Clinton Dealing Race, Sex Cards With Enthusiasm

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Hillary Clinton, now facing an extraordinarily close race for the Democratic nomination, is getting bolder about playing racial and gender-based cards leading up to the Nevada caucuses. In a speech in Harlem this week, Clinton said Republicans were flirting with racism in their attempts to block President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee.

“The Republicans say they’ll reject anyone President Obama nominates no matter how qualified. Some are even saying he doesn’t have the right to nominate anyone, as if somehow he’s not the real president,” Clinton said. “You know that’s in keeping what we heard all along, isn’t it? Many Republicans talk in coded racial language about takers and losers. They demonize President Obama and encourage the ugliest impulses of the paranoid fringe.”

Clinton, who realizes that her success in the southern primaries will come down to building a rock-solid advantage over Bernie Sanders with African American voters, said that Republicans weren’t just interested in stealing the president’s vote away.

“Across our country, Republican governors and legislatures are erecting one barrier after another that make it harder for black people to vote,” she said. “It’s a blast from the Jim Crow past, and we need to call it for what it is.”

While hammering the racist theme, Clinton hasn’t forgotten to highlight her own victimization. In an interview with Vanity Fair, she was asked if the U.S. was ready to put a woman in the White House:

“You know,” she says with a sigh, “I really don’t know. I think it’s gotten better. But I think there still is a very deep set of concerns that people have, which very often they’re not even aware of or they couldn’t articulate. There’s nothing overt about it in most instances. People are very convinced they want to vote for the right person. And then . . . you know, you get little hints that maybe they’re not as comfortable with a woman being in an executive position.”

And so this will be the story of Clinton’s campaign, especially if she wins the nomination. If voters don’t turn out for her, they must not be “comfortable” with a woman as president. If voters rally around Republicans, they must want to bring back the days of Jim Crow. And if anyone between now and then criticizes or opposes President Obama, well, it’s obviously because he’s black.

Don’t Democrat voters ever get tired of this kind of pandering?