Congressional Black Caucus Split Between Clinton and Obama

NNPA , News Report, Hazel Trice Edney Posted: Jan 08, 2008

Editor's Note:The majority of the 42-member Congressional Black Caucus who have chosen to endorse in the race is split 15-15 Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.

WASHINGTON (NNPA) – As America prepares for a string of primaries and caucuses to determine who will be its next Democratic and Republican nominees for president, the majority of the 42-member Congressional Black Caucus who have chosen to endorse in the race is split 15-15 between CBC member Illinois Sen. Barack Obama and New York Sen. Hillary Clinton. In interviews this week, CBC members pointed mainly to the candidates’ stances on specific issues as the reasons for their endorsements.

“He is the most likely to actually produce change in areas that make a difference – home ownership, education, health care, crime policy,” says U. S. Rep. Bobby Scott (D-Va.), explaining his endorsement of Obama. Scott, who chairs the House Crime Subcommittee, says, “For years we’ve concentrated on and focused more on codifying… sound bites rather than seriously addressing crime.''

He adds that he is impressed with Obama’s record on health care and the war in Iraq.

“He led the charge to get more people health insurance in the Illinois legislature…He also had the strength of character and courage to stand up against the Iraqi war.”

U. S Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-Texas), who has announced her endorsement of Clinton, says she believes Clinton’s long record of service to children shows where her heart really is.

She says she is especially impressed that Clinton, as a young lawyer, served as a staff attorney for Marian Wright Edelman's Children's Defense Fund during her post graduate studies and that she served as a consultant to the Carnegie Council on Children.

“This is a very important election and I do think that as people begin to know Sen. Clinton and they know her personally and they know her story, she has an enormously convincing story of someone who has empathy and out of empathy, one can act upon the pain of others and the joy of others,” says Jackson-Lee.

While Scott says his endorsement of Obama has nothing to do with the fact that he is Black, Jackson-Lee made no bones about what she sees as an opportunity to raise the ceiling for women in America.

“I do think that as women, whether it is minority women or majority women, we have a long way to go. Now, it is frankly innovative and inspiring that America would find its way to possibly selecting someone who has both talent and experience who happens to be a woman, which would make us move to where countries around the world have already gone in selecting women as heads of state,” Jackson-Lee says.

John Edwards, a former North Carolina senator, has three endorsements from CBC members.

''Too many women are not getting the health care they need,'' said U. S. Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Texas) in a statement posted on the Edwards campaign website. ''John Edwards is the only candidate to outline a specific plan to provide universal coverage and I'm proud to be part of a campaign—the only campaign—with a detailed plan to cover all Americans.''

Eight CBC members had not made public endorsements by NNPA deadline.
The 15-15 Clinton-Obama split among the CBC members closely reflects the dividing lines among Black voters, according to polls.

A poll taken between Oct. 5 and Nov. 2 by the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies showed Clinton with 83 percent of Black votes, compared to Obama, who then had 74 percent. About 10 percent of those surveyed viewed them both negatively.

Voters must decide between two Democratic front-runners in a heated race for the White House, which has been run by Republican President George Bush for eight years. Most Bush performance approval ratings are under 40 percent. Plus, about 160,000 troops are still stationed in Iraq in a war that more than half of Americans want ended, according to Pew Research opinion polls. Democrats are banking on these facts to win back the White House.

Leading Republican candidates are former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, former Tennesee Sen. Thompson, Sen. John McCain and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.

In recent history, Blacks have overwhelmingly supported Democratic candidates for president.

The split between the all-Democratic members of the CBC is as follows: Endorsing Hillary Clinton are Lee, Stephanie Tubbs Jones of Ohio; Kendrick Meek, Corrine Brown and Alcee Hastings of Florida; Yvette Clarke, Charles Rangel, Gregory Meeks and Edolphus Towns of New York; Emanuel Cleaver of Missouri; Dianne Watson and Laura Richardson of California; David Scott and John Lewis of Georgia; and Donna Christian-Christensen (V.I.).

Endorsing Barack Obama are Scott, Danny Davis, Bobby Rush and Jesse Jackson Jr. of Illinois; Barbara Lee of California; Artur Davis of Alabama; Gwen Moore of Wisconsin; Lacy Clay of Missouri; Elijah Cummings of Maryland; Sanford Bishop and Hank Johnson of Georgia; John Conyers of Michigan; Keith Ellison of Minnesota; Chaka Fattah of Pennsylvania; and Al Green of Texas.

Endorsing John Edwards are: Johnson of Texas; Mel Watt and G. K. Butterfield of North Carolina.

Those who had not endorsed by NNPA deadline were: Eleanor Holmes Norton of D.C.; Jim Clyburn of South Carolina; Bennie Thompson of Mississippi; Al Wynn of Maryland; William Jefferson of Louisiana; Donald Payne of New Jersey, Maxine Waters of California and CBC Chairwoman Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick of Michigan.

The Clinton-Obama choice is complicated by questions over whether America will really elect Clinton as its first woman or Obama as its first African-American president while both race and gender – specifically the Black race and the female gender - have historically been excuses for prejudice and discrimination in America. However, poll readings show both Democratic front-runners as being well ahead of their Republican opponents.

