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Old 03-27-2008, 02:26 AM   #81
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Originally Posted by Texarkandy View Post
Yes it is late, but I'll take the time to check it.

BTW - my response was more relating to Gumby's assertion rather than any direct quote of Obama's

But for the record:

"Most working- and middle-class white Americans don't feel that they have been particularly privileged by their race."

(Note the word "feel" - racial injustices toward blacks are presented as fact -whereas perspectives of some white people are presented as a feeling)

"Their experience is the immigrant experience - as far as they're concerned, no one's handed them anything, they've built it from scratch."

("as far as they're concerned" ?? He could have left that out of the sentence, no?)

"And yet, to wish away the resentments of white Americans, to label them as misguided or even racist, without recognizing they are grounded in legitimate concerns - this too widens the racial divide, and blocks the path to understanding."

(Note the use of the word "concerns" and not "facts")

He talks a good game - but that's all it is.

I am reminded of the phrase "You can't hide your red neck under all that long hippie hair" I think Obama has done a good job of hiding his prejudices up till now because he talks the talk, he's fairly new to the national scene, & hasn't been examined that closely outside of his former local power base in Chicago.
Well, someone isn't doing a very good job of hiding his prejudices and it isn't Obama.

As for the working- and middle-class white Americans...we don't need you to speak for us. Thank you very much.

You would have to be blind not to recognize how privileged whites are by our race in this country. Get real.

That's not to say that things are handed to us on a silver platter, or that we don't work hard, or that bad or unfair things don't happen to us, but we do, in general, have more doors open to us than other races.
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Old 03-27-2008, 02:37 AM   #82
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Republican pitbulls like Rush, Sean Hannity, others fan the flames of controversy about Obama and the wrong Mr. Wright.

It keeps the far right fired up to make sure they get out and vote. They may convince w few people on the fence to not vote against the republican nominee. But the vast majority will vote for a any reasonable person that is not affiliated with the incumbent party this years.

It won't work. Even DW who vowed she would vote McCain if Hillary is not nominated (staunch supporter) is coming around. She does not like McCain position on the Iraq War or the state of the economy.

Republican's are toast this election.

McCain is a good man... but he is riding the wrong horse this year.
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Old 03-27-2008, 07:05 AM   #83
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Well, someone isn't doing a very good job of hiding his prejudices and it isn't Obama.
Well, it's easy to call names. But it's OK - I'm not offended.

The only prejudice I've expressed is against Sen. Obama - & not because of his race - but rather because of his racism. Is noone allowed to criticize or speculate upon Obama's views on race (which amounts to just so much pretty talk IMHO) without being called a racist?

If I challenged Ron Paul, Pat Buchannan, etc because of views on race that they have expressed, been associated with, or had attributed to them - would I be a racist for doing so?

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As for the working- and middle-class white Americans...we don't need you to speak for us. Thank you very much.
I haven't presumed to speak for working & middle class white Americans.
I have given my opinion as to how many working & middle class white Americans may view the current controversies surrounding Senator Obama as regards racial politics.

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You would have to be blind not to recognize how privileged whites are by our race in this country. Get real.

That's not to say that things are handed to us on a silver platter, or that we don't work hard, or that bad or unfair things don't happen to us, but we do, in general, have more doors open to us than other races.
You would have to be blind not to recognize how privileged everyone is in this country.

We have laws now against certain forms of racial discrimination & the government enforces those laws about as well (& as poorly) as they do other laws. African-Americans (including Obama & Rev Wright) need to get over it & move on. If they are concerned about poverty & crime rates within the African-American community they need to look within for solutions - & not to past discrimination or to the Federal Government to fix those problems. I disagree that there is much more work for the state to do in this regard.

However, if they are looking to change the minds of racists, and not just curtail their illegal actions - well frankly I don't think that's necessarily the governments job & this country certainly has more important things to focus upon.
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Old 03-27-2008, 07:18 AM   #84
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Well, someone isn't doing a very good job of hiding his prejudices and it isn't Obama.
.
One of the great things about this board is that for the most part people are respectful of other's opinion and genually want to help those who post.

To me your remark is or borders on a personal attack - something that can distroy a forum.

