Sunday, May 25, 2008

A "Redneck" Running Mate for Obama?

Virginia Sen. Jim Webb hates the word but uses it, "not pejoratively," to describe himself and the kind of poor white people who feel left out of what affirmative action has done for other ethnic groups in America--in short, those who are voting against Barack Obama in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, West Virginia and elsewhere.

As Hillary Clinton implodes, talk of Webb as a running mate grows. The problems are obvious: A ticket of two first-term Senators who write books?

But the pluses are tantalizing: Webb would bring, not only race-and-class complement to Obama, but executive experience (as Reagan's Secretary of the Navy), a military background as a decorated ex-Marine to match John McCain's and a rugged domestic centrism to overcome the elite/effete stereotype with which the Republicans will try to Swiftboat the standard bearer.

In its new cover story, "Obama and Race," Newsweek, after noting the "Racial Resentment Index" Obama faces, ends its memo of advice to the candidate by quoting Webb about "the Scots-Irish who so heavily populate the hills of 'tortured siblings of black Americans. They both have a long history and they both missed the boat when it came to larger benefits that a lot of people were able to receive.'

"If poor rural whites and African-Americans could sit down together, they would find that they have much in common. When you visit West Virginia and Kentucky, you could begin that conversation with some town meetings. Webb has also observed that the Scots-Irish hill folk are by nature scrappers and fighters.

"That's one reason they admired Hillary and voted for her. You need to show them you are a fighter, too—-and that you will fight for them."

Obama and Webb would be a good fit on the war in Iraq as well as social issues. Soon after the invasion by American troops, Webb wrote in the New York Times: "Visions of cheering throngs welcoming them as liberators have vanished in the wake of a bloody engagement...chaotic guerrilla warfare, replete with hit-and-run ambushes, dead civilians, friendly fire casualties from firefights... a 'downstream' payback of animosity and revenge."

A Starbucks/moonshine cocktail might be just the pickmeup Democrats need this year.


Anonymous said...

I'll vote for Obama and Webb. But then I would vote for Obama and Ralph the Talking Dog.

I don't blame Bush. I blame everybody who voted for him.

Will McCain ever accept an endorsement from Bush? He can run but he can't hide.

Do Republicans even accept the mess Bush and Cheney have made? They still try to blame Clinton for the last 7+ years.

Anonymous said...

I would vote for them, but I thought this post was going to be a recipe for a new drink. I'll have to make up my own:

1 Starbuck's grande Americano, iced
1 little can Starbuck's Espresso drink
1-1/2 shots rum
1-1/2 shots bourbon

Do I call it a "Star Shine" or a "Moon Buck"?