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Looking Back

My friend Alex Massie takes a long-view look back at the makings of Obama's imminent triumph. I like this part:

Hence, the feverish ravings of some on the right. They looked at Obama and saw a radical. A Chicago hustler who palled around with Bill Ayers and Jeremiah Wright. A Marxist even and, obviously, a terrorist-coddler.

But most people didn't see Obama this way. Some, for sure, have swooned thinking the candidate rather too super-impressive. But rather more people have seen Obama as, yes, a law professor from one of the finest schools in the country. He doesn't look like a radical. He doesn't, I think, walk like a radical. And he sure as hell doesn't talk like a radical.

Remember too that there was a time when folk wondered if Obama could really enthuse the black vote. Back then, Hillary Clinton was winning 30 to 40% of the African-American vote and the question was "Is Obama black enough?" That's to say, it was only when black people started voting for him that it became obvious he was a black nationalist. Fishy stuff.

It's been said before but it bears repeating: Losing the black vote en masse was the critical vulnerability in the Clintons' master Hillary '08 plan, much as the Titanic engineers never imagined the iceberg that could tear open so many water-tight compartments in one fatal swoop.

--Michael Crowley