Jesse Jackson, Ted Kennedy, Oprah, John Kerry, Chris Dodd, Patrick Leahy, Tom Daschle, Amy Klobuchar, Claire McCaskill, Jay Rockefeller, John Lewis, Toni Morrison, Roger Wilkins, Eric Holder, Robert Reich, Ted Sorenson, Alice Walker, David Wilhelm, Cornel West, Clifford Alexander, Donald McHenry, Patricia Wald, Newton Minow?Why is Obama so alone? Are his powerful supporters afraid of saying the wrong thing and angering black voters? Or does precisely the right thing need to be said — and Obama is the only person on the face of the earth who is capable of determining what that precisely right thing is?
Where were all the big-city mayors who went over to the Obama camp: Chicago's Richard Daley, Cleveland's Frank Jackson, Atlanta's Shirley Franklin, Washington's Adrian Fenty, Newark's Cory Booker, Baltimore's Sheila Dixon?
It isn't hard for big names to get on talk TV to make a point. Any major op-ed page would have stopped the presses to print a statement of support from Ted Kennedy or such for the senator. None appeared. Call it profiles in gopher-holing.
Perhaps it's the unpleasantness of trying to draw the line between religion and politics. Or of drawing the line between race and religion. Is the line between religion and politics different in the black community for historical and cultural reasons? But these are not such exquisitely delicate matters, that you can't make bland but emphatic statements of support, and the people listed above aren't the type who hold their tongues until they know what to say.
So why did they hang Obama out to dry?