Sunday, February 24, 2008

paranoia or pragmatism?

I was talking politics yesterday with a friend in town for the weekend, and he said all his coworkers support Obama except four middle-aged black women who support Clinton because they are convinced if Obama is elected, he will be assassinated.

Hhm, I thought, that’s weird. A little paranoid, maybe?

But then I saw this tonight in the NY Times:

There is a hushed worry on the minds of many supporters of Senator Barack Obama, echoing in conversations from state to state, rally to rally: Will he be safe?

In Colorado, two sisters say they pray daily for his safety. In New Mexico, a daughter says she persuaded her mother to still vote for Mr. Obama, even though the mother feared that winning would put him in danger. And at a rally here, a woman expressed worries that a message of hope and change, in addition to his race, made him more vulnerable to violence.

. . .

Not long ago, his advisers worried that some black voters might not support his candidacy out of a fierce desire to protect him. It was a particular concern in South Carolina, but Mr. Obama said he believed the worry was also rooted in “a fear of failure.”

A paranoia shared by many, it seems. Let’s hope those fears are not born out.

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