In a recent HuffPo, Rogers Smith, who was interviewed, suggested that as important as Barack Obama’s speech last week might have been, it probably would not help him among conservative voters.
I disagree, and direct your attention to yesterday’s small scale rebellion at FOX Noise where one morning anchor walked off set and conservative commentator Chris Wallace impugned his colleagues for engaging in “Obama bashing.”
Something is afoot with a potential Obama nomination that is both unsettling and fascination to watch unfold.
On a previous post, I remarked that “The Speech” is one of the most optimistic and realistic speeches on race that Americans have heard in a very long time. I’d like to add that the speech was neither a liberal nor a conservative speech. It had elements to appeal to partisans of diverse political persuasions. Of particular interest here are the ideas that appeal to conservatives, who like Chris Wallace, are taking notice.
Consider for a moment a couple things that Obama chose not to dwell on. He spoke little about class and poverty, which as somebody vying for an Edwards endorsement, some must have found disappointing. Further, Obama emphasized the notion of individual responsibility in the African American community, which is an issue that Bill Cosby recently took under tow, much to the chagrin of more progressive voices like Michael Eric Dyson, whose book, Is Bill Cosby Right? was pretty much a broadside attack on Cosby’s remedies of meritocracy and personal responsibility. Then consider Obama’s white and sometimes bigoted grandmother whose comments remind many of some of our own white relatives. And finally are thee themes raised by Reverand Wright, which, according to Frank Schaeffer, when spoken by his rightist white preacher dad (Francis Schaffer), received high praise among white Christian conservatives.
So, plenty for the right to chew on, Rogers Smith’s commentary to the contrary.
It seems Obama landed on some inherently conservative ideas that may broaden Obama’s appeal among Pennsylvania’s rural white voters and those other Reagan Dems who don’t like McCain and just might have been among the 1million+ clicks of “The Speech” on YouTube since Tuesday.