Meanwhile... according to the NYT, Obama's win makes black people feel really good.
[Kwabena] Sam-Brew, a bus driver living in Cottage Grove, Minn., said Mr. Obama’s achievement would change the nation’s image around the world, and change the mind-set of Americans, too.Yeah, but she's a girl, so aren't her hopes dashed?
“We as black people now have hope that we have never, ever had,” Mr. Sam-Brew said. “I have new goals for my little girl. She can’t give me any excuses because she’s black.”
IN THE COMMENTS: Amba writes "Read Geraghty's column again ... I think he's actually saying 'Yes.'" Okay, I agree. He's being sarcastic. It's the National Review Online, and I have to assume they would like to say the Democrats — and their candidate — are sexist. I honestly read all those quotes and felt that was really nothing much. I mean, in politics, insults are hurled, and candidates are mocked for whatever you can come up with to mock them about. There were jokes about John Kerry's horse face, for example. It wasn't hippophobia. I think the kinds of things that were said about Hillary were actually quite toned down compared to what they would have been if people felt completely free to be unfair and outrageous about her the way they were with John Kerry or My Little Pony. That said, I do think that some voters did reject her because she's a woman and they aren't ready to believe that a woman could be President. But I don't think any of the quotes Geraghty has dished up are evidence of that. I think the people who really don't want a women to be President kept their mouths shut. Anyway, as for Geraghty's quotes: Get ready for endless books — from gossipy fluff to the weightiest academic volumes — analyzing them to death.
Amba has some analysis of Hillary and sexism here:
Hillary Clinton has actually done a great service to women, if she doesn't ruin it all by whining that her defeat was due to sexism. She has in fact shattered the glass ceiling by being completely, plausibly presidential, and even believable as Commander in Chief. She has also shattered the glass ceiling by being rejected (and narrowly at that) for her character, not her gender.More at the link.
AND: More elation about Obama:
Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Ill.), son of the one-time presidential contender, said Obama’s victory overwhelmed him.As pure text, that sounds demented. But I think he was intentionally wielding hyperbole. Jackson sounds very sane and grounded as quoted again at the end of the linked article:
“I cried all night. I’m going to be crying for the next four years,” he said. “What Barack Obama has accomplished is the single most extraordinary event that has occurred in the 232 years of the nation’s political history. ... The event itself is so extraordinary that another chapter could be added to the Bible to chronicle its significance.”
Despite Obama’s singular position in American political history, his backers said his race would not be a focus in his campaign. He will stick to economic matters, foreign policy and other topics with broad appeal. Obama rarely describes himself as an African-American candidate. He will not start now, backers said.He's successful because he offers to transcend race. He does this in his words and by example. This is why he has such wide appeal and why, for me, it is not as overwhelming a phenomenon as all-night weepers like Jackson think.
“It should be downplayed in the campaign. ... We’ll have to leave that to the historians to consider, because we have an election to win,” said Jackson. “I hope the least historical thing about Barack Obama is his being black and the most historical is that he solved our health care problems, ended the war in Iraq and made life better for Americans.”
MORE: This is relevant, from Isaac Chotiner:
The "amount" of racism that Obama has faced over the past two years, in other words, is not necessarily directly proportional to his political fortunes. Racism can lead to backlashes against racists, or better media coverage, or sympathy, or overwhelming black support or God knows what? To understand how Obama achieved what he has achieved, you have to know just as much about politics as you do race.
It's precisely this issue that some of Senator Clinton's supporters seem to be stumbling over. It's one thing to be justly furious at the sometimes sexist treatment of Hillary Clinton; it's quite another to dispute that her gender and the sexism directed her way were not a gigantic boon to her political fortunes. Not only did a backlash against the media save her candidacy in New Hampshire, but it proved an inspiration to her supporters over the past few months, as her chances dimmed.