I (and I assume many others) do not oppose another person's insight; in fact welcome it.
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Old 03-27-2008, 08:52 AM   #85
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Not sure the analogy to investing really works when you're trying to achieve balance and equity to compensate for past wrongs and to achieve some type of closure.
IMO, it isn't really feasible to compensate for past (generations past) wrongs. I know that the wronged can want it (as outlined in the article you linked), but it is land mine to try to actually do it.

Again IMO, it is so much more important and healing to focus on the present and future. If a crime occurs today, I certainly want to see a fair trial and sentencing uninfluenced by race. No one should be discrimanated against for anything.

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Have you been following the Virginia Tech settlements that parents and other family members of the slain students and faculty have been trying to work through with the State? It shows that for many it's all about closure for a perceived wrong. This is a classic case of where the State or Virginia Tech is not really at fault
There are some important differences, I think. First, this is probably a settlement to avoid long drawn out suits with potential large pay outs. I have not read the details, I assume they are making the case that VT failed to provide a safe environment. A sympathetic jury might agree. It probably has more to do with being pragmatic with VT finances than it does about righting any wrongs.

Also, this is a recent case, the people directly effected and involved were on the scene and are here today. We are not talking about something many generations back.

If we want to get into specifics on pros/cons of reparations, it should probably be a new thread.

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Old 03-27-2008, 09:37 AM   #86
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Have you been following the Virginia Tech settlements that parents and other family members of the slain students and faculty have been trying to work through with the State? It shows that for many it's all about closure for a perceived wrong.
Or, more likely, all about money.

Ha
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Old 03-27-2008, 12:11 PM   #87
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Originally Posted by Texarkandy View Post
"Most working- and middle-class white Americans don't feel that they have been particularly privileged by their race."

(Note the word "feel" - racial injustices toward blacks are presented as fact -whereas perspectives of some white people are presented as a feeling)
Well, Obama is speaking from the black perspective. Do you want him speaking for whites on a definitive basis, even though he didn't grow up white? It seems you are making a mountain out of a molehill here

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I think Obama has done a good job of hiding his prejudices up till now because he talks the talk, he's fairly new to the national scene, & hasn't been examined that closely outside of his former local power base in Chicago.
And I think you are absolutely incorrect about this.

Just for context, my first Presidential election was Reagan's first term. I voted straight Republican all the way through 1996. After that I voted for Libertarian when possible but still Republican on the national level. I've been an alternate delegate and a Precinct Chair, all under the GOP. Then I had a paradigm shift and basically concluded that all politicans are either scumbags or at minimum not worth my time to bother voting. IOW I'm not a Democrat fanboi.

But when I read the text of Obama's speech on race, I was truly impressed. As far as I am aware it is the first time those things were discussed in a public forum by a Presidential candidate. I believe they needed to be said, and I absolutely did NOT get any inkling of racism from his remarks. I think I understand your point regarding feeling vs. fact, and yet I just flat out disagree with your conclusions, FWIW.
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Old 03-27-2008, 12:26 PM   #88
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IMO, it isn't really feasible to compensate for past (generations past) wrongs. I know that the wronged can want it (as outlined in the article you linked), but it is land mine to try to actually do it.

Again IMO, it is so much more important and healing to focus on the present and future. If a crime occurs today, I certainly want to see a fair trial and sentencing uninfluenced by race. No one should be discrimanated against for anything.



There are some important differences, I think. First, this is probably a settlement to avoid long drawn out suits with potential large pay outs. I have not read the details, I assume they are making the case that VT failed to provide a safe environment. A sympathetic jury might agree. It probably has more to do with being pragmatic with VT finances than it does about righting any wrongs.

Also, this is a recent case, the people directly effected and involved were on the scene and are here today. We are not talking about something many generations back.

If we want to get into specifics on pros/cons of reparations, it should probably be a new thread.

-ERD50
But it's not just about the past - trying to say that pushes away present day consequences of the effects of slavery, reconstruction, jim crow, etc.

Present day - there is less quality education, particularly in urban areas where there are more minorities...

Present day - Networking is still a huge factor in becoming successful in finding a good job or business - those networks are often not diverse and hard to get into to...

Present day - communities are still ravaged by depression, drugs and crime - a direct result of poverty and disillusionment - from the continued marginilization that started from slavery but continued to present day.

Present day - people continue to discriminate - including in hiring, contracts and real estate...

