June 28th, 2007
11:32 PM ET
9 years ago

Not just stale, male & pale

WASHINGTON (CNN) - "Black voters are looking for a candidate who is both battle tested and willing to champion their issues," says CNN Political Analyst and Democratic Strategist Donna Brazile, who was in the audience at tonight's debate.

When asked if there was urgency in this debate, Brazile said that, in her opinion, "Hillary Clinton and Dennis Kucinich were the only ones who saw how necessary and urgent it is to fix the racial divide in our country. The urgency was totally lacking from some of the other candidates who clearly believe African-American voters can simply wait for a new occupant in the White House."

Brazile said that "this type of debate that focuses on minority issues is a reflection of what happens when the contenders are those who are not just stale, male and pale."

Brazile went on to say that tonight's debate was "another demonstration of the boundaries that this 2008 race breaks. Diversity matters, especially when the topics are education, health care, HIV-AIDS and the criminal justice system."

So who won the debate? Brazile says, "I didn't think that anyone knocked it out of the park. But they spent some time addressing problems facing a large segment of the American electorate"

Brazile says "the candidates are all champions of civil rights, and could have used their own personal stories and battles to better connect with the audience and reach the congregation watching at home."

But she says they didn't.

As to which candidate offered hope, Brazile says, "It's too easy to paint the disastrous picture of race in America, which most of the candidates did." But she said they didn't do much else.

- CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser

Filed under: Uncategorized
soundoff (14 Responses)
  1. lavelle,Rochester,ny

    Clearly Brazile is a Clinton supporter she's been a Clinton fan forever. I totally disagree with her regarding the importance of education and poverty with the candadates. Mainly Mr.Obama, from day one he has been speaking about poverty and education. That has been at the four front of his campaign. And then to hear Mr. Cooper go on to say none of the candidates talk about education is just another media misleading Americans on the issues. I think this is unfair and CNN really needs to rethink how they give America the truth. Go Obama maybe they should look him up and see how he feels about the community.

    June 28, 2007 11:57 pm at 11:57 pm |
  2. Craig, New York New York

    "Black voters are looking for a candidate who is both battle tested and willing to champion their issues"

    Then I'd STRONGLY recommend such voters take a look at former Democratic Congresswoman from Georgia, Cynthia McKinney. Cynthia McKinney talks about 2008 Presidential campaign as a Green.

    The Democrats love to talk about such issues but invested in dumping one of those who went beyond talk to actually pushing the issues. One might consider watching the documentary "American Blackout" too.

    June 29, 2007 12:18 am at 12:18 am |
  3. Lynn, Silver Spring MD

    Who died and gave her the right to say what Black people are looking for? She can say what she might be looking for. Hey Donna "Shout Out" You don't speak for all Black people OK!!!!

    June 29, 2007 01:27 am at 1:27 am |
  4. Betty Vierra, Aptos, California

    Were we watching the same debate? In the first place, the format itself made a statement. Fairness. Each candidate got a chance to answer the same questions. The choice of first person to answer was staggered so every candidate got a chance to be first or last. (CNN, I hope you take note for your next debate.) In addition, I'm a John Edwards supporter, and I thought he offered a great deal of hope! It is always hopeful when you hear leaders give insightful and specific solutions to problems. Which he did, particularly about AIDs, and an equal chance to succeed. He also brought up the need to make sure ALL people get their votes counted! I also thought Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton did well. Because of time limitations, the answers were short, and maybe this is what Donna Brazile was talking about, that there wasn't enought time to build intensity. Yet, actually, in spite of the time limitations, this was a very good debate and the live audience certainly enjoyed and appreciated the responses.

    June 29, 2007 03:48 am at 3:48 am |
  5. Jeff Spangler, Arlington, VA

    Race is a diversion from the real issues of human behavior. The Supremes were right yesterday (not just "far right") on the folly of promoting "diversity" in schools. The focus should be on whether diversity is necessary or desirable, not on how to achieve it through more discrimination. It does _not_ "take a village" to raise a child. Two parents have traditionally done the job nicely.

    June 29, 2007 07:27 am at 7:27 am |
  6. DMW, Roeland Park, KS

    Usually in these types of events that are focused on a specific segment of our society, all we hear are 'yes' there is a problem. And anyone in America KNOWS that America is NOT color-blind however much we'd like to believe or lie to ourselves that we are. In our hearts we know there is still work to be done.

    None of the candidates will give answers to problems at this point because another segment of our society will moan and groan and shout 'reverse discrimination' or 'they are trying to make my child go to a black school', etc.

