Whoa-Bama!: A Win, and a Question of Loyalty : News & Views Will Obama's win in Iowa quiet those folks who said, "He just can't win?"
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Whoa-Bama!: A Win, and a Question of Loyalty

Illinois Sen. Barack Obama with wife Michelle and two daughters, Malia and Sasha, at an Iowa caucus night rally. Saul Loeb, AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Saul Loeb, AFP/Getty Images

I have a friend. Let's call her Rashifa.

So, Rashifa and I were talking about politics. She was shocked at how many of her friends weren't that enthusiastic about an Obama presidency. She was like, "It is time for black folks to claim our own! How in their ever-loving minds could a black person not vote for Barack Obama?"

Well, according to our interviews at News & Notes plus other reporters' work, there are plenty of reasons black folks give for not supporting Obama's run for the White House.

Among them:
— He just can't win. (or: A black man just can't win.)
— The Clinton legacy is strong on race.
— Let's stick with a winner, and that winner is ... (usually the name they give is Clinton)
— I don't know if he has enough experience. (Variant: It's just not his time yet.)
— I don't know enough about him.
— I like John Edwards' talk about economic equality.

And on and on and on. Everybody's got an opinion.

After Sen.Obama's win in Iowa, will some people change their opinion? During today's political post-mortems, we talked about the tendency voters have to want to fall on the winning side. Will Obama's win in Iowa quiet those folks who said, "He just can't win?"

Today we had two segments that dug into that question and more.

First we spoke with political strategists Jamal Simmons and Angela McGowan.

McGowan, an analyst for Fox News, is author of Bamboozled: How Americans Are Being Exploited by the Lies of the Liberal Agenda. Simmons was press secretary for the presidential campaigns of both Sen. Bob Graham and Gen. Wesley Clark.

In addition to parsing out the impact of Obama's win, they talked about whether Gov. Mike Huckabee would appeal to New Hampshire's fiscal conservatives the way he appealed to Iowa's social conservatives. (Gut instinct on their part: no.)

Then, we caught up with three reporters for our weekly roundtable: Clarence Page, a columnist for the Chicago Tribune; John Yearwood, world editor for the Miami Herald; and Bob Moser, a contributing writer for The Nation.

Moser has been following how the race is playing in South Carolina, and he found that a fair number of black voters were not yet sold on Obama.

Back to my friend Rashifa.

Referencing Barack Obama's memoir Dreams From My Father, she said, "He's a black nationalist."

And I said, "He doesn't sound like a black nationalist."

Rashifa said, "He's just smart enough not to talk about it."

Everybody's got an opinion.

What's yours?

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