Obama always knew--and knows--exactly how to frame political challenges. In an era where Democrats are wasting energy on pointless debates about race vs. class, mobilizing the base vs. reaching out to the white working class, Obama is unerringly on point. An excerpt from his speech on Friday at the University of Illinois--Urbana-Champaign.
"[W]e won’t win people over by calling them names or dismissing the entire chunks of the country as racist or sexist or homophobic. When I say bring people together, I mean all of our people. This whole notion that sprung up recently about Democrats needing to choose between trying to appeal to white working class voters or voters of color and women and LGBT Americans. That’s nonsense. I don’t buy that. I got votes for them in every demographic. We won by reaching out to everybody. And competing everywhere, and by fighting for every vote.
And that’s what we got to do in this election and every election after that. And we can’t do that if we immediately disregard what others have to say from the start because they’re not like us — because they’re white or they’re black or they’re men or women or they’re gay or they’re straight. If we think that somehow, there is no way they can understand how I am feeling and therefore don’t have any standing to speak on certain matters because we are only defined by certain characteristics. That does not work, if you want a healthy democracy."