    This is still a racist society and we need to be truthful about that in order to really affect change unless we want to keep some folks down because we believe some of God's children are inferior.

    It is going to take several more generations before we are truly a color blind society.

    June 29, 2007 07:50 am at 7:50 am |
  7. M Johnson, Richmond VA

    "stale, male and pale"? Oh yes, let's address racial issues such as bigotry, labeling and stereotyping.

    June 29, 2007 08:59 am at 8:59 am |
  8. DC in Atlanta

    "Then I’d STRONGLY recommend such voters take a look at former Democratic Congresswoman from Georgia, Cynthia McKinney" – Craig, New York

    Pleeeease, tell me what Cynthia accomplished in her tenure. Besides offering to accept $10 million offered to 9/11 victims.

    June 29, 2007 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  9. Tom - Dedham, Mass

    Stale, male and pale, that's nice, in one fell swoop this liberal elitist gets to hammer white men and nobody blinks.

    She wants to bring America together by using these type of comments?

    Pretty sure ALL Americans want the same type of things as white folks also want a good education and a better health care system, like that this is somehow just important to one race.

    No administration has funded more for HIV-AIDS, but yet that isn't enough.

    Maybe more social programs are needed or maybe socialist programs, as they have worked so well in bringing people up from poverty.

    The government can only do so much, you only get out of life what you put into it and ANYONE that makes something of themselves by getting up every morning and going to school or a job and learning and providing for a family, should be and is the norm for most Americans.

    June 29, 2007 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  10. Providence, RI

    Don't forget Bill Clinton was the first black President! Therefore, Hillary will be the first black female President,because she is his wife, and she really cares about black people unlike others. Otheres are just rhetoric!

    June 29, 2007 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  11. john greco hanover pa

    sad but true fact: democratic candidates have been losing national elections because of their strong support of minority issues. the "urgency" donna brazil said was missing might be a good thing, or the next president could be another bush.

    June 29, 2007 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  12. H NY,NY

    I watched this and was just absolutely appalled at Hillary Clinton's replies.

    Her comments about HIV were a disgrace and demeaning to all the programs funded by the Ryan White Care Act (http://www.hopkins-aids.edu/manage/ryan_white.html). These programs provide services where they are needed.

    Let's not trivialize the work of dedicated professionals who have been fighting this disease for years with comments that pander to the crowd.

    As far as her solution to outsourcing. Which was more education. How about she acknowledges the fact that the jobs that are leaving are going to countries where the workforce is undereducated in comparison to the US.

    Its overpopulation and under education that makes the workforces in China and India able to work for less than minimum wage.

    And its not just factory jobs that are leaving. Its also technical jobs that our middle class rely on.

    More education achieves what?

    Kuchinich made a point that needs to be driven home. This was started with NAFTA, passed by President Clinton.

    And it needs to stop.

    And I will not vote for a candidate who's investments were based in companies that are making profits off jobs taken from the American workforce.

    Look at what has happened to Detroit!

    How about we don't vote for a "show pony" this time (e.g. Hillary Clinton) and go with a candidate who might actually change things? And understands that the American way of life and business is at a crucial crossroads?

    June 29, 2007 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  13. Alex , Santa Ana, CA

    Kucinich visibly won the debate on each issue. He had the proposals that the audience wanted from stopping the corporate exploitation of Africa to abolishing the death penalty to eliminating mandatory minimums to removing drug use from the criminal justice system to not-for-profit health care to programs that really work to solve poverty to withdrawing from NAFTA and the WTO.

    Clinton also did really well, particularly on the AIDS question where she pointed out if it were white women between 25 and 34 who were dying of AIDS, there would be a cure.

    Gravel did fairly well though he did not get the audience response of Kucinich or Clinton. Gravel pointed out that Kucinich was the only one up there who was not in with the insurance companies.

    Edwards and Obama feel really flat. They gave answers they though the audience would like but they couldn't get the audience to really care about their issues. The audience seemed less interested in the difference between different kinds of cocaine than in ending mandatory minimums and abolishing the death penalty. Edwards's haircuts and investments in the Sudan may have hurt him on the poverty and Africa issue. Obama answered the questions like a rich, out-of-touch white man.

    June 29, 2007 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  14. Linda, Chandler AZ

    Kucinich is just full of himself....maybe he has some interesting ideas, but I don't see him uniting this country. And Gravel is just nuts. And as far as Hillary Clinton being the "first black woman president".....huh? Clinton was president for 8 years....he sure looked white to me. You have a black candidate this time, a genuinely good man, who can bring so much hope to this country!! Why are you afraid to see that?

    June 29, 2007 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |