The latest theory from the Clinton operatives is that Hillary has a special appeal to white working class women that could add this group to the Obama coalition, presaging great gains in the electoral map. But that strategy is deeply flawed.
Mitch Stewart, an advisor to Ready for Hillary and a former Obama campaign staffer says that “where I think Secretary Clinton has more appeal than any other Democrat looking at running is that with white working-class voters.”
Stewart cited Hillary’s “dominant performance among working-class whites in the 2008 primary contests in Ohio and Pennsylvania” to show that she could attract so-called” beer track” whites.
His analysis ignores the obvious fact that Hillary’s traction in those states stemmed, not from any latent personal appeal, but from the unearthing of Reverend Jeremiah Wright’s racist comments. His pastoral invocation “God damn America” had not surfaced until right before the Pennsylvania Democrats voted on April 22, 2008.And it was in a Presidential Debate in Philadelphia – only six days before the Pennsylvania primary, that Obama was seriouslyy questioned about Rev. Wright. His responses were unconvincing. The resulting backlash against Obama swept Hillary into victories in these two states.
(An enduring question is why Hillary did not use Rev Wright herself earlier in the process. Had she done so, she would likely have been elected president).
Stewart also suggests that Hillary could expand the potential list of blue states to include, among others, Arkansas. Has he noticed that nine visits by her husband to his former state were not enough to avoid a double digit defeat of Senator Mark Pryor earlier this month? Or that there are now no Democrats in federal office in Arkansas for the first time in 114 years?
Don’t look for a landslide for Hillary in Arkansas.