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The Making of A New Obama Coalition

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Message Stephen C. Rose
The making of a new Obama coalition is a subject that has been obscured by the brouhaha of the primary campaign. But it is important to discuss it now. For example, a recent Gallup Poll shows that 27 percent of Clinton voters would choose John McCain. Who might these be, pray tell?If anyone has been paying attention, it is pretty obvious that the folk in the Clinton die-hard constituency are not about to trade their status in life for the hope offered by Barack Obama. They probably do not believe Clinton or McCain can take care of them, but they would be happier psychologically with stasis under one of these than being hectored daily by a pedagogical Harvard grad with a radical Black pastor and a feisty bride.

I think I have made my point by the inflammatory sentence preceding. This is the portrait of Barack that they accept, quite apart from what we may know and believe.

Hillary Clinton's constituency shades off into this racist-lite constituency.When given a choice, this constituency will vote for McCain if they must choose between Obama and the Republican.

Concede the point. Or at least hold that thought.

Where is Obama likely to pick up the 65 percent coalition he needs to not only win handily in November but sweep in a progressive Congress that will not be beholden to the lobbyists and special interests?

I can only argue that the following formulas are likely to hold once Obama wins this primary phase and is the actual Democratic candidate.

Formula One: Racist-lite Democratic defections will be exceeded by Passionate Centrist Republican defections from McCain.

Formula Two: Independents for Obama will exceed independents for McCain.

Formula Three: Racist-lite Clintonian defections to Republicans wlll be exceeded by new registrants who have come into the Democratic Party as part of the Obama movement.

When you combine each of these propositions you come out with an Obama Coalition of new Democrats, Passionate Centrist Republicans and a majority of the nation's registered independents. This coalition will have at its center the Obama Democrats and the percentage of Clinton Democrats who do not defect.

I believe this coalition will beat John McCain and end up described as a progressive movement in American politics dedicate to moving beyond the politics of race, the politics of special interests and the politics of gridlock.

You may wonder why Obama and Clinton have such different constituencies when their programs are not unlike. The simple answer is that Hillary is Hillary and Barack is Barack. It is like two people with the same product who go into business. One succeeds and the other fails. Comes down to how to get it done. Barack has the better chance than Hillary. Simple. The answer is above.
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Born in NYC, attended Oberlin & Trinity Schools, then Exeter and Williams (Phi Beta Kappa 1958). Worked with the Reverend James Robinson, finished Union Theological Seminary in NYC (1961). Joined Student Interracial Ministry in Nashville. Founded (more...)
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