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Saturday, May 03, 2008

Must Read: Billary & Me — Time to Break the Silence


This is the seal I designed
to show my blog's support
for Hillary's candidacy.

The Francis L. Holland Blog

Back when I was infamous in the anti-Clinton whitosphere for my tireless and infuriating diaries in support of Hillary Clinton, and before she announced her candidacy for the presidency, I got an e-mail and then a telephone call here in Brazil from Peter Daou, Hillary Clinton's Internet coordinator. Peter asked me to blog for Hillary Clinton's presidential candidacy, and I agreed to help in any way that I could. He asked me not to divulge Hillary's decision to run for the presidency before it was officially announced and I kept my promise not to do so.

I took a look at Hillary's new beta site for blogging, but I quickly decided that expressing my firebrand opinions there would do her more harm than good. Moreover, I decided that my loyalty lay with the Black People and the development of our AfroSpear, not with any particular presidential campaign.

Peter Daou never offered me employment with recompense and I never request or accepted any.

When Barack Obama joined the race, I immediately perceived that this could cause problems for Hillary. Within days of Hillary's announcement of her candidacy, I sent the following e-mail to Peter Daou, warning him (and Hillary's campaign) that if she took the color-aroused scorched earth approach to Barack Obama that she is presently taking, then she would lose all hope of winning the Black vote. Well, apparently they ignored me, and it's about time I told the public about it.

Here's the e-mail I sent to Peter Daou on Wednesday, January 17, 2007, because I foresaw and wanted to help Clinton avoid the very troubles with the Black electorate that have prevented her from winning the nomination:

Date: Wed, 17 Jan 2007 10:39:28 -0800 (PST)
From: AKA Manic Attorney
Contact Details Add Mobile Alert
Subject: Hillary and Obama: Confidential
To: "Peter Daou" __@___

Dear Peter:

Although Barack Obama has entered the presidential race, I believe Hillary has the best domestic and international experience, institutional support, national contacts, public familiarity and political resilience to win the nomination and the general election, particularly if she maintains the right relationship with Senator Obama in the primaries. If she doesn't, winning the nomination might not ultimately be worth very much, since it will not be possible for Hillary to win a general election without the enthusiastic support of Obama's prospective black, young and independent voter base.

This e-mail and these strategy suggestions assume, for the moment, that Senator Obama will continue to out-pace all other candidates except Hillary Clinton.

To increase Black support while winning the primaries against Barack Obama, Hillary needs to very publicly maintain a very collegial and mutually supportive relationship with Obama throughout the primaries. Her collaborative and supportive relationship with Obama will show that she is not "divisive", while the contrary could leave her seeming increasingly isolated. Cont.

One way of maintaining and increasing support among Black voters is for Hillary to intimate to Black voters that if Senator Obama acquits himself in the 2008 primaries in same the stellar fashion that he has until now, and comes in second in the primaries, then he could receive serious consideration for the Vice Presidential slot, commensurate with the support actually received from primary voters.

I am certain that it will help Hillary in Black communities if Blacks perceive Hillary as being the most likely among the Democrats candidates to offer the VP nod to Barack Obama, particularly for Blacks who doubt that a Black man will be elected President. For Blacks, the possibility that Barack could be Hillary's running mate will be yet another compelling reason for to support Hillary Clinton in the primaries.

So, Hillary needs to carefully telegraph to Blacks that if Senator Obama places second in the primaries, with historic and enthusiastic support from Democrats and Independents across the board, then Senator Obama could well find a place on the ticket in the VP slot in this meritocracy of ours. And this with no public handwringing over the fact that he is Black, unlike the treatment that Rev. Jesse Jackson received when he came in second in the 1988 Democratic Primaries.

This is a matter of simple fairness, but is also a politically astute approach to unifying the Party by putting the strongest candidates on the ticket.

Although traditionally no public promises are made about whom the VP nominee will be, Black voters and all Obama supporters need to be encouraged to consider both putting Hillary and Obama in the White House by getting out the vote and making Hillary Clinton their choice in 2008. A warm, collegial and collaborative relationship between Hillary and Senator Obama can help send this message. Encouraging Blacks and others to view Hillary and Obama as potentially both being nominees will allow Hillary to pursue the nomination vigorously without requiring Black voters to choose between putting Hillary or Obama in the White House.

I am not suggesting that Hillary Clinton must choose Barack Obama as her running mate. I am merely saying a perceived disposition toward an historic and principled fairness and even-handedness in the relationship with Obama will inevitably help Hillary in Black communities.


AKA Manic Lawyer, Esq.

If Clinton's campaign had heeded my advice, they would have negotiated a partnership with Barack Obama in which both of them would win, and the Party would be united right now. Instead, they apparently assumed that there was no way a Black man could pose a threat to their political aspirations, and there was no way that loyal Black voters would abandon them, after "all they had done for us."

I and most of the rest of Black America was willing to enter into a constructive partnership with the Clintons for 2008, but we were not and are not willing to be taken for granted. I warned the Clinton campaign that any disrespect of toward Barack Obama would be taken as a personal affront by most Black voters. Apparently, they either didn't believe me or they didn't think it mattered.

A word to the wise is sufficient. But, don't cast your pearls upon swine.

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