Clinton's Comments Not All White

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THE PLANK MAY 8, 2008

Clinton's Comments Not All White

Mike asks, "if Hillary thinks white Americans won't elect a black president, is it so transgressive for her to say it out loud?" Matthw Yglesias agrees, "I think Clinton's meaning is perfectly clear -- she really does do better than Obama among white working class voters in Democratic primary elections."

The offensive part of Clinton's quote -- "working, hard-working Americans, white Americans" -- isn't that Clinton is saying white Americans won't support Obama. It's that she's conflating hard-working Americans with white Americans, as if non-white Americans don't work hard also. That sentiment is often implied when somebody praises the hard work of small town residents or blue collar workers, but Clinton actually said it outright. I'll have more on this in a column soon.

--Jonathan Chait

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