Obama’s Southern Problem

22 01 2009

By Kartik Krishnaiyer

Barack Obama is our President and America is better for it. Actually the world is better for it as the United States is seen in a new light abroad. For all the love my fellow liberals give European society a man of Obama’s racial makeup would not only not get elected in most western European countries but he’d struggle to get 10% of the vote in notoriously racist societies like France and Spain.

One perceived racist society that gave Obama a good chunk of its votes in November was the South. Contrary to the expectations of many national pundits who hail from the Northeast and think the worst of southern society, Obama was more competitive in the region than the last two Democratic Presidential nominees, one of which was actually a southerner. It’s no coincidence that more African-Americans are elected from the South than the North and that Virginia which voted for Obama elected a black governor long before any Northern state.

But sadly President Obama’s inclusiveness of his transition and inaugural has not included much deference to the South. The constant comparisons and linking with Abraham Lincoln for starters is a problem. While Lincoln may be popular historically among Obama voters in the northeast and midwest he is not popular among southerners, even some yellow dog southern democrats who surely voted for Obama. Secondly, Obama’s cabinet and sub cabinet has fewer representatives from the south, the nation’s most populated region than any other part of America.

Symbolism is important, and it is critical for Obama’s Administration to take the spirit of hope he has created for the rest of the nation and make sure it applies to every part of the country. It’s no secret the media elites based in New York and Los Angeles have a built in bias against anything southern. Obama needs to work to overcome this reality and work with the South.

I along with everyone else at this website supports President Obama. But as the new President works to heal the division within our country, he would be wise to pay closer attention to the South in his rhetoric and his appointments.


Obama’s Cabinet: Lacking Floridians

12 01 2009

By Kartik Krishnaiyer

The mainstream media loves Barack Obama. That’s no secret. It’s little wonder why the President elect’s incoming cabinet appointments have not gotten the type of media scrutiny the past two Presidents both of whom were Southerners received from the media. George W. Bush did not win the Presidency in a conventional nor legitimate fashion so that scrutiny can be excused. But President Clinton who won nationally by a similar percentage margin as Barack Obama did, and by a similar electoral vote total was racked over the coals for his cabinet appointments.

Barack Obama won Florida on election day, signaling a shift in electoral fortunes for Democrats in this purple state. Obama was the first Democrat to clear 51% of the vote in the state since Jimmy Carter and only the second since Franklin Roosevelt to do so. Yet Obama has selected a cabinet made up largely of the sort of names that indicate he is seeking approval from the northeastern elites in the national media and not from the citizens that elected him. A centrist group made up largely of big names, the cabinet lacks any sort of presence from the fourth largest state in the union.

The closest Obama has come to appointing a Floridian to the cabinet is the selection of Carol Browner as Climate Change advisor. Of course Browner actually did hold a cabinet position in the Clinton White House. With the Commerce Secretary position open, President elect Obama would be well advised to select Miami Mayor Manny Diaz, whose tenure leading the Magic City has been successful while the city has prospered. I’m not holding my breathe however for a Diaz appointment or that of any other Floridian to the position. Obama has clearly demonstrated with his picks thus far he is more interested in the media’s approval and scoring political points on Capital Hill than selecting a diverse group.