William A. Jacobson:
Sorry, this cannot wait for the Saturday Night Card Game.
It’s because OBAMA SUPPOSEDLY SPOKE LIKE JONATHAN CHAIT THINKS CONSERVATIVE WHITES THINK BLACKS TALK (after three and one-half years of blogging, I finally go all caps):
The key thing is that Obama is angry, and he’s talking not in his normal voice but in a “black dialect.” This strikes at the core of Obama’s entire political identity: a soft-spoken, reasonable African-American with a Kansas accent. From the moment he stepped onto the national stage, Obama’s deepest political fear was being seen as a “traditional” black politician, one who was demanding redistribution from white America on behalf of his fellow African-Americans….
This is why Obama is suddenly pivoting to positive ads, with him talking to the camera. It is the soft-spoken Obama of old, with a gentle musical background….
What concepts is Obama associating himself with here? Hard work, middle class. It’s people getting out of bed early, tossing bales of hay into trucks, wearing business attire in office settings. Not lazy-welfare-underclass.
The entire key to the rise of the Republican Party from the mid-sixties through the nineties was that white Americans came to see the Democrats as taking money from the hard-working white middle class and giving it to a lazy black underclass. Reactivating that frame is still the most mortal threat to the Democrats and to Obama. That is why Obama is reacting so urgently to reestablish himself.