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Will Steve Cohen Ever Become Entrenched?

I doubt it. But that's the price you pay, I guess, if you're a white guy representing a majority-black Congressional district--even if, as Cohen says of himself, he votes "like a 45-year-old black woman." That said, the black politician currently trying to unseat Cohen, former Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton, looks like he might be taking the race-baiting to a whole new level (which is quite an accomplishment when you consider that Cohen's opponent in 2008 tried to link him to the KKK). From today's NYT:

“To know Steve Cohen is to know that he really does not think very much of African-Americans,” Mr. Herenton said in a recent radio interview on KWAM. “He’s played the black community well.”


“This seat was set aside for people who look like me,” said Mr. Herenton’s campaign manager, Sidney Chism, a black county commissioner. “It wasn’t set aside for a Jew or a Christian. It was set aside so that blacks could have representation.”

In a way, Cohen's probably fortunate to have an opponent as heavy-handed and unsubtle as Herenton. In fact, I think the NYT article might be overstating the threat Herenton poses to Cohen, if only because Herenton has been behaving so strangely these days, something the NYT only alludes to in passing:

Twice he announced that he was retiring, then changed his mind or rescheduled the departure date. Then, after resigning this summer, he considered running again because he disapproved of his successor. He has since changed his mind and is focusing on the Congressional race.

For a good illustrative example of just how strangely Herenton's been acting of late, watch this 20-minute interview he recently did with a local Memphis newscast; it's almost as good as Anchorman.