The corporate media and the Clinton smear campaign have been trying to sell people on contradictory narratives.
One is meant for white voters. In that frame, Obama, who is half white, is the "black candidate." Blacks who vote for Obama are supposedly voting for him based on his race, while whites who vote for Clinton are supposedly not voting for Clinton based on her race. Never mind that a centrist like Obama has policies that are more favorable to people with lower and middle class incomes than the policies of a conservative like Clinton. It should be obvious that many African-Americans voting for Obama are voting based on their eoncomic interests. This frame also includes the claim that anyone who is voting against Clinton is rejecting her for her gender, but people voting for Clinton are in no way rejecting Obama's gender.
The other frame is meant to be seen by blacks. In that frame, Bill Clinton was more supportive of African-Americans (despite "welfare reform," attacks on affirmative action, the shabby treatment of Joycelyn Elders etc.) than any politician could ever be. Therefore, African-Americans should go along with older politicians in that community who are supporting Ms. Clinton.
The frames don't fit together, and each one is self-contradictory. Democrats aren't necessarily buying it. Many prominent women in the party are supporting Obama.
Caroline Kennedy's endorsement of Obama was delivered with the best political writing I've seen in a long time. It takes a lot to move someone as cynical as me, but Ms. Kennedy certainly did just that. Of course, an often published author should be expected to do better than the hack pundits and political speech writers so common today. Here is a gem from her endorsement Op-Ed in the New York Times:
My reasons are patriotic, political and personal, and the three are intertwined. All my life, people have told me that my father changed their lives, that they got involved in public service or politics because he asked them to. And the generation he inspired has passed that spirit on to its children. I meet young people who were born long after John F. Kennedy was president, yet who ask me how to live out his ideals.
Sometimes it takes a while to recognize that someone has a special ability to get us to believe in ourselves, to tie that belief to our highest ideals and imagine that together we can do great things. In those rare moments, when such a person comes along, we need to put aside our plans and reach for what we know is possible.
Elizabeth B. Moynihan, widow of the Senator who actively promtoted Ms. Clinton's first Senate campaign, just endorsed Obama.
“The hope that John Kennedy characterized for Americans spread across the world, then faded with his death,” Mrs. Moynihan wrote. “I believe Obama, like Kennedy, has the gift to transcend obstacles and to inspire Americans to bring out the best in themselves. I firmly believe the election of Barack Obama would help restore hope and America’s image in the world.”
Prominent female Democratic officials are supporting Obama such as Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri, who is appearing in his campaign ads. Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius also has given Obama the nod. Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin and Minnesota Congressmember Betty McCollum also have indicated their support for Obama.
Support for Obama among Democratic women crosses color lines and questions the narratives we are being handed. Of course, so does support for Ms. Clinton among African-Americans. We need to think critically at what we are being told by the media and the Clinton smear campaign.