Chicago Sun-Times
The scoop from Washington

Sweet Dem debate special. Obama black enough? Clinton feminine enough? Clinton's more passionate response. Report 6.

| 1 Comment

WASHINGTON—So far, no one has attacked front-runner Clinton….So, moving on… Is Obama “authentically black” enough? Is Clinton “satisfactorily feminine” Asked by a student from Kansas.

Obama’s answer was fine. He tried to make it personal. “You know, when I'm catching a cab in Manhattan -- in the past, I think I've given my credentials,” he said with a knowing nod and to laughter….then trailed off to the broader issue of race in society…But I do believe in the core decency of the American people, and I think they want to get beyond some of our racial divisions.”
But Obama did not dwell about being African-American; he couldn’t even finish his cab story, though he alluded to having experienced the cabbing-while black cabbie bias.

If you expected Obama to spell out a passionate answer to the “black enough” question, don’t hold your breath.
He has not, will not, and did not on Monday respond when it is asked that way. He reframes it to broader matters; he just does not (am I channeling Obama? Why he is obliged to fall into that rhetorical rut when there are other ways, more meaningful to the bi-racial Obama to talk about being African-American.

All that said: Clinton seeks to make it more personal. That makes her come off as strong but, well, human.
“Well, I couldn't run as anything other than a woman,” she said.
“…. And I think we're going to need experienced and strong leadership in order to start handling all of the problems that we have here at home and around the world. And when I'm inaugurated, I think it's going to send a great message to a lot of little girls and boys around the world.”

1 Comment

Please, in America, one single molecule of African blood coursing through the veins qualifies any human as being BLACK ENOUGH.

Leave a comment

Get the Sweet widget

More widgets

Video

Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

Stay in touch

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on July 23, 2007 8:08 PM.

Sweet Democratic debate special. Kucinich only Dem for slavery reparations. Report 5. was the previous entry in this blog.

Sweet Dem debate special. Partial debate transcript. Will be posting entire transcript when available. is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.