There are some who feel that the current battle for nomination is not going to do the Democrats any harm; once the nomination process concludes voters will fall behind the person who will go up against John McCain. Former Democratic congresswoman and presidential candidate Pat Schroeder of Colorado appeared on PBS NewsHour
yesterday and smilingly expressed her opinion that what was happening was good. Ms. Schroeder is for Hillary Clinton, but that is beside the point.
But I really don't worry about the future. I think it's very positive for the Democratic Party, and let me tell you why. I see George W. Bush channeling Herbert Hoover, for heaven's sakes, and now we see John McCain channeling George W. Bush. (Pat Schroeder on NewsHour)
What is happening is not positive. Democrats might not recover from the damage being done to chances of retaking the White House.
Let's face it. Both candidates have negative image with large blocks of voters. For Hillary Clinton, it is her past and the shadow of Bill Clinton. Her claim of dodging bullets in Bosnia revived reports about her untruthfulness. For Barack Obama, first and foremost it is the color of his skin, and then the barrage of critical, somewhat twisted, reports about his association with Rev. Jeremiah Wright, and his comments about 'bitter' voters in Pennsylvania. When both Clinton and Obama -- gleefully aided by conservative, pro-Republican media -- are doing all they can to highlight the faults and weaknesses of the other, prospects for Senator McCain cannot but look brighter. Ms. Schroeder might choose to ignore reality, but at the end of the day that is not going to save us from a looming disaster.
Like it or not, Obama being black is a factor that cannot be disregarded. There are voters for whom that alone is reason enough not to support him. Robert Novak's column in today's Washington Post
mentions "........the dreaded Bradley effect
- Prominent Democrats only whisper when they compare Obama's experience, the first African American with a serious chance to be president, with what happened to Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley a quarter-century ago. In 1982, exit polls showed Bradley, who was black, ahead in the race for governor of California, but he ultimately lost to Republican George Deukmejian. Pollster John Zogby (who predicted Clinton's double-digit win Tuesday) said what practicing Democrats would not: "I think voters face to face are not willing to say they would oppose an African American candidate."