Vice President Joe Biden went to Virginia on Monday and told a largely black audience that Republicans would “put y’all back in chains.” He then forgot that he was in Virginia and yelled, “With you, and I mean this, we can win North Carolina again.”
Biden was referring to his belief that Republicans would let big banks “unchain Wall Street,” but his word choice — with the obvious slavery image — was an attempt to galvanize Virginia’s black voters and falsely advance the meme that Republicans hurt minorities when, in fact, is has been the policies of the Obama administration that have put more blacks in poverty and in the unemployment lines. Obama’s policies have also made it harder for economically disadvantaged Americans of all races to advance their lots in life.
Biden was deployed to Danville, Virginia, where he made his comments. Blacks make up half of Danville, as do working class whites. To win Virginia, Obama needs to maximize the number of black voters who turnout for him while “beating the spread,” so to speak, among white working class voters. Obama is going to lose the white working class vote in Virginia — a recent Quinnipiac poll showed Obama losing white voters without college degrees by over 30 percentage points to Romney. Obama’s campaign thinks Biden can help Obama minimize his losses among white working class voters.
Biden’s “North Carolina” flub, though, and his outrageous dog-whistle comments hurt the ticket’s cause. Minorities are getting tired of Democrats insulting them and thinking they can be played like cheap banjos with comments like Republicans will “put y’all back in chains.” And white working class voters are tired of Democrats putting everything into a racial context.
Biden also spoke poignantly about how America’s economy has caused many parents to take the long walk up the short stairs to their kids’ bedrooms to tell their children that they lost their jobs or their family will have to cut back on things such as Little League they can no longer afford.
What Biden did not say, though, was that parents across the country are faced with these heartbreaking situations because of Obama’s mismanagement of the country’s economy.