Some people say - well look at the asian immigrants (sometimes latino), they do so well and they don't speak english or have those networks either. However - if you look closer the asian immigrants who have done well come from families where the parents are college educated and came here on professional visas (bankers (like my parents), engineers etc) and there are a LOT of asian communities from war-torn nations that are suffering similarly from crime, mental illness, poverty and marginalization.

It was only 4 generations ago - that is not a long time. And even just 2 ago (and still today) there was/is stark racism and segregation.

Sure - we all need to pick ourselves up and make our own lives...but you can't say everyone is on the same boat, especially if your life started off without many resources or support networks...
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Old 03-27-2008, 01:17 PM   #89
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But it's not just about the past - trying to say that pushes away present day consequences of the effects of slavery, reconstruction, jim crow, etc.

Present day - there is less quality education, particularly in urban areas where there are more minorities...

Present day - Networking is still a huge factor in becoming successful in finding a good job or business - those networks are often not diverse and hard to get into to...

Present day - communities are still ravaged by depression, drugs and crime - a direct result of poverty and disillusionment - from the continued marginilization that started from slavery but continued to present day.

Present day - people continue to discriminate - including in hiring, contracts and real estate...

Some people say - well look at the asian immigrants (sometimes latino), they do so well and they don't speak english or have those networks either. However - if you look closer the asian immigrants who have done well come from families where the parents are college educated and came here on professional visas (bankers (like my parents), engineers etc) and there are a LOT of asian communities from war-torn nations that are suffering similarly from crime, mental illness, poverty and marginalization.

It was only 4 generations ago - that is not a long time. And even just 2 ago (and still today) there was/is stark racism and segregation.

Sure - we all need to pick ourselves up and make our own lives...but you can't say everyone is on the same boat, especially if your life started off without many resources or support networks...
This was exactly one of the points of the study that was mentioned in the article I referenced above. I'm surprised that this point wasn't quite understood by ERD 50 (at least as far as I can tell) regarding the differing expectations that folks have over "racial disparities." The point that was made in the study wasn't about blacks dwelling on the past and treating themselves as hostage to being victims; it was that blacks look at the past and the future and basically say, we're not there yet and we're far from it! Whereas, whites look at the past and say, we must be there because look how far we've come! It's actually a half-full, half-empty assessment but with one group diminishing the privileges or burdens associated with its status.
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Old 03-27-2008, 01:27 PM   #90
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Or, more likely, all about money.

Ha
Actually, it has nothing to do with the money! The families cannot obtain any greater compensation outside of the settlement from a litigated result. The State's liability is capped by sovereign immunity by $100K, which is the amount offered in the settlement, plus coverage of medical expenses associated with treating the families for the devastating loss. Thus, the compensatory result the families can achieve in settlement is actually equal, if not greater, than what they can obtain by a litigated result, with the uncertainty that the State could actually win on the liability claim.
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Old 03-27-2008, 01:27 PM   #91
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i don't think it's a coincidence that some of the people who have been able to break the barriers and achieve beyond the norm did not grow up here - two examples: sidney poitier and barack obama...

Sidney makes a huge point of this in his autobiography - that his self image was intact and that is what gave him the audacity to challenge the racial discrimination he faced when he came to the US - and for someone who had an intact self image - the discrimination was not normed and he was brazen enough to challenge it.

so although both faced discrimination as young men in this country - they were raised outside of it - giving them the audacity to hope for something different and the tools to achieve it.
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Old 03-27-2008, 04:06 PM   #92
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Obama is speaking from the black perspective. Do you want him speaking for whites on a definitive basis, even though he didn't grow up white?
He was raised by his white grand parents and is half white ... how is that growing up black (not that there's anything wrong with that)?
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Old 03-27-2008, 10:29 PM   #93
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He was raised by his white grand parents and is half white ... how is that growing up black (not that there's anything wrong with that)?

Barrack grew up in Hawaii, which is very different then growing up in with mixed race parents in most other parts of the country. People with two white parents are a small minority (20-25%) while kids with parents of different race/ethinicity are majority. Basically, a tan kid with white mom is really no big deal. Once he moved to Chicago I image he really understood being black.

