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  1. #1
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    Barack Obama a contender because he is black

    Former New York Rep. Geraldine Ferraro said thatBarack Obama would not be a major presidential contender if he were not black.

    Could this be true? He has won a lot of the states that have a majority of black people. However, there are a lot of white males voting for Barack over Clinton. Ferraro claims that if Barack were white man or woman he would not be a major presidential contender.

    I think if he was a white male that the white male vote would be unchanged, but the black vote wouldn't be as high. But I think he still would be a major contender.
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  2. #2
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    Re: Barack Obama a contender because he is black

    He's only half black so you are only half right in your assessment.

    The black vote is not a huge block in this country anyway - the latin vote would be much more significant. Too bad Ferraro isn't a latino, maybe she would have went further in her political career.
    Last edited by Snoop; March 11th, 2008 at 10:21 AM.
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  3. #3
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    Re: Barack Obama a contender because he is black

    I don't know that the statement can be taken seriously since it's not supported by any argument. It's just thrown out there as another surrogate attack against Obama.
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  4. #4
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    Re: Barack Obama a contender because he is black

    I don't know that the statement can be taken seriously since it's not supported by any argument. It's just thrown out there as another surrogate attack against Obama.
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but haven't you expressed the belief that it's acceptable to vote for Obama because he's black?
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  5. #5
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    Re: Barack Obama a contender because he is black

    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples View Post
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but haven't you expressed the belief that it's acceptable to vote for Obama because he's black?
    What I really expressed is that Obama's blackness is an inseparable part of who he is and that the factors leading to a vote decision cannot be reduced to just one of these parts. There is a difference between a voter getting a good vibe based on the race factor, and actually voting because of his race alone. My main contention in both cases is in treating the race issue in isolation...

    Is she arguing that Clinton or McCain would be better off if they were black ? It's absurd.

    Is she saying that black is the key that opens all doors ? We need to fill in the gaps since she does not make her case. Certainly, she only credits him for his race in that snippet, so, as such, it can only be judged for what it is.
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  6. #6
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    Re: Barack Obama a contender because he is black

    What I really expressed is that Obama's blackness is an inseparable part of who he is and that the factors leading to a vote decision cannot be reduced to just one of these parts.
    It is an inseparable part of who he is; it is also an irrelevant part of who he is.
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  7. #7
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    Re: Barack Obama a contender because he is black

    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples View Post
    It is an inseparable part of who he is; it is also an irrelevant part of who he is.
    Fine whatever. I agree. Which makes the above mentioned statement from Geraldine Ferraro even more ridiculous.

    There is currently two serious divide between voters for Obama and Clinton. Obama gets the vote of the young and intellectual elite, while Clinton gets the vote of the older, blue collar types.

    Where is the racial divide ? Those are the only clear cleavages that can be discerned.
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  8. #8
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    Re: Barack Obama a contender because he is black

    Fine whatever. I agree. Which makes the above mentioned statement from Geraldine Ferraro even more ridiculous.

    There is currently two serious divide between voters for Obama and Clinton. Obama gets the vote of the young and intellectual elite, while Clinton gets the vote of the older, blue collar types.

    Where is the racial divide ? Those are the only clear cleavages that can be discerned.
    Well, since you didn't mention how the black vote, white vote, Hispanic vote, etc., broke down, you don't really have a strong argument.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples View Post
    Well, since you didn't mention how the black vote, white vote, Hispanic vote, etc., broke down, you don't really have a strong argument.
    And what would that do ? You mean to say that a black person voting for Obama does so only based on race (Well maybe some but how would you discern that from statistics) ? What do you hope to learn from the Latino vote (Which goes in large swat for Clinton it seems)... You know that Obama wins in many all white States so what will you learn from that breakdown ?

    As I stated, age and social ladder are the only 2 real nationally consistent divide. If you have information to complement or contradict this, please do provide.

    If you have evidence that people vote for Obama based on race please do present it. My intervention was to point out that she (Geraldine Ferraro) dropped her bomb without providing any data or argument to support it. It's a hit and run job.
    Last edited by Vandaler; March 11th, 2008 at 04:40 PM. Reason: added a few nuances

  10. #10
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    Re: Barack Obama a contender because he is black

    His race is a major part of his appeal. It boosts his image of "change." Picture him as white, and he doesn't seem as impressive to the average voter. That doesn't mean he's not intelligent and charismatic. But given his small experience and lack of big accomplishments, being black is the difference maker.

  11. #11
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    Re: Barack Obama a contender because he is black

    The fact that Americans have to prattle on and on about it indicates they haven’t overcome racism at all. Racism is a factor because you make it a factor.

    IF it wasn’t a factor, it would not be a factor: you wouldn’t talk about it.

    The facts are much of America is still deeply racist.

