May 15th, 2008
11:34 AM ET

The Monster behind the Curtain

Editor's note: Bonnie Erbe is the host of PBS's weekly news analysis program, To the Contrary with Bonnie Erbe, and syndicated columnist for Scripps Howard News Service. Her blog 'Racism in the Presidential Race' appeared on UsNews.com.

Bonnie Erbe
Host, PBS' "To the Contrary"

Terry McAuliffe, Senator Clinton's campaign manager was all over the cable news channels last night claiming Sen. Clinton's 2-1 win in West Virginia is proof she and only she can win the White House for the Democratic party in November-that due to her support from white, working class voters.

But an even more telling point about white, working class voters and how some of them will vote when (and it looks like when, not if) Sen. Barack Obama becomes the Democratic nominee was made in article in yesterday's Washington Post. The monster lurking behind the curtain in the Democratic presidential race is racism. Up to now, Sen. Obama's supporters in the extreme left wing of the Democratic party, have tried to ignore its existence. This article is proof, it not only exists, it is unfortunately alive and well, particularly in factory towns:

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soundoff (71 Responses)
  1. bill

    If CNN help an Iowa poll between the two democrats it would help Hillary's claim that he has lost white, working class Reagan democrats. Back in January Obama won by a comfortable lead over Clinton, so if that lead is lost now, that means Obama is a flawed Kerry/Gore type candidate

    May 20, 2008 at 1:29 am |
  2. Chuck A

    Looks like the leader of the National Pep Rally will win the nomination. Now what?
    He starts learning how to be President?
    I hope we can make it long enough for him to get it right.

    May 18, 2008 at 6:53 pm |
  3. Chuck A

    Wake up People.
    Why would you give one of the most powerful positions in the world to a man with so little experience?
    No matter how good he talks, he does not have as much know how as he should to be in that position.
    another thing to think about is.....although you cannot hold what Rev wright said against him, you have to think.......he sat in front of this man for 20 years.........is that why he said his grandmother was a "typical" white person? What is a typical white person? Is that the view of a "typical" black person?
    We are all humans reguardless of color, and we are all in need of a change in our governments way of taking care of our country.
    Lets go for hands on experience experience this time, and maybe next time take a chance on good talk.
    None of these candidates are perfect, none have ever been, but do we want 4 more years of bush? 4 years of inexperienced talk? or someone who knows the current system enough to make the changes we need?

    May 18, 2008 at 6:50 pm |
  4. Mike in NYC

    From Joseph Sobran, April 1997:

    The concept of envy – the hatred of the superior – has dropped out of our moral vocabulary... The idea that white Christian civilization is hated more for its virtues than its sins doesn't occur to us, because it's not a nice idea... Western man towers over the rest of the world in ways so large as to be almost inexpressible. It's Western exploration, science, and conquest that have revealed the world to itself. Other races feel like subjects of Western power long after colonialism, imperialism, and slavery have disappeared. The charge of racism puzzles whites who feel not hostility, but only baffled good will, because they don't grasp what it really means: humiliation. The white man presents an image of superiority even when he isn't conscious of it. And, superiority excites envy. Destroying white civilization is the inmost desire of the league of designated victims we call minorities.

    May 17, 2008 at 1:59 pm |
  5. John

    Racism is everywere, Just read the blogs, look at the news. Mike from NYC! Did you see what happened in your great city of new york, cops are killing innocent people. Im a white guy from north carolina and I will never step foot in that state. That realy discusted me out. We all know race will play a big role on how america votes. We try to change and bully other countries. We need to work on out own problems. What makes our country any diffrent from any communist country. Special interest groups run this country and it shows. We as americans just suger coat the problems. Other countries see it, thats why we have no foreign relationships. We are no better than Iran, China, or north korea.Our govt miss leads its people to. Its up to us as americans to make a change.

    May 17, 2008 at 4:14 am |
  6. John

    For all you Obama haters, Im a white guy from north carolina. I think he will make a great president. He never singled out the americans like your candidate did. His message is to help all americans. Your candidate showed her reals colors. Hillary said she didnt need the black vote. What does that say about her character and yours if you support that. A president is suppose to be for all americans.

    May 17, 2008 at 3:54 am |
  7. mike


    When the Rev. William Procanick
    put his hand on the Bible during his sex-abuse trial in Oneida County
    Court earlier this year, he swore to tell the whole truth and nothing
    but the truth. But as the former Clinton pastor was sentenced Friday to
    three years in prison for inappropriately touching a 7-year-old girl at
    his home last March, Judge Michael L. Dwyer said Procanick sacrificed
    his honesty the day he testified.
    Okay, so now that Bill and
    Hillary Clinton's pastor has been convicted of child molestation, will
    we see the same furor directed at Hillary that Obama has had to endure
    these last
    few weeks?