Here is post that talks more about this


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Obama isn't the first credible African-American candidate so much as he's the first credible Hawaiian candidate. Everything that's essential and appealing about him is Hawaiian in character, and reflects his years growing up there.
People in Hawaii don't fixate on race, because everyone is mixed race, individually or by marriage, and they don't think in terms of political party, because that's at best a secondary characteristic; and above all, they don't think in terms of traditional left/right, red/blue polarities--those are for the mainland.
Hawaii is a place where conservative evangelical Christians are Asian and Polynesian, and the secular liberals are white and not quite local; where "black" isn't even a common category, because African-Americans are so rare; where liberal Democrats revere military service, largely because a lot of Hawaii's political leaders are veterans of the legendary all-Japanese 442nd Infantry, starting with Medal of Honor winner Dan Inoyue [sic]. In Hawaii, ideological stances are looked at with huge skepticism, because they imply pretension and putting on airs--or as it's said there, "Hey brah, no act!"
The key to understanding Obama isn't race, or Kennedy, or any of that: the key is Hawaii.
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Old 03-28-2008, 12:03 AM   #94
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But it's not just about the past - trying to say that pushes away present day consequences of the effects of slavery, reconstruction, jim crow, etc.

Present day - there is less quality education, particularly in urban areas where there are more minorities...

Present day - Networking is still a huge factor in becoming successful in finding a good job or business - those networks are often not diverse and hard to get into to...

Present day - communities are still ravaged by depression, drugs and crime - a direct result of poverty and disillusionment - from the continued marginilization that started from slavery but continued to present day.

Present day - people continue to discriminate - including in hiring, contracts and real estate...
.....

Sure - we all need to pick ourselves up and make our own lives...but you can't say everyone is on the same boat, especially if your life started off without many resources or support networks...
Bright eyed - those are very good observations and I actually agree with them all. Maybe later I'll expand on the 'networking' theme, which I have personally observed to be a very important issue, and something that well implemented 'affirmative action' programs can help to address. It's a fine line between a perception of 'reverse discrimination', but I wholly support certain aspects of it.

hmmm, struggling to be succinct here... Yes, the present is painted by the past. The present puts some people at a disadvantage. I understand that someone born into a disadvantaged socioeconomic class has the deck stacked against them, big time. All I'm trying to say is that if you are motivated to try to dig yourself out of a bad situation, expending too much energy wailing about the crimes committed against previous generations is probably not the most effective way out. Please don't think that I'm saying it is 'easy' - it is not. But I think it will give better results. And I'm not going to put a value judgment on whether they should or should not *feel* that way, I'm just saying that I don't think it's productive.


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This was exactly one of the points of the study that was mentioned in the article I referenced above. I'm surprised that this point wasn't quite understood by ERD 50 (at least as far as I can tell) regarding the differing expectations that folks have over "racial disparities." ...

Basically repeating what I said above, but I sure won't 'blame' any minorities for being angry and feeling 'cheated' by past events. I think it's pretty easy to understand those feelings, even if one has not walked that mile. I'm just saying that there is a point where it isn't productive.

Let me put a little different spin on this, at the risk of jumping into the 'mortgage bail-out' thread theme:

We've heard how some people claim that the underprivileged were 'victimized' by the 'easy money mortgage' offers. But where were the minority leaders and mentors when this was going on? Were they out there being pro-active, warning and educating people about how to avoid high-risk mortgages? Or do we just get another round of the 'blame game', after the fact? IMO, the minority leaders and mentors would be doing a better service to their constituents by educating them to potential scams, rather than pointing fingers at the victimizers. Unfortunately, in this world there will always be some people trying to take advantage of others. The best solution that I've seen to this is education - learn to avoid the problem rather than trying to deal with the aftermath.

I'd be very interested in any links that show any minority leader out there that was trying to educate people about how to apply for a mortgage to avoid the risk. I have not seen them, even though I have looked (but, maybe I missed them). But it was easy to find minority leaders 'blaming' the 'big guys' for taking advantage of them, and demanding justice.

Life is not fair. It has been less fair to some than others. I just feel that trying to take some control of the situation is more productive than wailing about the unfairness of the past.

Sorry, I get a D- for 'succinct'


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Old 03-28-2008, 01:06 AM   #95
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Once again I'm impressed by the high level of the conversation this board maintains on potentially volatile issues.

I want to second bright eyed comments, a good analogy for some sentiments expressed in the media about our current "equality" is imagine a hundred yard dash where African-Americans were held at the start line for the first half of the race. Now they are free to run, but are waaay behind the Americans of European decent. To say, "quit whining! It's all fair now!" doesn't reflect the whole truth.

