Paglia.

    The first one, she calls every male around Hillary a bunch of "slick, geeky weasels or rancid, asexual cream puffs.", along with a host of other venomous bile.

    The second post of hers, she says "I believe that, because of his international heritage and upbringing, Obama is the right person at the right time."

    Now, the second one touches on the hypocrisy and double standards that is the theme of your blog posting, because we all know what happened to Geraldine Ferraro for saying similar things about BO.

    There is a glitch (none / 0) (#86)
    by OxyCon on Wed Apr 09, 2008 at 01:15:53 PM EST
    this is the third time I posted on one thread, then have it pop up on another. sry

    Camille Paglia...(sp?) (none / 0) (#89)
    by workingclass artist on Wed Apr 09, 2008 at 02:22:30 PM EST
    is the worst sort of self-loathing anti-feminist hack who is one of those "new" mediocre philosophical types who were controversial in the 90's. Her theories are elitist idiocy and her writing is mediocre. She's the type who benefitted from the 2nd wave and then turned around and has built a career trying to dis-mantle advances thar were results of the 2nd wave. She supports OBAMESSIAH... makes sense.