If Obama had a white wife, would he be president?
Much as we are progressing when it comes to interracial relationships, much as we are known as the melting pot, has it ever occurred to you that the American government officials barely represent that? Look at the campaign trail and the number of interracial couples. See what I mean?
Given that we are a multiracial society, for some reason, I subconsciously find myself expecting to see a reflection of this in those in office and those running for office. But the numbers are barely visible.
According to Michael Goldman, political consultant and the advisor to Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, the lack of mixed race families in government and politics isn’t that shocking. To him government officials aspire to be ordinary as possible and to have a spouse of a different race isn’t ordinary… its political liability. And since most people still marry within their race, most voters tend to vote for candidates who they can relate to – those NOT in interracial relationships.
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Well, Bill de Blasio, New York advocate who is running for the New York City's mayor position isn’t letting the above assumption stop his campaign. He is white, married to Chirlane, black. The other one, Mia Love (black), Republican mayor-turned-GOP congressional candidate has dated interracially and is married to a white man.
Well, that may sound promising BUT…
According to a New York-based political consultant who has worked with Hillary Clinton, Basil Smikle, the Love's and de Blasio's have it eaaasy!! And you are not gonna believe his theory: Black men married to white women are more likely to have a harder time in a campaign than any other interracial combo. "I think for an African-American male candidate with a white spouse there is a credibility hurdle that he will need to overcome with black voters that another candidate would not face," he says.
Love and Blasio may have it easy because, when a black woman marries a white man, the assumption by the black voters is that he didn't meet a good black man. But when an accomplished black man marries a white woman: trophy wife! With such a negative perception, it becomes a challenge for the black male candidate married to a white woman to visit black churches and locales during his campaign. A good example is Rep. Harold Ford. When he was a candidate or the senate in Tennessee he was the target of an ad that showed a white woman seductively telling him "call me" which many interpreted it as being a result of being in an interracial relationship.
And with that Smikle concludes: "If Obama had a white wife it is unlikely he would be president."
Are we so driven by race when making voting decisions? Do you think Smikle is right to think Obama wouldn't have made it had he been in an interracial union while vying for office?
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