This time with an article from the Washington Post entitled Obama’s Appeal to Blacks an Open Question. On the one hand the article gives blacks credit for being relatively sophisticated enough not to simply support Obama because he is black. And there are very real concerns, evinced by my colleague that in order to win Obama may have to indeed sacrifice his blackness. Recall how Clinton’s victory in 92 was based on a combination of Perot and him attacking Sistah Souljah, Jesse Jackson, (not to mention Billy Ray Rector), taking a play straight out of Chain Reaction. But on the other it still follows the troubling trend of attaching blacks supports to stylistic concerns related to how Obama negotiates his identity rather than on the very real question of whether he can or will promote a substantively different set of policy interests. Sharpton is right to question Obama’s policy substance–although if I remember correctly, the last time around Sharpton was no policy wonk. I do not expect this meme to influence black voters at all. It’ll probably provide all types of interesting conversations at the barbershop or the beauty salon, but if he brings the funk, he’ll be alright. Hilary is still the one to beat–female voters outnumbered male ones by a shade over 9 million. But with some finesse he should get out of this one.