  12. #12
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    Re: Barack Obama a contender because he is black

    Quote Originally Posted by Mithran View Post

    The facts are much of America is still deeply racist.
    How is that shown? One person makes a comment about him getting an advantage because hes black. How does that show America is racist. Obama has crossed quite a few race lines, if anything I think it has shown that very few people care about race except those who use it as weapon to keep racial votes on their side.
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  13. #13
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    Re: Barack Obama a contender because he is black

    I can't speak for the country at large, but I know that when I put my vote in for him in my primary that his race was not an issue. I have a strong dislike for Hillary so when it came time to decide I essentially went about doing a brief comparison for myself between Obama and Edwards (he was still in). I don't think that race or sex has any bearing on a candidate's ability to govern.

  14. #14
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    Re: Barack Obama a contender because he is black

    Quote Originally Posted by KevinBrowning View Post
    Picture him as white, and he doesn't seem as impressive to the average voter.
    I can't.

    I can't imagine Hillary as a men or Kuchinich as an Eskimo either. What kind of platform for analysis is that ?
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  15. #15
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    Re: Barack Obama a contender because he is black

    Quote Originally Posted by KevinBrowning View Post
    Picture him as white, and he doesn't seem as impressive to the average voter.
    I don't know KB, its his charisma that is enthralling for most, the way he speaks and his turn of phrase. Now if you could somehow remove that and just listen to his actual words and proposals I think he would have a much more difficult time, but change his color? Na.
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  16. #16
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    Re: Barack Obama a contender because he is black

    Quote Originally Posted by Vandaler View Post
    I can't.

    I can't imagine Hillary as a men or Kuchinich as an Eskimo either. What kind of platform for analysis is that ?
    It's not a good standard, but people use it. And it's not very hard for me to imagine Mrs. Clinton as a male. She is not exactly effeminate. The point is that I think Obama is more style than substance, and his race is a big part of his image, which is that of "change." A (half) black man in the White House is a big change.

  17. #17
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    Re: Barack Obama a contender because he is black

    I tend to like Obama and hardly notice the fact that he is black until some idiot brings it up.

    Rather than the fact that Obama is black, how about these reasons:

    1) Hes not Hillary

    a) Hillary is disliked (hated by a lot of people)

    b) Hillary comes across as cold and evil.

    c) Obama is not Hillary

    2) Obama is fairly young (that appeals to people)

    3) Obama carries himself well and comes across as far more genuine and less calculating than Hillary

    4) Obama hasn't already lost in a Presidential bid (unlike Edwards).

    5) Obama hasn't accumulated enough of a record for there to be a lot of dirt on the guy.

    6) Hes not Hillary.
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  18. #18
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    Re: Barack Obama a contender because he is black

    Quote Originally Posted by KevinBrowning View Post
    It's not a good standard, but people use it. And it's not very hard for me to imagine Mrs. Clinton as a male. She is not exactly effeminate. The point is that I think Obama is more style than substance, and his race is a big part of his image, which is that of "change." A (half) black man in the White House is a big change.
    I see what you mean. But in the end, the argument is weak coming from someone who does not support him. I would find myself in a difficult position, arguing the same case against someone who supports him and openly states that he does so because he is black.

    However, unless shown otherwise, these types of arguments seem to come from people who do not support him. What competence do they have in assessing the motivation of others ?

    In any case, this thread being on Geraldine Ferraro's statement, it's fair to ask what is her insight into Obama's supporters mind. Remember, her assertion is not that a few may vote for him because of his race. She says that he would not be a top contender if he was white. This suggest a phenomena that an important swat of Obama supporters support him because he is black. I see no support for such a statement.
    Last edited by Vandaler; March 12th, 2008 at 05:56 AM.
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  19. #19
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    Re: Barack Obama a contender because he is black

    Quote Originally Posted by chadn737 View Post
    I tend to like Obama and hardly notice the fact that he is black until some idiot brings it up.

    Rather than the fact that Obama is black, how about these reasons:

    1) Hes not Hillary

    a) Hillary is disliked (hated by a lot of people)

    b) Hillary comes across as cold and evil.

    c) Obama is not Hillary

    2) Obama is fairly young (that appeals to people)

    3) Obama carries himself well and comes across as far more genuine and less calculating than Hillary

    4) Obama hasn't already lost in a Presidential bid (unlike Edwards).

    5) Obama hasn't accumulated enough of a record for there to be a lot of dirt on the guy.

    6) Hes not Hillary.
    Couldn't agree more. I think his race definitely does play a role in his appeal to many people, but you couldn't just put any black guy up there and have him run for president. It's a combination of his entire persona that has made him as popular as he is, and his ability to speak well and his charisma are huge parts of this. His race is only a small part of the picture.
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