November 5, 2008

The election in a nutshell

From the NYT:

And the issue of race proved vexing. The campaign was blindsided when DVDs of the incendiary sermons of the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr., Mr. Obama’s former pastor, emerged and threatened Mr. Obama’s candidacy.

“That was one place where we dropped the ball,” said Mr. Axelrod, his voice growing angry. The campaign’s research operation had not known of the DVDs and was sent scrambling after they were broadcast. “The work just wasn’t done.”

The slip-up violated a key tenet of the campaign: to avoid discussions focused on race. From polling and interviews, the campaign concluded from the outset that it was imperative to define Mr. Obama’s candidacy in terms that would transcend skin color.

“It would be difficult for an African-American to be elected president in this country,” said Cornell Belcher, a pollster who worked for Mr. Obama’s campaign and studies racial voting patterns. “However, it is not difficult for an extraordinary individual who happens to be African-American to be elected president.”

"Blindsided"??? I pointed out that Rev. Wright was going to be a problem for Obama 50 weeks beforehand.

The general cluelessness of America's white political elites regarding anything touching race is astounding. David Axelrod, who has been in Chicago politics for decades, running Daley's campaigns, didn't know that Obama's preacher, who runs a megachurch, sells his sermons online??? How could anyone imagine that Rev. Wright -- Rev. Wright -- wouldn't want to pocket some extra cash and edify humanity at the same time by peddling his graceful digitial presence? All you had to do was Google "Trinity United Church of Christ" and the DVDs were prominently displayed. (I wonder if any McCain aides ever even bought them?) I saw them on sale in early 2007.

And all this stuff about defining Obama as somebody who "just happens to be African-American" as if he's the second coming of former LA Mayor Tom Bradley ... Wasn't that dependent upon nobody important reading carefully his 460 page autobiography, My 25 Year Struggle to Define Myself as a Black Man? Granted, practically nobody did, so it worked, but still ...

What this shows once again is that Everybody Drinks Their Own Kool-Aid. I'd like to imagine David Axelrod as a mastermind cynically manipulating the media, because at least it would show that somebody who is pulling the strings has a brain. But this revelation that Axelrod was completely clueless about Rev. Wright just reveals that the first person these guys brainwash is themselves. Instead of some evil genius pulling the strings, there are just a bunch of guys yanking their own chains before they can yank ours.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

11 comments:

James Kabala said...

There's no doubt that Rev. Wright is a self-promoter, but it turns out you were wrong (for possibly the first time ever) in your prediction that he would inject himself into the proceedings in October in some sort of half-conscious attempt to derail Obama and prove America is still racist.

I wonder if Wright was at the Grant Park rally?

Steve Sailer said...

Did he ever get back from "email hell" in Africa? New York magazine reported he had a book coming out in October, but then his daughter said he was up the river in Ghana, out of electronic touch with the world, presumably hanging out with Dr. Livingstone I Presume and Mistah Kurtz from Heart of Darkness/Apocalypse Now.

I wonder how much that cost Obama supporters? As I said, it showed much more Presidential resourcefulness on the part of Obama than last spring's endless psychodrama. Rev. Wright likes money (Porsches aren't cheap), Obama has friends with money, we have the makings of a deal.

RobertHume said...

Steve,

I haven't seen anyone suggest that the increase in the Democratic vote by Hispanics ... dissing all of McCain's hard work ... might be due to race.

Isn't it plausible that they are voting for the non-white? As white influence declines, theirs may be expected to increase.

I'm trying to think how this might be tested statistically ...

rightsaidfred said...

>>>>the first person these guys brainwash is themselves.

Kind of like what we see at the CIA, FBI, BATF, etc.

James Kabala said...

You may be right.

Old Dad said...

Steve,

Axelrod surely sips his own koolaid, but he's also simply lying. Both he and the One were deeply mired in southside politics and both still needed big pay days. They tried to delay (and did) the throwing under the bus moment for as long as possible. You're undoubtedly right that they bought off the good Rev., and unless I miss my guess, there are lots more big pay days heading for Hyde Park. Richard Daley would be proud, and now with Rahm Emanuel as Consigliare, just think of the dough to be made.

Sure, Joe Kennedy bought off Daley, but Joe's a piker compared to the One. He bought off the whole damn country with other people's money.

Anonymous said...

So you believe that Axelrod was completely clueless because Axelrod says that he was completely clueless? I don't buy it. I think it was perfectly executed damage control. The videos leaked after Obama had the Democratic nomination almost sealed and about a month prior to the Pennsylvania primary. If the video had leaked prior to the Iowa caucas, Obama was toast. If it had leaked in October, Obama was toast.

Steve Sailer said...

But the Wright videos weren't a leak. They were onsale to anybody with a credit card. I thought about buying them at several points in 2007, but I don't like watching stuff unless I'm getting paid to review it.

Anonymous said...

I first learned of Rev. Wright's views on things while watching the Tucker Carlson show on MSNBC early during the primaries. Obama threw Wright under that famous bus of his 6 months? a year? later. I don't remember exactly how much later it happened, but it was an eternity by political standards. I remember Carlson saying on that occasion that Rev. Wright's racialism ran against Christianity's universalist message. He read some choice quotes and mentioned that Obama used a phrase of Wright's to title his second book. There was no video though.

By the way, I miss Carlson's smart-assiness on TV. It's a pity that he eventually got canceled.

Anonymous said...

“That was one place where we dropped the ball,” said Mr. Axelrod, his voice growing angry. The campaign’s research operation had not known of the DVDs and was sent scrambling after they were broadcast. “The work just wasn’t done.”

Presumably Axelrod was angry because the campaign’s research operation should have found out about the videos then gotten Wright to pull them from sale or Obama to distance himself from Wright earlier.

Anonymous said...

"But the Wright videos weren't a leak. They were onsale to anybody with a credit card. I thought about buying them at several points in 2007, but I don't like watching stuff unless I'm getting paid to review it."

Brian Ross of ABC News was the first to report on the tapes. I suppose ABC could have found the DVDs after an exhaustive investigation of Obama's associations, but I doubt it. They probably received a tip from someone, and since Hillary Clinton was the biggest beneficiary of the release of the Wright's sermons, I'm guessing the tip came from someone associated with her campaign.

In this post primary interview with Bill Clinton, he's asked if he has any regrets. He answers, yes, he wished he had told Hillary to do certain things. Early in the primaries, the Clintons were referencing Rezko and Obama's past drug use, so clearly they had done their homework. But I'll guess we'll never know when exactly the Clintons learned about those DVDs.