McCain, As A Precaution, Pitches For Black Votes
Sen. John McCain has seldom missed many bets in his life. He wouldn't be where he is today, had he not worked hard to make himself distinctive.
So the fact that he has begun to pitch for the black vote, making visits to Memphis on the anniversary of the King assassination, Selma, Ala., and New Orleans, cannot be surprising. If Sen. Hillary Clinton is the Democratic presidential nominee, he realizes that many African-Americans will be looking for another place to go, or not voting at all this fall, and he wants to show at least that he is sympathetic with their positions.
Black Americans have been in the Democratic column since 1932, brought there by Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Great Depression. Before that, most blacks had voted Republican.
As Rep. James Clyburn of South Carolina noted in statements this week, the Clintons' racial remarks and innuendos in their campaign to sidetrack Sen. Barack Obama have been greeted with revulsion in the African-American community. It is not inconceivable there could be an historic switch in their position, if Hillary prevails over Obama.
McCain is only getting prepared for that possibility when he makes the visits he has, or when he tries to abort a North Carolina ad he believes unfairly critical of Obama.
At the same time, in this increasingly bitter campaign, Obama has to take care not to get caught up in the statements of his radical pastor, Jeremiah Wright. Wright should, at this time, be keeping quiet, not out there giving interviews.
New York Times columnist Bob Herbert warns this morning that various things, including Wright's continued prominence, is taking the air out of the Obama campaign. And a new CNN poll shows he has sunk into a tie with Clinton in the Indiana primary campaign. If he doesn't win Indiana, Obama could be in terminal difficulty.
Labels: Presidential campaigning