SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
CapitolFax.com
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
Obamarama - Memo to pundits *** Updated x2 ***

Friday, Feb 23, 2007

[Updated and bumped to the top.]

The coverage and analysis in the national media of how Obama’s support is supposedly shaping up in the black community has irked me for weeks. So, I decided to literally send the pundits a memo via my Sun-Times column

Memo to all national political journalists, columnists, pundits, etc.: Please, get a clue.

Perhaps because I live in and cover the politics of a state which has elected two African-American U.S. senators, a black mayor of our largest city and a black secretary of state who four years ago carried all 102 counties, I find your coverage of the ‘’race issue'’ in the presidential contest to be utterly devoid of insight and context. I’ll try to fill you in.

First, just because a prominent African-American leader endorses Hillary Clinton, that doesn’t mean Barack Obama’s campaign has suffered a mortal wound. It may seem unusual to you that some black leaders aren’t supporting a black candidate, but, take it from me, this happens all the time. […]

Next, you “experts” assume that just because viable, credible black candidates end up winning overwhelming majorities of black votes that polls currently showing Hillary Clinton leading Obama among African Americans are somehow important.

Wrong again.

Go read the whole thing for plenty of examples, context and more analysis, then come back here and discuss.

*** UPDATE *** Not all the national coverage is mindless. The Wall Street Journal has a pretty good article on Obama’s time at the Statehouse.

…a lawmaker of lofty, liberal rhetoric who nonetheless pragmatically accepted bipartisan compromises that won over foes — and sometimes left supporters dissatisfied. […]

As for sharp elbows, the scraps for which Mr. Obama is remembered — including near-fisticuffs once on the Senate floor — were with fellow black Democrats, some of whom were resentful of his ambitions and his successes. […]

When the legislature revisited the ethics issue in 2003, Mr. Jones was among those who resisted changes Mr. Obama promoted. “He wouldn’t buck Emil Jones,” Ms. Canary said. The Senate and House agreed to a weaker bill.

The credit that went to Mr. Obama for the racial-profiling and videotaping measures stoked tensions among black colleagues who had sponsored similar proposals only to see Mr. Jones promote his protégé’s efforts. One was state Sen. Rickey “Hollywood” Hendon, an outspoken Democrat, who once had to be separated from Mr. Obama in the Senate after confronting him for reasons that witnesses don’t recall and Mr. Hendon won’t discuss.

*** UPDATE 2 *** By the way, I was there during that fight with Hendon. I thought this incident looked familiar, but I couldn’t remember the details. It all came back to me when a former PAR intern sent me an e-mail this afternoon reminding me that he was there in the press box with me.

As he remembers it (and I’m pretty sure he’s right), Obama had voted against one of Hendon’s amendments for the South Side. Then Obama spoke in favor of a different amendment for the region. Hendon rose to complain during debate.

Afterwards, the two talked, and Obama wagged his finger in Hendon’s face. Well, Hendon didn’t like that much so he swatted Obama’s hand away. There was a throwdown and then they were separated.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


24 Comments
  1. - Number 8 - Friday, Feb 23, 07 @ 8:58 am:

    Rich, I’m glad to see you call these people out. Their assumptions are pathetic and their focus on race completely off track. Race is a factor here to the extent that Barack could become the first black President of the U.S. — thats it. His support is wide and deep and will only get stronger as he becomes better known nationwide.

    I hope that you continue (start?) to be the barometer of good journalism and the whieslt blower of misguided media reporting.


  2. - Bill Baar - Friday, Feb 23, 07 @ 9:08 am:

    Yet another example along those lines was the 1983 Chicago mayoral race when incumbent Jane Byrne (white) was endorsed by a whole host of black political leaders. African-American Congressman Harold Washington came in at the right time, with the right message and the right campaign, set fire in the precincts and won the race, carrying the black wards by a large margin. In the end, the endorsements did Byrne no good.

    Washington destroyed the regular and reliable Black Political Machine in Chicago. Now we have Obama at the right time, with the right message and the right campaign and he may well do the same thing to the most reliable political block of votes Democrats have. Get a guy out there setting fires and people wonder who’s going to get burned.


  3. - Leroy - Friday, Feb 23, 07 @ 9:14 am:

    “It may seem unusual to you that some black leaders aren’t supporting a black candidate”

    Hehe..remember the time he went to Harvey, wagged his finger at the residents and said: ‘Government is not the place if you want to get rich, if you want to get rich, go into the private sector’. Then he got back into his fleet of SUVs and drove back to his million dollar home in Hyde Park?

    I wonder if that has anything to do with it?


  4. - George Ryan's Cellmate - Friday, Feb 23, 07 @ 9:40 am:

    Great column, Rich.


  5. - Rich Miller - Friday, Feb 23, 07 @ 9:55 am:

    Thanks, GRC.


  6. - Papa Legba - Friday, Feb 23, 07 @ 10:10 am:

    Rich,

    How can you question the National Press Corps? I mean they are never wrong, they will tell you so, a lot.

    Those idiots pound on a story, true or not, until the masses pick up on it and believe it’s true.

    It happens in many areas, not just politics. All it takes one moron financial analyst to utter something stupid one morning and crash a whole sector of the market for a week or two.

    Americans have lost the ability to think one their own, or they are just too lazy to think.


  7. - Hopefund - Friday, Feb 23, 07 @ 10:11 am:

    I hope this article is picked up this makes the rounds this weekend! It’s great! Thanks, Rich!


  8. - VanillaMan - Friday, Feb 23, 07 @ 10:29 am:

    What you are saying makes a lot of sense.

    Why are so many other pundits so off base on this?

    I would like to know how poorly they cover other candidates and campaigns. It seems logical to me that the writers who have been blowing it in regards to Obama and African American voters are also using obsolete thinking and unfounded generalities regarding all campaigns.

    Are African American pundits talking about Obama the way you say other pundits are misinterpreting him and black voters?

    What do you think is going wrong to create an illusion so off-mark? Deadline stress? Laziness? Do we have too many pundits? Is it too easy to become a pundit? Why is this happening in your opinion?


  9. - Rich Miller - Friday, Feb 23, 07 @ 10:48 am:

    VM, I think the reason for the Obama errors is that they have no experience covering viable black candidates. Also, while I try to avoid listening to them, many seem to be woefully unqualified, ill-informed, lazy, but clever bloviating gasbags.

    Punditry favors cleverness over research and mindlessly agreeing with other pundits over uniqueness of thought. If you didn’t notice, it thoroughly disgusts me.

    Washington, DC is broken, and the pundits are an integral part of that problem.


  10. - Levois - Friday, Feb 23, 07 @ 11:14 am:

    Very inciteful. I’ve never thought of this in that way. Perhaps it should be known that blacks play politics too. And that blacks aren’t all affected by who endorsed who.


  11. - Anonymous - Friday, Feb 23, 07 @ 12:19 pm:

    Can any observer of Springfield think of a more compelling reason to support Obama than that he tangled with Hollywood Hendon?


  12. - ZC - Friday, Feb 23, 07 @ 12:43 pm:

    What most delineates D.C. pundits is that they are paid to gibber endless opinions and sound well-reasoned about subjects that they are usually proven wrong about. And they know this. So as Rich notes, they tend to cluster in a “herd mentality” so if they are wrong, they can at least point collectively and say, “Hey, we were all wrong.” Rare is the D.C. pundit who will go out on a limb and lose that kind of security.

    Nor can pundits get paid for saying, regularly and repeatedly, “I don’t know.” Which is what we all should still be saying about Obama and the black vote. “I am not sure how black voters outside Illinois will react to Obama, but my guess is they will ultimately rally for him,” is a fair statement. Anything too strong beyond that is ridiculous, this many months out. In 2004, none of the other Democratic candidates for IL Senate started off with any goodwill vibes like the Clinton brand still has for many African-Americans. So to compare Obama in 04 and in 08 is slightly apples and oranges. We’ll know soon enough.


  13. - Frank Booth - Friday, Feb 23, 07 @ 1:22 pm:

    I need to add this line to my resume, thanks Rich:
    Woefully unqualified, ill-informed, lazy, but clever bloviating gasbag.


  14. - Pat Collins - Friday, Feb 23, 07 @ 1:27 pm:

    Washington destroyed the regular and reliable Black Political Machine

    Really? Todd Stroger might disagree.

    column

    While not wanting to be a jerk, the main point seems rather obvious. I mean, all one needs to do is see where Jesse Jackson won primaries when he ran, and he had WAY more baggage than even I can load on the Prince.

    JJ won a lot (not all!) of his primaries by doing very well with the Black vote.


  15. - Truthful James - Friday, Feb 23, 07 @ 1:27 pm:

    One of the nice things about the Obama candidacy is that it will force the republicans to look for a Black national candidate to fill at least the Veep spot.


  16. - Really? - Friday, Feb 23, 07 @ 1:48 pm:

    Truthful James,

    I think that’s the same logic the Republicans took in 2004 when they brought in Alan Keyes. How’d that turn out?


  17. - Truthful James - Friday, Feb 23, 07 @ 1:56 pm:

    Really? –

    Wrong. Keyes was brought in in a fit of pique. Jack ryan was a good candidate. He might have been able to overcome the phony issue (regarding Jeri’s closed door deposition in an effort to gain custody.) The Tribune did not want him and the Thompson/Edgar people did not want a young energetic candidate.

    If Keyes had been vetted one would have immediately found out that he was not running to win on Illinois issues, but running to push his own agenda and widen his mailing list.

    There were, believe it or not, issues in that campaign

    However, on the national scene there are Powell and Rice on the one hand — Powell could top the ticket, and state and national officials who have really been elected to something.


  18. - A Citizen - Friday, Feb 23, 07 @ 2:23 pm:

    That race and/or gender can so flood the thinking mind as to blind it from rational decision making is astounding and so disappointing. Probably will continue for decades to come.


  19. - grand old partisan - Friday, Feb 23, 07 @ 2:31 pm:

    I agree with Rich’s assessment of the situation, but for “Number 8” to suggest that race is only “a factor here to the extent that Barack could become the first black President of the U.S.,” well that’s just ridiculous. If we are ever going to have an open and honest discussion about race relations in this country, we can’t pretend that race doesn’t have anything to do with Obama’s ability to get this far, this fast on the national stage. I mean, would Obama-mania as we know it exist today if he hadn’t delivered the 2004 DNC keynote address? No. And would he have delivered that address if he were white? Most likely not. Serious, why in god’s name did the Democrats pick someone who was projected to win about 106% of the vote in his Senate race? Because, despite fancying themselves the “party of diversity,” they were about to nominate two super-rich white guys named John on their national ticket. I find it hard to believe that it’s just a coincidence they decided to put the only viable African-American candidate for a major office that year front and center (Sowell and Majette were projected to lose their Senate races by the same margin Obama was to win, and no African Americans were running for Governor).


  20. - Rich Miller - Friday, Feb 23, 07 @ 4:13 pm:

    ZC, this also applies to presidential politics. jesse jackson won the michigan caucus in 1988 even though the black mayor of detroit, coleman young, put his machine behind dukakis. it’s not apples and oranges. it’s black voting patterns. you are making a leap of logic that can’t be supported.


  21. - Rich Miller - Friday, Feb 23, 07 @ 6:10 pm:

    CR, all of your comments are automatically going into the moderation que (you may see them on your screen, but nobody else ever does) because most of your posts lately have been little more than off-topic gratuitous insults. Get a life.


  22. - ZC - Friday, Feb 23, 07 @ 7:39 pm:

    Rich,

    That’s why I said name recognition of the Clinton brand, not endorsements … as you note, Coleman Young’s endorsement did not help Dukakis. In 2004, Jim Clyburn, who is supposed to be THE preeminent black power broker in South Caroline, first endorsed Gephardt, then Kerry, then watched Edwards carry SC anyway.

    What I’m talking about, though, is in the days before the SC primary, Bill Clinton appears on every TV throughout the state and encourages the black electorate to go out and support Hillary. That’s what different. Dukakis didn’t have anything like that. Will it help Hillary? Maybe not. But it’s different from Obama in 04.


  23. - State of Farce - Saturday, Feb 24, 07 @ 2:57 am:

    Go Obama! Another reason to love him! Bustin Hendon’s chops….priceless!


  24. - Bill Baar - Saturday, Feb 24, 07 @ 7:19 am:

    LA Times story with Hendon’s endorsement plust some history on Obama’s first race for Alice Palmers seat. I didn’t realize she had changed her mind about not running but Obama wouldn’t back out… and was confronted over it.

    Obama first hit my radar screen with the run against Rush.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


* Leaders to meet again today
* Report: AFSCME bill override vote could come today
* This job is more than the Turnaround Agenda and a budget
* Kirk says Clinton won't hurt Duckworth bid
* Simple answers to simple questions
* *** LIVE *** Session Coverage
* The other potential candidates
* Jewish bride denied Galena wedding ceremony
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Supplement to today’s edition: Budget analysis
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* Good morning!
* Yesterday's blog posts

Support CapitolFax.com
Visit our advertisers...

...............

...............

...............

...............

...............

...............

...............

...............


Search This Blog...

Search the 98th General Assembly By Bill Number
(example: HB0001)

Search the 98th General Assembly By Keyword

  
* OnePlus slashes prices on all of its devices ahead of OnePlus 3 launch
* Samsung offers a taste of the future with demo of foldable 5.7-inch display prototype
* OnePlus 2 price dropped to $300, OnePlus X available for $200 stateside
* Spotify seeks more personalized playlists after Discover Weekly finds 40M users
* Leaked OnePlus 3 specifications include 5.5-inch 1080p display, Snapdragon 820 processor and NFC
* Samsung will reportedly skip over Note 6 and unveil the Galaxy Note 7 in August
* Toys-to-Life Franchise Gets iOS Card Game With Skylanders Battlecast

* Double play short-circuits White Sox rally
* Sale shoulders all the blame in his first loss
* In his first loss, Sale shoulders all the blame
* Sale roughed up by Tribe, denied 10-0 start
* Sale roughed up by Tribe, denied 10-0 start
* No doubt that Sale can bounce back from 1st loss
* White Sox employing eight-man 'pen

...............


Main Menu
Home
Illinois
YouTube
Pundit rankings
Obama
Subscriber Content
Durbin
Burris
Blagojevich Trial
Advertising
Updated Posts
Polls

Archives
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004

Blog*Spot Archives
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005

Syndication

RSS Feed 2.0
Comments RSS 2.0
WordPress

Loading


* Another go at AFSCME override – DEMS’ dim gov p.....
* Lawmakers Still Talking, But Budget Deadline Lo.....
* Morning Spin: How Madigan can win even if he lo.....
* IHSA looks at limit on pitches thrown in baseball..
* Rauner’s approval rating sinks to record low..
* Voice of The Southern: School’s out for summer .....
* Former Hawks player pushes for daily fantasy sp.....
* Shoould Schools Move Back Start Times? – Alton .....
* Miller: Raunder, Madigan make take budget fight.....
* Morning Spin: How Madigan can win even if he lo.....


* ATV crashes kill youths in Clark, McHenry counties
* Illinois lawmaker, university spar over research animals
* Illinois remapping issue step closer to November ballot
* Family agrees to $1.1M settlement in WWII veteran's death
* Schaumburg woman gets 5 years for friend's drug death
* Prosecutor: Man charged with having bombs wanted to kill
* State Police announces traffic safety initiative
* Chicago has ambulance equipped to handle infectious diseases
* Family asks for FBI investigation of 2013 police shooting
* Jury duty proving costly in Knox County

* Illinois pushes legal aid for juveniles in murder cases
* Bill to ban sale of ‘bath salts’ sent to governor
* Illinois lawmaker, university spar over research animals
* Illinois remapping issue inches closer to November ballot
* Republicans doubtful Illinois State Fairgrounds foundation bill will pass
* GOP leaders: No tax hike with no reforms
* State election board questions automatic voter registration
* Feeding sites to still serve needy children in Springfield
* U.S. Supreme Court rejects request to reconsider Blagojevich case
* Rauner says there's still time for 'grand compromise'

* Stuff your stuff and make experiences count, says Groupon
* Citi Foundation gives five nonprofits $500,000
* TreeHouse Foods to close 2 plants it bought from ConAgra
* Airlines hope to charge you more next year
* Monsanto rejects $62 billion Bayer offer


* Memory fish: After IHSA bass fishing, Carlyle Lake
* Memory fish: After IHSA bass fishing, Carlyle Lake
* Midway Airport gets TSA PreCheck Enrollment Center
* Police: Man broke into car, fought CPD officers in Avondale
* Man shot in South Shore
* City looking for Chicago’s “Top Cabbie”
* Obama guidance, press schedule May 25, 2016. Vietnam, Japan
* Man drives car into Far South Side pond, critically injured
* Suspect at large after firing shots at Chicago Police
* Man shot in North Lawndale


* After a meticulously-planned suicide attempt, ex-Bears QB Erik Kramer lives on
* Dear Stupid (looking at you, Illinois men's basketball)
* LINDA C. BLACK HOROSCOPES for 5/25/16
* Paul Ryan reportedly telling confidants he's ready to end Donald Trump impasse
* Woman who killed disabled daughter hospitalized; prison term delayed
* IHSA looks at limit on pitches thrown in baseball
* Jason Hammel wants prominent role in Cubs' starting rotation
* Actress Beth Howland, who played Vera on 'Alice,' dies at 74
* Records: Evanston High staff stole from students, failed to report claim of gun in backpack
* Protests turn violent outside Trump rally in New Mexico


* Our View: Three special grads offer life lessons to adults
* Sen. Andy Manar: School funding reform deserves bipartisan support
* E.J. Dionne: Fighting phony 'populism'
* Esther J. Cepeda: Low-income students face a knowledge gap outside the classroom
* Michael Gerson: The Trump train is fueled by conspiracy
* Illinois pushes legal aid for juveniles in murder cases
* Bill to ban sale of ‘bath salts’ sent to governor
* Illinois lawmaker, university spar over research animals
* Illinois remapping issue inches closer to November ballot
* Republicans doubtful Illinois State Fairgrounds foundation bill will pass


* Teen hit by SUV on way to Centennial
* Bits and pieces from the gaming world: Music, new trailers, VR and more
* Podcast: Federal Judge David Bernthal 5-25-16
* Joan Griffis/Illinois Ancestors: Social media helpful to genealogical researchers
* Fourth grade balloon ambassadors puffed up with excitement
* Meg Makes: Barbecue may have you pigging out
* Prosecutor has no evidence
* Feds probing SRO program at Unit 4
* My Amish Home: No more wedding; time for more weeding
* UI's prison college program paying off


* Some charter schools won't survive proposed budget cuts
* Mike North video: Spieth keeps struggling
* Huntley park to debut outdoor fitness area
* NATO general: Russia respects power, not compromise
* Markets Right Now:

* House lawmakers overcome hurdle on key tra...
* Rodney Davis talks funding with Bloomingto...
* The agency that fought Illiana gets a new ...
* Rep. Dold takes educational cruise down Ch...
* Lawmakers decry high turnover rate of VA h...
* CBD Oil, and politics
* Simon considering state Senate bid
* Killer Congressman Tom MacArthur trying to...
* Shutdown? State may not notice
* Rep. Bob Dold

* Brown: Democrats' short list of gov candid......

* Kirk says Clinton won't hurt Duckworth bid......
* Letter: Kirk's leadership encourages suppo......

* Keeping retirement weird. I move that we change the names.
* Illinois legislative clock ticks down. The incredibly silent IEA.
* University of Illinois, SEIU pushing bills granting subsidies to non-American higher ed students
* University of Illinois, SEIU push financially-strapped Illinois to provide state aid for non-citizen students
* Summer In The City -- Parks Programs In/Around Uptown
* “The Driver’s Side” – News From The Motorist’s Perspective
* Nothing Left But The Memories
* University of Illinois, SEIU pushing bills that grant subsidies for non-American higher ed students
* Emanuel Unveils Proposal For Tackling Laborers Pension Fund
* First Hurdle Cleared For Ballot Question In Legislative Remapping Effort


* Emergency Management Officials, National Weather Service Encourage Winter Preparedness - November is Winter Weather Preparedness Month in Illinois
* Keep Your Family Safe This Winter - November through February are leading months for carbon monoxide related incidents
* Governor Takes Bill Action
* Illinois Department of Labor Director Hugo Chaviano Awards Governor’s Award for Contributions in Health and Safety to the Illinois Refining Division of Marathon Petroleum Company LP
* State Regulator Elected Treasurer of Interstate Medical Licensure Compact




Hosted by MCS -- CapitolFax.com Privacy Policy -- SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax -- Advertise Here -- Mobile Version -- Contact Rich Miller