Friday, April 25, 2008

L.Douglas Wilder Offers Obama Encouragement and Warnings


Obama Gets Encouragement and Warning From Wilder
Heidi Przybyla
Thu Apr 24, 9:01 AM ET

April 24 (Bloomberg) -- Doug Wilder, the nation's first elected black governor, has both encouragement and a warning for Illinois Senator Barack Obama.

The encouragement is that Obama is approaching the race issue the right way, and the nation is ready to elect a black president. The warning is that it may not be as ready as polls suggest.

``Let's not kid ourselves again, the issue of race will not disappear; but I don't think it will predominate,'' the former Virginia governor said in an interview at his office in Richmond, where he is now mayor. At the same time, he said, even if Obama is the nominee and heads into the fall with an apparent lead, the election ``will be closer than any polls will suggest.''

Wilder, 77, is an authority in the matter. In 1989, he won the Democratic gubernatorial nomination in the overwhelmingly white onetime cradle of the Confederacy. Polls taken just before Election Day had put him ahead of his Republican competitor by as much as 10 percentage points; he won by less than half a percentage point.

Wilder said he believes Obama has done a good job so far in blunting the race issue. ``Obama, by not running as an African- American, has been able to show that race is coincidental to his being,'' rather than the centerpiece of his campaign, he said.

The message Obama, 46, sends to voters is ```I'm not being dominated by any groups,''' Wilder said. ``That includes African- Americans.''

`Ingrained Difficulty'

Wilder said he isn't surprised that Obama has run behind New York Senator Hillary Clinton among white voters in some states. Obama has faced more ``ingrained difficulty'' as a black candidate than Clinton has as a woman, Wilder said.

Bias against Clinton, 60, may have more to do with specific incidents that have reinforced stereotypes, he said. ``Hillary's reactions to things conjure up images that are not necessarily the healthiest in terms of hissy fits or reactions because of emotions, like the crying and the weeping and then forgetting somewhat that she did that,'' he said.

In Pennsylvania's April 22 Democratic primary, Obama lost by 10 points to Clinton, as white Democrats voted for her by a 65- to-35 percent margin. In exit polls, 19 percent of Pennsylvania Democratic voters said race was important in making their choice.


``He's struggling with them in terms of the nomination,'' Wilder said. ``I don't think that struggle will emanate through the general election because they have far more in common with him than they do with the Republican candidate.''

Rest of article at the link above.

I appreciate Wilder's words of support towards Obama.


Andrea said...

You know I don't get down with Obama like that anymore but...I LOVE the loyalty of Doug Wilder. I love that he is one of the elders that "get" that the younger generation needs to lead now. The other members of the Black Establishment (Hankerchief Heads and their buddy system) was forcefully trying to keep us stunted as regressive adults stuck in childhood roles of mimicking adults like they do.

A lot that I gripe about of the Boomers has to do with the basic anthropological arguments of ROLES. Doug Wilder seem to not be one those older people obsessed to be the ONLY ONE who could lead of out of the masses. He seem to have taken on the Moses role to Obama's Joshua role.

I could keep on going but in spite of my refrain in supporting Obama, I think this is an absolute selfless gesture of sacrificial duty and exercise Doug Wilder is exhibiting. Now only if he could carry-out his model to affect the other members of the Black Establishment and CBC, especially to realize the Leadership-thing is bigger than the Barack election campaign issue. Then they would realize why fringe groups are grinding on them.

rikyrah said...


I don't consider myself fringe...LOL

I definitely understand your comments about Wilder, and I agree.

Andrea said...

Girl...we are fringe...we are marginalized. We think we are normal because we are but we have never been recognized by the mainstream society as normal. So we are fringe.

Fringe is good though. Status Quo is penalizing.

You know fringe is tacky and improper. That's what we are when we get out of our place and mess up the status quo.