Monica Roberts

Danger Zone

Filed By Monica Roberts | April 24, 2008 9:11 AM | comments

Filed in: Politics
Tags: African-American, Monica Roberts, poll, presidential election, TJMS

I'm a huge fan of the syndicated Tom Joyner Morning Show and listen to it every day. Its combination of news, interviews, humor and insightful commentary from such peeps as Tavis Smiley, Michael Eric Dyson, and 'the Revs' routinely draws an audience of 11 million predominately African-American listeners.

IIf there's anyone who has their finger on the pulse of Black America, it's Tom Joyner.

During yesterday's show he conducted a For Real For Real poll that has me extremely nervous about the 2008 election should Hillary somehow get the nomination.

According to this poll, 54 percent said they'd vote for Clinton if Barack is not the candidate. But a whopping 35 percent said they won't vote at all if Obama isn't in the race.

There are a few things you Hillary fans aren't seeing. Sen. Obama's campaign is bringing in large numbers of people who are either new voters or people haven't been engaged in the political process for a long time. It is also tapping into a shared dream that African-Americans have held since emancipation, seeing one of our own taking the oath of office as president.

It took a while for us to get emotionally invested since we've been down this road twice with Jesse Jackson, Sr. in 1984 and 1988. But this time we have a candidate who may actually make this dream a reality. We're beginning to have the audacity of hope that we may see him on January 20, 2009 standing on the capitol steps taking the oath of office while his lovely wife Michelle holds the Bible.

Now that we can conceive the dream and are tantalizingly close to seeing him secure the nomination, the continued negative race-baiting attacks by the Clinton camp is only suceeding in pissing off a constituency without which no Democratic candidate can win in November.

For me and many African-Americans sitting out the election or voting for John McCain is not an option. Hillary Clinton can't overtake Obama delegate wise even if she swept the remaining contests. That ain't happening because North Carolina is one of those remaining primary states with a significant African-American population that hasn't weighed in yet (By the way Hillary fans, Barack has a nine point lead in North Carolina) and because of proportional allocation rules, he'll continue to accumulate delegates..

But that 35% number scares me. I hope those peeps will take the time to think about the big picture and realize that we and the country cannot afford a McCain presidency.

But the point I'm making is that Democrats cannot afford to piss off your most loyal constituency and expect to win. Barack leads in the delegate count, has won double the amount of states, and him being on the ballot in the fall will continue to bring record numbers of new voters into the mix.

If Hillary pulls this out by using the superdelegates, and that's the only way she can remotely get the nomination at this point, it will be perceived in Black American circles as 'she stole the nomination' and the sitzkrieg will commence. Hillary will not get the historic turnout of African-American voters that Barack Obama's presence on the November ballot would generate. She would also have a frosty reception in terms of getting many of us motivated to come to the polls and support her.

So yeah, while I'm happy I get a chance to vote on May 20 for my candidate, I'm still going to be anxious until Barack finally closes out this nomination. .

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Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | April 24, 2008 11:18 AM

Two excellent candidates keeping Democratic issues on the media and freezing out attention of the real opposition which is the Republican party. As I write this I am listening to NPR announcing the ad to run in North Carolina (referencing Rev Wright) by McCain zealots against the will of McCain himself.

Look not to Hillary for all of Obama's future competition.

However this works out we have two excellent people who are being forced to have a snake dance as they ask a jaded public: "do you like me yet?" We can call this an "ongoing battle" if we listen to the pundits or we can remember that this imperfect method of choosing a president needs to be changed altogether.

In England with a "parlimentary" system both major parties keep a full range of highly trained people to run the country on hand at all times. No one can be accused of needing a "learning curve" to govern. That is what we got with George W. and the same argument could be used against Obama, for now, but as I knew his work in Chicago and know him to be a gifted organizer and motivator I know he would be an excellent candidate.

Whoever ultimately leaves the competition should leave with the respect and thanks of the Democratic party. It is a damn hard thing to run for this office and both candidates have my respect.

Obama would make an excellent president now, or someday soon. Hillary would make an excellent president now, or someday soon. Neither would govern particularly differently. Both are, by far, more our friends than the alternative.

A.G. Casebeer | April 24, 2008 2:50 PM

Quite right.

I prefer Obama, but if Hillary gets the nomination, I'll certainly vote for her in November. I expect the winner will have to take the other as running mate, regardless.

My concern is with who will be nominating Federal judges (including SC), who will be managing the US tax policy and economy, and who will be directing US foreign policy. The Republicans have had that control for most of the past 30 years, and have been A TOTAL FAILURE. The only good times of the past 30 years have been the last few years.....of Clinton. I want a Democrat doing that job for the foreseeable future.

I understand the Obamanics' antipathy to Clinton, as well as the Hillblazers' dislike of Obama. But, post convention, I have no doubt Hillary and Obama will work together fine. Most of their policies are similar. McCain is a tool of the same people Bush is a tool of - and haven't we had enough of that?

One thing that always bothers me about the Obama camp is when they say Hillary can't get enough delegates to win. Uh, neither can he. So saying that she should drop out because she'll never get over the magic number without miraculously winning by landslides is the same thing as saying he can't either. Therefore, if it's a reason for her to leave then it's a reason for him to leave too.

We should stay away from that argument.

Monica, I'm not disagreeing with you and I'm not dissing Obama. But the whole argument that Obama is turning out voters who have never voted before doesn't impress me much. This just means he has a lot of college kids voting for him. I'm not sure I'm ready to get excited about the fact that a bunch of kids who were doing beer bongs the night before they went to the polls are casting their lot with Obama. What do they really know about foreign policy or the economy? Not a whole fucking lot.

To me, it's more persuasive to talk about Obama's policy goals, rather than the fact that a bunch of wankers are in his camp.

BTW - I hate old people and young people. Who's ageist now?