Follow by Email

Friday, May 09, 2008

Clyburn Questions Clinton on White Voter Support

The Majority Whip responds to the New York Senator’s USA Today interview by telling National Journal’s Linda Douglass:

Clyburn: Well, I don't think that carries any more weight than anyone who will argue that the fact that she only got 8 percent of the African-American vote in North Carolina indicates that she cannot get African-American votes in the general election. It's one thing for us to measure these two Democratic candidates against each other. It is totally something else again for us to measure a Democratic candidate against a Republican candidate. Those are two different things -- apples and oranges -- and I do believe it is a stretch for us to consider otherwise. If we buy into that, and we buy into the conventional wisdom that no Democrat wins the presidency getting only 8 percent of the African-American vote, then what does that to say for her prospects in the fall?

So I think that we have to be very, very careful with all of this. And I really believe that this is the kind of stuff that I had been talking about with tamping down the enthusiasm of young people, because scores and scores of non-black young people have gotten involved in this campaign this year. They are very excited about Barack Obama, for whatever reason. A lot of it nobody can really fathom, but it's happened. And I think we would do well as Democrats to welcome the support, welcome the reactivation of African-Americans, welcome the re-involvement of young white Americans, welcome all of these people into our fold and give them some positive messages to carry forward, and not keep talking about what may or may not be the other person's drawbacks.

I saw a Gallup poll today -- I saw the results of it, anyway -- that said that Barack Obama, at this very moment, is exactly where [John] Kerry was at this point with white voters as well as with black voters. Now, what does that mean? That means, if he maintains that, and he does it in a state like Colorado, that's the difference between winning and losing. Any one of those states -- Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona -- that had been carried by Kerry would have delivered the presidency. Not to mention these other states -- Virginia, for instance. If you look at the white vote that Obama got in Virginia -- it was extraordinary. And the same thing, over 40 percent, in Indiana -- extraordinary. And so I think that we all really ought to just dial back some of this rhetoric, and let's start talking about what makes us all good Democrats.

No comments: