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The Obama PhenomenonToward a Multiracial Democracy$
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Charles P. Henry, Robert L. Allen, and Robert Chrisman

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780252036453

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252036453.001.0001

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Opportunity Costs

Opportunity Costs

The Impact of the 2008 Campaign on the Legacy of William Jefferson Clinton

(p.126) Seven Opportunity Costs
The Obama Phenomenon

Scharn Robinson

University of Illinois Press

This chapter looks at Bill Clinton's role in the 2008 campaign and his special relationship to Black voters. As he left office in 2001, Clinton's positive legacy of social and economic inclusiveness was very much intact in the African American community. Moreover, his relationship with and treatment of African Americans stood as a shining part of what would become the Clinton legacy. However, when President Clinton waged war on behalf of Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton for the Democratic nomination during 2008 presidential campaign season, he found that the political landscape had changed. He appeared to make little accommodation in his combative campaign style for the fact that Obama was being treated like the crown prince by American journalists and the Democratic Party. As a result, Clinton found himself explaining incidents of political sparring between the Clinton camp and the Obama camp that needed no explanation against other opponents. He also made gross miscalculations about the nature and strength of the Clintons' support among African Americans.

Keywords:   Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, black voters, African American voters, 2008 presidential campaign

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