The Democratic nomination battle is reaching its endgame. But there’s no end in sight to the racial divisions that are tearing at the Democratic Party's coalition of African Americans, Latinos, women and working-class whites.
Sure, Barack Obama has energized and mobilized millions of new voters. But black voters have powered Obama to an insurmountable pledged delegate lead over Hillary Clinton. Andrew Sullivan, an Obama supporter, notes, "Black Voters Did It":
Here's what now seems obvious: African-American voters killed the Clinton candidacy. It is a fitting end to the Clintons' campaign and an almost Shakespearean coda to their career. The Clintons were exposed in their long-running exploitation and reliance on minority votes. No group was more loyal to them than African-Americans; and in the end, like everyone else, African-Americans realized that the Clintons are frauds, disloyal to the core, cynical to their finger-tips, and finally, finally, returned the favor. …
This will be history's verdict: in the end, the Clintons were defeated not by Republicans, but by African-American Democrats. How wonderful. How poignant. In the end, the karma gets you. Maybe it had to be this way. But this final coup de grace against these awful, hollow, cynical people is a beautiful, beautiful thing.
While the case for Hillary Clinton to stay in the race is shakier than ever, one ugly reason for staying in could be found Tuesday amid the ruddy, sun-kissed Hoosiers who cheered her on to victory at the Indianapolis Speedway.
With Clinton posing alongside pioneering Indy speedster Sarah Fisher, there were almost no African-Americans to be seen. Many in the white, working-class crowd were simply not ready to back Barack Obama - for reasons that are disturbing.
Such feelings leave Clinton and the Democratic Party in a tough spot. With the largest number of remaining delegates now being party insiders, they have to decide if Obama can overcome enough of that antipathy - essentially deciding if enough working-class whites will back away from the black candidate, whether because of the false Muslim rumors, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright flap or old-fashioned racism.
In the Democrats’ hoped-for post-racial primary season, an updated "Southern Strategy" is front and center.