In addition, I work for a very large company, tens of thousands of employees in the U.S. alone. The executive boardroom is 90% white male, and the balance is white female, or Asian of either gender. The logical conclusions are either: there are still institutional biases that prevent even one (1) African American from being at the VP/P/CEO level, or they are inherently inferior. I the latter is proven to be impossible, and the former is obviously the case. African Americans are more largely represented at the program manager, senior engineer level, but still far underrepresented when compared to the population in general. Where are African Americans overrepresented? Prison. The unemployed. The working poor. Why? Because they are genetically inferior? Or is there still a stain on our country from past injustices? If you have an alternative theory, I'm all ears.
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Old 03-28-2008, 01:40 PM   #96
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I think it is even clearer if you take it out of the American context where people feel personal emotions about it.

Think of South Africa. How many generations will it take for there to be equality - and deal with the damage that apartheid caused and that was only for 44 years -whereas slavery was a well established institution in the US for a couple hundred years.

I bet people would think it was ambitious to hope that in 4 generations, the stains of apartheid are completely removed from south africa. They had a good jump start - their Truth and Reconciliation Commission (South Africa - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

no such efforts were made in the US after abolition. Part of the series on pbs about african american heritage w/ Dr. Gates from harvard showed how after abolition - blacks were the majority in state legislatures of previous southern states that had slavery. This was shut down quickly.

And new policies were devised to continue to marginalize black participation in civic and economic life...distrust and segregation are built into the fabric of our country and we have to consciously unravel it so that we can move forward. I think we are farther then I had ever imagined we would be as a country and believe we can continue to do so, especially with more leaders willing to articulate difficult experiences that are not popularly understood.
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Old 03-28-2008, 01:48 PM   #97
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Let me put a little different spin on this, at the risk of jumping into the 'mortgage bail-out' thread theme:

We've heard how some people claim that the underprivileged were 'victimized' by the 'easy money mortgage' offers. But where were the minority leaders and mentors when this was going on? Were they out there being pro-active, warning and educating people about how to avoid high-risk mortgages? Or do we just get another round of the 'blame game', after the fact? IMO, the minority leaders and mentors would be doing a better service to their constituents by educating them to potential scams, rather than pointing fingers at the victimizers. Unfortunately, in this world there will always be some people trying to take advantage of others. The best solution that I've seen to this is education - learn to avoid the problem rather than trying to deal with the aftermath.

I'd be very interested in any links that show any minority leader out there that was trying to educate people about how to apply for a mortgage to avoid the risk. I have not seen them, even though I have looked (but, maybe I missed them). But it was easy to find minority leaders 'blaming' the 'big guys' for taking advantage of them, and demanding justice.

Life is not fair. It has been less fair to some than others. I just feel that trying to take some control of the situation is more productive than wailing about the unfairness of the past.

Sorry, I get a D- for 'succinct'


-ERD50
I think in particular the mortgage situation was more reflective of general american lack of financial education - i know lots of people of all backgrounds and income levels who were caught up in the hype and made or lost a lot of money in the last few years.

Here in southern CA people were taking equity out to live the fabulous life and are now paying dearly. sure, i could see how more minorities were affected - particularly as many moved out to the inland valley to get giant cheaper homes ...so they are likely disproportionately affected by the issues.

There are programs that I am aware of that aim to provide financial education to low income, immigrant and other minority communities - probably not enough.

And even jesse jackson wrote a book about it w/ his son title, " it's about the money" - not a fan of him and haven't read the book but i think people are trying to deal with the issue. it's also another one of those generational things where old school folks tried to get the government to fix everything and newer generation people are focusing on what communities can do on their own since the former strategy was not that successul!
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Old 03-28-2008, 02:14 PM   #98
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Keep in mind that a lot of voters will pick the "safer" option in their minds when voting for President. McCain may be an "old boring white guy", but he appeals to a lot of folks over 65 that vote, which BTW is the largest group of voters in the US.............
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Old 03-28-2008, 02:52 PM   #99
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Keep in mind that a lot of voters will pick the "safer" option in their minds when voting for President. ............
Keep in mind that a lot of voters are looking for something different......

Wouldn't Clinton be consider a 'safer' choice than Obama? Yet, she is lagging....

Sure, 'some', maybe even 'many' voters will pick the "safer" option. But at this point, we don't know if that is enough to put McCain in the White House.

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