The focus is currently on the state of Iowa and its early Democratic Presidential Primary Jan. 3 and the New Hampshire primary Jan. 8. Obama leads slightly in Iowa and Clinton in New Hampshire.

But, pundits predict that Super Tuesday, Feb. 5 will be the deciding factor for who will likely win enough delegates for the Democratic nomination in Denver, Colo. Aug. 25-28. Super Tuesday is when 22 states will hold primaries and caucuses.

Scott says he believes Obama could win a general election despite racial prejudices.

“If he wins Iowa, he would be favored in New Hampshire and if he wins New Hampshire, he’ll have a lock on South Carolina, which would put him well-postured to compete on Super Tuesday and he’ll have enough money,” Scott says.

It’ll be easier for Obama to win a national election than a Republican, Scott predicts.

“You have the worst job performance since Herbert Hoover. You’ve got the foreclosures at record highs. You’ve got the median income significantly lower,” he says. “By the time the year is out, if people have a chance to look at the Republican administration, I think any Republican candidate will be hard-pressed to do well.”

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User Comments

Pierce on Feb 04, 2008 at 11:52:58 said:

(Domestic Policy)
Barrack Obama, junior Senator that claims experience

In a recorded media statement (Feb 01, 2008), Barrack was quoted saying, "I respect Senator Clinton's record. I think it's a terrific record. But I also believe that the skills that I have are the ones that are needed right now to move the country forward, otherwise I wouldn't be running for president."

Barrack was elected to the US Senate in November 2004 and has been a junior Senator since, for just over 3 years, the only amount of front-line political exposure which has been promoted so spectacularly, not mentioning his performances, including state reform laws.

For instance, Illinois is what we could consider a disastrous example in real-estate. In certain parts; a 3 bedroom house will only you setback $10,000.

Does anyone remember how West Germany has been since 1989, after the collapse of the East Berlin wall? If, America is not careful, and chooses the wrong person as Democratic nominee, the existing damage will have only acquired itself a catalyst.

LA Times (independent report)
‘Obama said oops on 6 state Senate votes’ (Jan 24, 2008) la-na-obamavotes24jan24,0,713086.story
The LA Times have endorsed Barrack (Democratic), and John McCain (Republican).

An article that details Barrack's carelessness, when voting on state reform. It denominates him not knowing the difference between a Yes and No button on a voting machine.

The Associated Press (independent reports)
‘Obama\'s Relationship With Alleged Fixer’ (Jan 22, 2008)

An article on former campaign Barrack fundraiser who is facing federal corruption charges which include: attempted extortion, fraud, and money laundering.

From the above, Barrack’s lack of experience and judgement are insufficient to manage an economy the magnitude of America.

Willie on Jan 30, 2008 at 12:29:06 said:

I started out quite ambivalent about this campaign. However, I have been quite perplexed when the argument is made that Hillary has a wealth of experience. I fail to see where, except if you count being the first lady. Also, I fail to understand the intense blind loyalty that many of our black leaders have towards the Clintons. In light of the recent series of comments by Bill Clinton and the Clinton surrogates, it concerns me that maybe there have been some deals cut that we don't know about because if someone continually insults me or my family, I can not stand by and be loyal to them. As Malcolm X stated, there must be a difference between the house Negro and the field Negro. Maybe many of us feel as though we are in the house.

Theodore Ziolkowski on Jan 27, 2008 at 22:36:02 said:

LOOK at the polls that show clearly and decisively that Barack Obama is the only Democratic Candidate who can BEAT any Republican Candidate for the Presidency. Hillary has to many people in both Parties that have strong dislike for her. If she is nominated for the Democratic candidate for President we will loose this opportunity for change. She will be unable to get the congress to pass anything she proposes. We will be in a stalemate for the next four years. This is the most important piece of information that we Democratics MUST strongly consider if we want Change for this country.

I think you should also consider the fact of who it was that brought Racism into the Primaries, It was Bill & Hillary. It was Hillary who distorted Baracks record and his positions. The Truth busters on CNN have openly called her a LIAR.

queen W. on Jan 20, 2008 at 14:49:27 said:

It is sad that most of Black America are still carring the scars of slavery in their minds. Here we have a qualified young man who will have all of the american people concerns at heart. A man that will reach across color lines,religion, party lines to bring this nation to a level of greatness and respect that we once held in the world. Instead we look to White America to validate our choice to support this competent candidate. The old politics days are over

erlinda gallaza on Jan 15, 2008 at 01:48:09 said:

i will vote for hillary for her trackrecord and outstanding performance.she is the best candidate for democratic candidate.

vanessa on Jan 14, 2008 at 10:14:54 said:

I will like for Sen.Clinton to be the first women president.

Brandon Hubbard on Jan 10, 2008 at 14:11:52 said:

I am a Black 22 year old from Memphis who is currently enrolled in grad school. Hence, I support Sen. Clinton for President and I have severed my ties with "rookie" supporters. Black women, as well as all women are smart!

Vote Clinton 2008

lbtjw on Jan 10, 2008 at 10:39:39 said:

I have to say that black women are confused and have lost their way. Clinton can not and will not save black women! This is just another indication of how black women and others keep black men down. I was suprise to here Oprah backing Obama. I wish she had more influence on black women.




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