    May 17, 2008 at 2:53 am |
  8. Tiffany

    No candidate has won the presidency without winning West Virginia in almost 100 years. Now we know who to blame for two terms of Bush.

    May 16, 2008 at 1:44 pm |
  9. Letha

    What a bunch of bunk! It has little to do with racism in the way you state or the comments made. It can be the arrogance of Obama and the claim that he gets all the educated liberal thinkers who must be smarter than the average American. Is it because they are stupid enough to think like him? Or, it could be Michelle Obamas thesis or the Rev Wright or the fact he is simply the cheerleader at the basketball rally and the team may lose the game. Maybe, it's the young African Americans who point their fingers in our typical white faces and say we own them because of the past. I don't like to hear every speech with the under current of "pity me because I'm a little black boy" and rhetoric is rhetoric but most of the time he has no real direction. He has no claim to a senate record and he has shown me nothing. Most of the people who are supporting any one but him have been down that open minded thought process and know a good line when we hear it. I wont cast my one little vote for a book smart, people stupid person.

    May 16, 2008 at 10:13 am |
  10. Mike in NYC

    Kent, Illinois wrote:

    "The District of Columbia is not representative of anywhere."

    It seems to bear a striking resemblance to Detroit, East St. Louis, Atlanta, Memphis, Camden NJ, Gary IN, Baltimore, Cleveland, NOLA, etc.

    May 16, 2008 at 9:32 am |


    May 15, 2008 at 11:50 pm |


    HW CA.

    May 15, 2008 at 11:39 pm |
  13. june

    This is getting ridiculous about the WHITE WORKING CLASS VOTE. I am a white working class female...there are thousands of us...and we support Obama.
    He has also received several union endorsements. What's wrong with you people?

    May 15, 2008 at 11:22 pm |
  14. Luis M

    I wonder what Obama's library going to look like?

    May 15, 2008 at 11:17 pm |
  15. Luis M

    Baggae? Baggage?
    Typical "white" woman,
    first time?
    Rev Wright?
    Cling to religion?
    Cling to guns?
    Politics of old?
    Kennedy? Kerry? Dodd? Carter? Biden?
    No Pledge pin?
    Pledge pin?
    Special interests?
    Do we see a pattern?
    That's the pot , calling the kettle ______?

    May 15, 2008 at 11:09 pm |
  16. Lynn

    They talk about how the Clintons are favored with the lower income, less educated whites of Penn, W Virginia, Ohio etc, but what about all the baggage the Clintons bring with them back to the White House. The 90's was thick with scandal and impeachment promises – but that has seemed to be forgotten along with the current scandals and scams Bill is involved with (Dubai, Columbia, his library etc) and what about the hedgefund managed by chelsea, and the real estate deals the entire family is involved with. I do not hear much about this now, but will definitely be an issue in the fall. Why don't we hear more about the "do as I say not as I do" convictions of the Clinton family.

    May 15, 2008 at 10:38 pm |
  17. Luis M

    According to Obama, His wife Michelle Obama must be clinging to
    her gun and her religion, because she seems bitter.

    First time?

    First time? Michelle (Move On Girl) Getover yourself.

    May 15, 2008 at 10:02 pm |
  18. Kent, Illinois

    Mac Combs..............

    The District of Columbia is not representative of anywhere. That is all on it's own. West Virginia will unfortunately go Republican in November. Ironic really. You cannot dispute their are alot of people per capita that are on or below the poverty line in WV.

    Why...........why, why then do you people continue to vote for rich people who don't care about you?

    May 15, 2008 at 9:59 pm |
  19. Kent, Illinois

    L Cabrera.............

    Hey, I call it as I see it. I happen to be ready for a President that cares about all the people of this nation. He actually cares about EVERYONE. Did you hear Cheney when he said "SO" when told what the people of this country cared about? Does this ring a bell?

    Seems everybody is ready for Bush to be done yesterday. But, some people are hesitant on Obama because of their learned racist behavior. Yeah I'm white. And, I'm sick of the haters ok? I'm not elitist. I just wish people could see through their own hate.

    May 15, 2008 at 9:48 pm |
  20. Luis M

    You notice I didn't mention the "R" word. "racist" bahh!

    This is why I'm a democrat

    May 15, 2008 at 9:38 pm |
  21. Luis M

    Hillary, do not go gently into the night. Fight for us. fight for the real democratic party, show the elitist left, what it's really like to be kicked around, knocked down, dragged out fight, use the words of knowledge, not the words of deception, from the likes of Kerry, Edwards, Kennedy, Biden, Dodd, Carter, McGovern, Dean. These pass candidates are well known defeatist, quitting before it's over. Hillary you are going to win the popular votes! I guarantee it! The superdelegates can not overrule the democratic people. ROCK ON HILLARY
    HRCLINTON / RFKENNEDY JR. In 2008 The real Dream ticket to the future

    May 15, 2008 at 9:33 pm |
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