Sunday, November 09, 2008

A cross-immunized crossover?

This observation by Nicholas Kristoff made me wonder whether two potential electoral negatives for Obama may have cancelled each other out -- or multiplied to an advantage:
Barack Obama’s election is a milestone in more than his pigmentation. The second most remarkable thing about his election is that American voters have just picked a president who is an open, out-of-the-closet, practicing intellectual.
Not to overstate the case, but maybe many Americans found it easier to accept an intellectual because he's black (inherently cool, presumed tough) and a black candidate because he's an intellectual (not wedded to an imagined "black agenda," a phrase I heard repeatedly while phoning undecided Pennsyvlania voters). Two of Obama's most obvious traits may have cross-immunized him.

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