early and often

Clinton Supporters, Women at Large Not Coming Around to Obama


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Barack Obama’s delicate attempts to charm Hillary Clinton’s supporters wasn’t helped when yet another pastor connected to him had an outburst. Obama said he was “deeply disappointed” yesterday by the remarks made at his church on Sunday by Father Michael Pfleger, who said Clinton cried in New Hampshire because she felt entitled to the nomination and a black man was stealing it from her. Pfleger’s not a part of the campaign, but it’s hard to think of how someone could be more off-message right now. This episode will likely add to the resentment that many Clinton supporters already feel because of the unfair treatment they perceive Clinton was given as a female candidate.

• Geraldine Ferraro doesn’t think the Obama campaign or the media has grasped that women feel Clinton was the victim of sexism throughout the campaign. (Ferraro herself doesn’t doubt that sexism hurt Clinton’s candidacy but still isn’t sure whether it cost her the nomination.) Another concern: reverse racism being perpetrated against whites who speaks out against Obama. Many white Reagan Democrats, Ferraro says, are afraid of being left behind and treated unfairly in an Obama presidency. [Boston Globe]

• Chuck Todd and friends write that Pfleger and Ferraro “have voiced the extreme negative views about the other candidate” and “represent the difficulties in bringing the party together,” which will certainly make it harder for the Democrats to win in November. [First Read/MSNBC]

• David Paul Kuhn says Obama’s white-woman problem is getting worse and presents “an immediate obstacle” to his prospect for “shoring up the party base.” Half of white women now have a negative perception of Obama. Perhaps not surprisingly, Obama’s favorability has dropped more severely among Clinton supporters. These divisions are usually healed by the general election, but this year’s campaign is unique and may not follow precedent. [Politico]

E.J. Dionne Jr. talks to female politicians, who feel Clinton was treated poorly because she was a woman but largely blame the media. More than using their anger as a “bargaining chip,” their “fury and disappointment” is “rooted in the empathy of women who themselves broke gender barriers” in politics. While they understand that Clinton made a number of political mistakes, they’re still looking for “understanding and respect.” [WP]

• Matt Phillips writes that Clinton supporters on the campaign trail are just as enthusiastic now as earlier in the campaign, shunning polls which show Obama leading in Montana and South Dakota. They believe the calls for her to quit are premature. [WSJ]

• Alex Koppelman is skeptical of the polls that show about half of Clinton supporters don’t think the party will unify, and questions the credibility of questions which ask respondents what other people will do. Most political observers expect angry primary voters to support the party’s nominee in the general election, as the Republicans have largely come together to support John McCain. [War Room/Salon] —Dan Amira

Related: Heilemann: What Hillary Wants, and Why She’s Jesse Jackson ’88

For a complete and regularly updated guide to presidential candidates Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and John McCain — from First Love to Most Embarrassing Gaffe — read the 2008 Electopedia.

Clinton Supporters, Women at Large Not Coming Around to Obama