Strategy ’08

Obama vs. the other guy, 2008

Obama camp hits back on NYT “poll”

NYT says Obama should have fixed the US already

How else can you explain this headline?

Poll Finds Obama Candidacy Isn’t Closing Divide on Race

Oh, really?

You mean Barack Obama just running for President hasn’t been enough to heal the wounds of slavery, of segregation, of Jim Crow? Barack Obama is running for office not already running the country. And speak of running the country…

Indeed, the poll showed markedly little change in the racial components of people’s daily lives since 2000, when The Times examined race relations in an extensive series of articles called “How Race Is Lived in America.”

As it was eight years ago, few Americans have regular contact with people of other races, and few say their own workplaces or their own neighborhoods are integrated. In this latest poll, over 40 percent of blacks said they believed they had been stopped by the police because of their race, the same figure as eight years ago; 7 percent of whites said the same thing.

Eight years ago. Hmm. Remind me again what happened in 2000?

Oh, right, we got a Republican in the White House.

So, eight years of a George W. Bush administration that has included an invasion of Iraq, the costs of which have been paid ONLY by the families of the soldiers.

And let’s not forget Hurricane Katrina.

But Obama is somehow responsible for this morass? Obama’s campaign, the subject of smears, hate, and racism, is responsible for healing the country, before he even gets into office?

I mean, New York Times, seriously, W. T. F.

How is a campaign supposed to not only transcend one of (if not the) most fundamental issues that has plagued America since the first slaves were brought ashore, since the first Indians were massacred, but also fix it by virtue of simple existence?

Wouldn’t a “Race remains a challenge for America” or “Bush Administration has done nothing to heal racial divide” be more accurate?

And are we really surprised that African Americans have come out to support the black nominee for President, particularly when he’s running against a man who literally ate cake with George Bush while people were dying in New Orleans?

No.

So, seriously, NYT. No one expects Barack Obama to actually fix anything until he becomes President, right? Right?

You don’t get to pin the Bush legacy, and 400 years of American history, on one man’s campaign. Sorry.

Update Muzikal rightly points out that, actually, nobody should expect that Obama will magically untie the Gordian knot of race relations just by being elected. It’s going to be hard enough work just cleaning up after 8 years of Bush and getting the country out of the ditch. But if anyone is the right man for that job, it’s Barack Obama.

Update II The Obama Camp has responded with some facts that blow up the whole premise of the article. Facts lifted from the same poll!

a) More white voters say Obama cares about people like them, than say the same thing about McCain by 31 to 23

b) On the essential issue in this campaign – bringing about change in Washington – Among white voters, Obama is seen as the change agent by 52% to 30%

c) Obama’s 31% favorable rating among white voters is virtually identical to McCain’s, which is at 34%.

d) By a 2 to 1 margin over McCain, white voters are more likely to say that Obama would improve America’s image in the world

e) “Racial dissension” around Mrs. Obama’s 24% favorable rating among whites is an extremely odd description given that Mrs. McCain’s favorable rating among white voters is 20%.

f) Enthusiasm for Obama’s candidacy is roughly 2.5 times higher among white voters than is enthusiasm for McCain’s.

g) Obama is winning by 6 points against McCain and the gap among white voters is only -9 — a margin smaller than independent expert on voting patterns, Ruy Texiera, said would give Obama a ” solid win.”

h) though there is a six-point margin of error among black voters the NYT describes the 7-point change in black voters’ views that whites had a better chance of getting ahead as slightly higher than 8 years ago. Given that the Times reports horserace questions as statistically even when the margin falls within the margin, it seems that this shift from seven years ago among black voters is well within the margin of error.

Thank you for responding so quickly, Senator Obama!

No smear should go unchallenged – particularly when it’s on the front page of the New York Times. (thanks Dansac and Drdemocrat for linking this).

Now that the New York Times has been caught manipulating its own data on the front page to create a false impression (that Barack Obama has a “race problem”), will they apologize? Will Adam Nagorney, author of this screed, be disciplined?

Why not ask? nytnews@nytimes.com or letters@nytimes.com. Or the author himself: anagourney@nytimes.com

crossposted from Daily Kos

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July 16, 2008 - Posted by | Media Strategy, Polling | , ,

1 Comment »

  1. This type of aggressive push-back is exactly what’s been missing from the campaign.

    I’m cautiously optimistic, but I think there is a lot more work to do with their press strategy. Next step: repeating an attack over and over until it sticks (remember “third Bush term?”)

    Comment by dansac | July 16, 2008 | Reply


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