Tuesday, March 25, 2008


'Mandela Card' Will Always Trump Malcolm X one for US Voters

The Guardian's US editor yesterday wrote that a tipping point in the Democrat's campaign was upon us:

We're reaching the bottom-line point. And the bottom line for what seems to be a majority of Democratic insiders is fear of a drawn-out and divisive nomination process. That argues for getting things settled sooner rather than later, and it means settling them in Obama's direction, since he's won more votes and delegates.

He goes on to quote sources urging Clinton to quit in the party's interest, to provide clarity and end the infighting: Time magazine offered 14 reasons why she should stand down. However, with three more primaries due in the next six weeks- including the crucial Pennsylvania one on April 22nd- it's probably too early for Hillary to throw in the towel just yet.

And Obama? Tomasky cites the need for poll evidence after his recent Philadelphia speech on race designed to quell unrest caused by his personal priest Jeremiah 'Sing God Damn America' Wright's incendiary comments. In a well balanced speech he distanced himself from Wright but refused to disown him, reminding Americans of their own history on race relations. In the immediate wake of this latest eruption, Clinton took a lead as voters reacted negatively. Obama, to date, has managed the trick of dancing so gracefully around the permeating topic of race in the USA that Americans have been able to suspend feelings of guilt; call it his 'Mandela card'. Wright's comments seemed to spoil all this, raising the spectre of Malcolm X instead.

We learn today that Obama's speech seems to have squared the circle; a nationwide Gallup Poll put Obama on 48% and Clinton on 42%. So the Illinois senator is back on track and it is now Hillary who must await the verdict of elections rather than polls over the next few weeks.

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