Opinion L.A.

Observations and provocations
from The Times' Opinion staff

« Previous Post | Opinion L.A. Home | Next Post »

Campaign 2012: Will Obama's race play the role it did in 2008?

Obama President Obama may have alienated mixed-race voters when he checked off only the "black" box on his census form, wrote columnist Gregory Rodriguez in April: "For all the post-racial symbolism millions of Americans have projected onto the president, his political choices are at odds with emerging demographic trends."

But are demographic trends as persuasive as political strategies? To answer this question, Rodriguez interviewed San Francisco State University political scientist Robert C. Smith.

"Obama made the politically correct choice. […] If he had come to Chicago calling himself multiracial, he would have had no political career. And I think if he called himself multiracial now, black people would see it as a betrayal."

 Not that any of this may matter in 2012. In his Sunday column, "Obama's popular in Europe, where it doesn't count," Doyle McManus wrote that race won't play a factor in 2012 as it did in 2008.

He won't be running as an African American or an Irish American or even a hybrid American; he'll be running as an incumbent with a record. His popularity in Europe won't help; nor will his newfound roots in Moneygall. Only an economic recovery will.

The 2012 election is likely to be as post-racial an election as America can produce. Ironically, that may not be entirely good news for Barack Obama.

What do you, the voters, think? Will Obama's race be a crucial factor in 2008, or does the economy trump race (and, frankly, all other issues)?

RELATED:

Obama revs up the patronage machine

Who takes Michele Bachmann seriously?

Michele Bachmann: The anti-Mitt Romney

Obama: Another disappointing black politician?

Will Mitt Romney's religion derail his political ambitions?

--Alexandra Le Tellier

Photo: President Obama speaks to supporters at a campaign rally in Miami on June 13. Credit: J Pat Carter / Associated Press

 

Comments () | Archives (0)

The comments to this entry are closed.


Connect

Advertisement

In Case You Missed It...

Video


Categories


Recent Posts
Reading Supreme Court tea leaves on 'Obamacare' |  March 27, 2012, 5:47 pm »
Candidates go PG-13 on the press |  March 27, 2012, 5:45 am »
Santorum's faulty premise on healthcare reform |  March 26, 2012, 5:20 pm »

Archives
 


About the Bloggers
The Opinion L.A. blog is the work of Los Angeles Times Editorial Board membersNicholas Goldberg, Robert Greene, Carla Hall, Jon Healey, Sandra Hernandez, Karin Klein, Michael McGough, Jim Newton and Dan Turner. Columnists Patt Morrison and Doyle McManus also write for the blog, as do Letters editor Paul Thornton, copy chief Paul Whitefield and senior web producer Alexandra Le Tellier.



In Case You Missed It...