It has been over one hundred and fifty years since the slave trade created King Cotton. One thing is for sure: in 2008, the past is not dead; in fact the past has not passed.
Two maps, separated by 150 years show the same unmistakeable pattern. One map shows where cotton was produced in 1860. The other map shows the same states and indicates which counties Obama won there in 2008. The two maps are virtually identical.
The link between these two maps is not causal, but correlational; and the correlation is African Americans.
Schiff became known for his introverted and intense approach to his craft as well as his low-key delivery style, often employing a quiet, gruff tone that earned him the nickname “The Hoarse Whisperer” among many West Wing fans.
The night was pretty nice: Election night in New York City. On Eighth Avenue, from a block away, I heard a roar of a crowd the size and depth you hear in stadiums reserved for moments of historic relevance like World Cup overtime goals or World Series winning home runs or the fall of Max Schmelling from Joe Louis’ fists. I reached the digital screen in Times Square to see that California had fallen blue and the fat lady was singing. Along with that lady about a million people joined in, it seemed, singing arias of celebration, crying and laughing and shouting and hugging. Victory.
UPDATE: Here is a terrific montage of election night reporting from the networks as well as inspiring highlights from Obama’s victory speech from Hyde Park:
This is our moment. This is our time. To put our people back to work and open doors of opportunity for our kids. To restore prosperity and promote the cause of peace. To reclaim the American dream and reaffirm that fundamental truth that out of many we are one. that while we breathe we hope. And where we are met with cynicism and doubt from those who tell us that we can’t, we will respond with that timeless creed that sums up the spirit of a people: Yes, we can.
Let’s say you believe that the three groups that were most crucial for Obama were African Americans, Hispanics, and voters 18 to 29. Chuck Todd and the crew at MSNBC’s First Read think so.
Now NBC’s Ana Maria Arumi plays with the numbers and comes up with some what-ifs that are kind of interesting.
What if you eliminated from the voting pool all voters under the age of 30?
If you do that, McCain narrowly wins Indiana and North Carolina.
What if there were no Latinos voting?
McCain gets both New Mexico and Indiana.
What if no African Americans voted?
McCain would have taken Florida, Indiana, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. In other words, that would have been enough to give us President-Elect McCain.
Of course, you could play the same game with other demographic groups: women, men, older white women, younger more affluent men, etc.