SC Dem Primary: Tribalism = Webb More Than Ever?

There`s been a lot of happy burbling about Barack Obama`s victory over Hillary Clinton in Saturday`s South Carolina Democratic primary shows that he can create a rainbow coalition, but of course it`s wishful thinking. According to the New York Times exit poll, 55% of the voters were black and Obama carried nearly four-fifths of them. He was close to an absolute majority without any white votes at all.

Obama carried less than a quarter (24%) of the white vote. And these are white Democrats. What kind of person is a white Democrat in South Carolina? The Republican primary, held the previous weekend, appears to have been all-white–at least, the NYT doesn`t bother to report its racial breakdown. All these whites will vote in the general election. The Democrats may be stupid enough to believe their own multculti propaganda and nominate Obama. But he has no chance of carrying South Carolina – or, on this showing, the country.

Unless, as I suggested ast week, Virginia`s new Senator Jim Webb is his running mate – to get the to get the unmentionable (but statistically critical) white, male, Confederate, veteran, American Patriot, vote. My suggestion seems to have hit a nerve: it generated an unusual amount of email. I see that Wikpedia has a section discussing the idea. Webb has apparently said he`s not interested, but of course he would have no choice: he`s 62, it`s his only route to the Presidency.

I`ve known Jim Webb for most of three decades. He and his second wife were perhaps the earliest dinner guests my late wife and I had in Washington D.C. after our marriage in 1980. I think I can fairly say that a Webb vice-presidency would be–interesting. The Democratic contenders no doubt fear this too. But they may have no choice either.

Interestingly, the New York Times survey also reveals that immigration was the second-most important issue to Republican primary voters, named by 26% vs. 40% for the economy. Only 16% named Iraq. But in a state whose near-lynching of Senator Lindsey Graham was among the first signs that the Kennedy-Bush amnesty/ immigration surge bill was going to fail, McCain, who supported it, got a quarter (24%)of those naming immigration. He even got a quarter (26%) of the gratifying majority (52%) of South Carolina Republican voters who thought illegal immigrants should be deported. Ron Paul, who got an appalling 4% of both groups, is missing a huge opportunity by not stressing his commitment to national sovereignty.