I have come to believe that in the Democratic race for the president, the issue is not race, its gender. Hillary is suffering from the subtle, unacknowledged gender bias that permeates our society much more than Obama is suffering from any racial bias. In fact, in the Democratic primary Obama may actually be benefiting from his race. Democrats are notoriously guilt ridden about racial issues and also very supportive of racial equality. Obama is the clear favorite of the left wing of the party. His charisma gives him an advantage with the youthful side of the party so, in my view he will not see any racial “backlash” until the general election, if he sees it at all.
Hillary on the other hand suffers from the subtle problem that every successful woman runs up against. She is considered a) a bitch, b) too weak or c) really just a substitute (not as smart or charismatic) for her husband. High level professional women can succeed, but they don’t win popularity contests. Why? Strength in women is still disfavored unless it is covered by a soft exterior. Hillary is not soft and she finds it hard to do the balancing act so many women have to learn - the iron fist in the velvet glove. According to the media she won in New Hampshire because she showed her emotions. What would happen if Barack had “showed his emotions?” People would turn the other way. Think of all the ways we show prejudice against successful women and then look at the characteristics that the media portrays in Hillary. They say she comes off too harsh, without feeling (read “she’s a bitch”). She is only endearing when she shows emotion, but she has to be careful not to appear weak (read “like most girls she’s soft”). Bill is leaping to her defense (she looks like a damsel in distress). Bill is an asset because he was president, but a detractor because everybody thinks there will be two presidents, or worse he will be president, if she wins (read she can’t think without her husband).
At the end of the day Hillary can’t win because she is a woman. That’s just wrong. Barack will win, despite being African American. The race is clearly not about race, its about gender.