Hillary, Obama, And The Press
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It's a problem for the Democrats that they have both an African-American candidate and a woman candidate trying to get the nomination at the same time.

Accorcing to the American Spectator, George McGovern said recently in Iowa that

"I hope to live long enough to see a black president in the White House," McGovern said, addressing the audience in a cattle barn during the Johnson County Democrats Barbecue. "But we have an old rule and courtesy in the United States: 'ladies first.'"
Of course, that's the rule in South Dakota, where Senator McGovern comes from. It may not be the rule on the South Side of Chicago, where Obama doesn't come from, but where many of his supporters are.

This situation is particularly a dilemma for black women, because they don't know which form of identity politics to go for. But there's a further problem, which is that any attack on Obama by Hillary is likely to be spun by the press as a racist attack. Recently the Washington Post wrote that

It has unfolded mostly under the radar. But an important development in the 2008 Democratic battle may be the building backlash among African Americans over comments from associates of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton that could be construed as jabs at Sen. Barack Obama's race.

These officials, including Clinton aides and prominent surrogates, have raised questions or dropped references about Obama's position on sentencing guidelines for crack vs. powder cocaine offenses; on his handgun control record; and on his admitted use of drugs as a youth. The context was always Obama's "electability." But the Illinois senator's campaign advisers said some African American leaders detect a pattern, and they believe it could erode Clinton's strong base of black support.

[Racial Undercurrent Is Seen in Clinton Campaign By Chris Cillizza And Shailagh Murray ,December 23, 2007]

I have no idea how much or how little drugs Obama used when he was younger—he's probably forgotten himself. I assume he used about as much drugs as most left-wing white law students, a group that includes Bill and Hillary Clinton. But the Washington Post quotes reactions from various African Americans, including this from Derrick Z. Jackson [Email him] of the Boston Globe:
"That leaves open as to how far the Clinton campaign, whose poll leads have evaporated in Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina, will go to stereotype Obama as not only naive, but cast him in a sinister light in a nation where black drug use and criminality is exaggerated in the media..."
Black drug use and criminality is exaggerated in the media? No it isn't—it's deliberately downplayed. Most of the time, it'sactully denied, sometimes by the Boston Globe.
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