Editor's note: This contribution by the late journalist I.F. Stone first appeared in our January 1975 magazine.
Barack Obama scored another impressive victory on Tuesday, crushing Clinton 61% to 37% in Mississippi.
But the mainstream media gave it a ho-hum, and to the extent that they covered it, they focused on the racial split in the voting.
Obama won a whopping 91% of the black vote, and Clinton won 72 % of the white vote. But white independents went to Clinton only 55% to 40%, yet you would have been hard pressed to pull that stat out of the CNN exit polling data, so little attention did it get.
It’s in Clinton’s interest to stress the racial divide because the more the Clintonites can dwell on Obama’s “blackness,” the more they can scare up the racist white vote for themselves.
Already, it seems to be working. Check out Ohio, where Clinton gained among white voters, especially white males. And the Clintons are counting on it for Pennsylvania.
That’s why Bill Clinton raised the race issue in South Carolina, and that’s why Hillary Clinton is in no hurry to get rid of Geraldine Ferraro, who made such outrageous racial comments about the basis of Obama’s appeal.
That serves Hillary just fine.
Oh, she can say, “I didn’t say that,” but neither did Obama call Clinton a “monster,” yet his aide had to go.
Ferraro, for her part, keeps putting the same foot back into her mouth, and as a result keeps the conversation on race yet another day.
On Wednesday, on CBS’s “Early Show,” she said, “It wasn’t a racist comment, it was a statement of fact.”
The Clintons, cynical to the core, have figured out that every day that the conversation is on Obama’s race is a good day for them.
That’s how low they’ve stooped.