Wednesday, May 16, 2012 at 10:30 AM
Which is why he generated so much buzz when he published the following on Monday in Three Ways to Look at the 2012 Campaign:
It is my view that Obama was helped in 2008 by a widespread belief that, in the abstract, it would be a good thing for Americans to elect a black president. I know I felt that way myself.
This year, I sense that many, perhaps most voters do not want the country to be seen rejecting the first black president. Such a feeling might be buoying Obama’s support despite the lagging economic recovery and the widespread opposition to his signature policies.
This is clearly a compelling and provocative observation. What’s more, it is unassailably true. But Barone went further:
[I]t is possible that in the last days of the campaign a large number of voters will decide, quietly and out of public view, that they just don’t want any more of what they’ve had for the last four years and they will try the other guy and see if he can do better.
Barone did not elaborate, but the reason this part of his commentary is so compelling, provocative, and true is that many Black politicians have been misled by White voters expressing support for them in polls throughout the campaign only to “vote their race” on Election Day. This fate befell Tom Bradley when he ran for governor of California in 1982 and 1986, as well as Harvey Gantt when he ran for the U.S. Senate from North Carolina in 1990 and 1996.
Therefore, Obama has just cause to worry about this backstabbing/racist phenomenon rearing its ugly head in November. Because only this would explain why anyone who voted for Obama in 2008 would become so disillusioned with what he failed to do (as opposed to what Republicans deliberately prevented him from doing) that s/he would vote for Mitt Romney.
Which is why, with all due respect to Barone, I presaged his commentary on this topic on January 4, 2012 in Iowa Caucuses: Much Ado About Nothing as follows:
[W]hen all is said and done, I am convinced that even some (White) Republicans will think twice about helping to perpetrate the historic spectacle of re-electing George W. Bush to a second term – after he nearly bankrupted the country with his unfunded wars and tax cuts for the rich, but denying Obama a second term – despite his commendable efforts against the odds to clean up the mess Bush left behind.
Besides, trust me folks, race matters. This is why I am even more convinced that disappointed (White) Democrats like actor Matt Damon, as well as Independents [like Michael Barone] whose votes are so indispensable, will definitely think twice about causing this first Black president to go down in history as a failure – especially given all of the mediocre White presidents who cruised to second terms.
HOPE springs eternal, but we shall see….